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Toddler wanders for hours, but a ‘hero’ dog stays with him every step of the way, police say

When authorities found 2-year-old William Odom of Mississippi, who had wandered away from home, the boy’s dog was with him. The dog went with the boy to protect him, authorities believe.
When authorities found 2-year-old William Odom of Mississippi, who had wandered away from home, the boy’s dog was with him. The dog went with the boy to protect him, authorities believe. Harrison County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Department

You know that saying “not all heroes wear capes”?

Well, this one wears a leash.

On Tuesday, 2-year-old William Odom wandered away from his rural home in Saucier, Mississippi.

Six hours later another child found William about a quarter of a mile away, locked inside an old truck. William’s dog, Jezebel, was with him.

Authorities are hailing Jezebel, who they believe stayed with her owner to make sure he was safe as he wandered around. William is mostly nonverbal and is being tested for autism, authorities said.

“Every time we found his footprint, we found the dog footprint right beside him. So the dog traveled with him all day,” Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson told the media.

“When the little boy was found the dog was still circling the truck and scratching on the truck.”

Another child, 10-year-old Blake Carroll, was getting off a school bus when he heard the truck horn beeping and found William locked inside the truck, according to WLOX in Biloxi.

Blake’s “uncle came over and forced the window down. And (he) took the kid out and brought him to us,” said Peterson.

Sheriff’s deputies flying overhead in a helicopter, K9 units and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks all searched for William. Concern was high because of a creek in the wooded area.

“Ever since she was a puppy, they’ve been really close,” William’s mother, Chelsea Noble, said of her son and his dog, according to People.

“He loves feeding her. He loves helping bathe her. That’s his dog. After this, I believe there’s no changing that part. She saved my baby. Her and that little boy saved his life.”

Blake received a hero’s welcome at school for his part in finding William. The principal took him to lunch - he chose burgers. She bought him chocolate cake, too.

Noble was later charged with misdemeanor child neglect for not properly supervising the toddler, People reported.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services took custody of her children, including William, when she was arrested Wednesday, according to WLOX.

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