Children are curious by nature. So, when a 3-year-old Abigail Ladwig wandered off while playing with her dog, it took a moment for anyone to notice. Almost immediately, however, a search and rescue mission started to find the toddler. Thankfully, the young child had a protector: her favorite cocker spaniel!
A Missing Toddler
Last week, the day started off like any other for the Ladwig family in Sawyer County, Wisconsin. Just like most other days, little 3-year-old girl Abigail Ladwig sat in the yard playing with the family dog, a Cocker Spaniel mix named Peanut. As you might imagine, Abigail and Peanut had quite a special bond, as little kids and their pets so often do. Unfortunately, when Abigail’s parents turned their back for just a few moments, the toddler and Peanut simply up and walked into the woods behind the family home. Minutes later, when Abigail’s parents realized she had gone missing, they called the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department.
By 6:45 pm, less than two hours later, the Sheriff’s Department had mobilized a search party with volunteers. Meanwhile, they also posted to Facebook, making the entire community aware of the situation. Throughout the night, police and citizens scoured the woods for the lost toddler. Unfortunately, they found nothing. Soon enough another day broke and Abigail’s parents felt more and more worried…
Out Of The Woods
In a moment of darkness, the residents of Sawyer County banded together. That day, hundreds of citizens came together, in the midst of the pandemic, to search the city and woods for lost Abigail. Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources also came in to direct the search. Meanwhile, many of those that could not, for whatever reason, help comb the woods actually donated food and water to the efforts.
Finally, after more than 24 hours, just after 7:00 pm, someone finally spotted something in the woods. It was Abigail! And the volunteer did not find the toddler alone: Peanut the dog had stayed by her side the entire time! Just 20 minutes after the searcher found Abigail, police officers placed her in the arms of her grateful and crying parents. Thankfully, the toddler only suffered some minor scratches, a little dehydration, and a few bug bites. The hospital released her after just a few hours, and that night Abigail slept soundly in her bed once again. The following day the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office, along with Abigail’s parents, took to Facebook to thank everyone that helped them find their baby girl.
A Big Thank You
An incredible amount of people mobilized to help find Abigail quickly. This list includes search and rescue teams from three cities, state and local police and fire departments, Wisconsin Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, and even non-profits like Canine SOS, and Canine Search Midwest, just to name some! So, it’s no wonder that Abigail’s parents and the local police wanted to give a big thank you to everyone! The next day, the sheriff himself took to Facebook to thank all involved.
“A special thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and other agencies involved in the search for Abigail,” Sheriff Doug Mrotek finished the long, heartfelt statement, co-signed by Abigail’s parents. And we’re sure they thanked Peanut the dog too!