Real-life US 'Lassie' leads police to owner's crashed car

Washington (AFP) – A dog in New Hampshire was being hailed as a real-life "Lassie" Tuesday after leading police to the scene of a serious car crash that left her owner injured and suffering from hypothermia.


The one-year-old dog, a breed known as a Shiloh Shepherd called Tinsley, ran down a highway on the New Hampshire border with Vermont late Monday, prompting motorists to alert the highway patrol.

When police officers spotted the dog and tried to catch it, she kept running and led them into Vermont, where the officers spotted a gap in the guard rail and discovered a badly damaged pickup truck that had rolled over.

Two people, one of whom was Tinsley's owner, had been thrown from the vehicle and were already suffering from the onset of hypothermia.

"It quickly became apparent that Tinsley led (law enforcement) to the crash site and injured occupants," New Hampshire police said in a statement on their Facebook page.

"They could tell the dog was trying to show them something because she kept trying to get away from them but didn't run away totally," New Hampshire police officer Daniel Baldassarre told local news channel WCVB.

"It was kind of, 'Follow me. Follow me.' And they did that and, to their surprise, to see the guardrail damaged and to look down to where the dog is looking at, they were almost in disbelief."

"I kind of compare it to, for those who remember, a real-life 'Lassie' story, where the people are in distress and the dog goes and gets help and brings them right to where the person is," said Baldassarre.

As emergency rescue workers began their medical care of the injured, the dog "sat there nice and calm right next to its owner," said Captain Jack Hedges of the Hartford fire department.

The dog's owner, Cam Laundry, was not seriously hurt in the crash, and said Tinsley would be rewarded with venison for showing such intelligence and devotion.

"She's my little guardian angel" he told WCVB. "It's a miracle that she had that kind of intelligence to do what she did.”