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A 2-year-old girl went missing for 2 days — her dog stayed by her side the entire time, and is being hailed a hero

INSIDER logoINSIDER 6/11/2018 (Shelby Slauer)
a little girl that is standing in the grass: Charlee Campbell. © Provided by Business Insider Inc Charlee Campbell.

A Kentucky family's dog has been dubbed a hero after staying by their missing 2-year-old daughter's side for almost two days in the woods.

On Thursday, Charlee Campbell and her pitbull Penny went missing in a densely wooded area near her grandparent's house, about 30 miles outside of Louisville, Kentucky.

For almost two days, Charlee's family worked alongside the local sheriff's office to locate her. Scotty McGaha at the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office told INSIDER that they "interviewed several family members Thursday and Friday during the search, along with the FBI."

Then, on Friday evening, Charlee's grandmother saw Penny returning to the house. Around the same time, Charlee was discovered outside a home less than a mile away. She was dehydrated and had tick bites, but was otherwise unharmed.

Local resident Wayne Brown discovered Charlee outside his house Friday evening. He had spent three hours searching for Charlee on Thursday — his own brother went missing at age three and was later found drowned in a creek.

When they found her, he told the Courier Journal "I'm convinced that God led her to our porch." 

a brown and white dog standing in the grass: Charlee Campbell's dog. © Provided by Business Insider Inc Charlee Campbell's dog.

Charlee's grandmother, Beth Campbell, believes it was Penny.

She told WISTV, "When my dog didn't come home, and my baby wasn't home, she was not going to leave that baby until she got here." She continued by saying, "I can't even explain how happy I am that this baby is home, because I love her more than anything in this world."

a person petting a dog: Charlee Campbell's dog. © Provided by Business Insider Inc Charlee Campbell's dog.

An official statement from the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office on Facebook said:

"Charlee’s amazing survival story continued tonight when she walked up on a porch on Roy Layne Road this evening. The homeowners realized who she was and contacted authorities. She has no obvious serious injuries but did appear dehydrated and had some tick bites. She is en route to the hospital for evaluation. Ironically, her dog returned home on its own a few minutes prior to Charlee approaching the homeowners. We cannot thank enough the firefighters, EMT’s, dispatchers, search teams, other public safety agencies and the volunteer searchers from the community. Bullitt County residents always step up to help each other."

Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell   told Fox 19 "I can't believe she survived it. There's coyotes in them hills. There's copperheads and rattlesnakes and ticks, all the elements. And somehow she came out in pretty good shape."

"This is our hero right here," Campell said to WAVE 3 News of Penny in an interview, which you can watch below.

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