Dogs keep missing boy safe and warm

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. (KOAM) – A missing boy is safe after search crews and volunteers in a Missouri town found the six-year-old with his two dogs in the woods.

Ryan Smith, the boy’s father, said he came home  Friday night to a nightmare.

Riley Smith’s parents said the boy had chased the puppy he received for Christmas and disappeared into the woods behind his their home.

Hours later, hundreds of police, firefighters and volunteers from across the county began to search. Authorities said canine units from several county police departments and a state helicopter also assisted in the search.

Six hours later Riley was found a mile from home with the family’s two dogs. However, he was no longer wearing his socks or shoes.

“He was extremely cold, he had gotten down into a brushy area and the dogs cuddled up to him and were able to keep him warm,” Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said.

The Smiths said they were elated to learn Riley had been found safe – and that their two dogs stayed with him the entire time.

“The dogs kept him warm, when the ambulance and everything picked him up, he said because it was below freezing,” Riley’s father said. “I mean his feet were just ice cold, but the rest of his body was fine.”

Riley was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but was at home Sunday playing video games with his twin brother and family.

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