'Real-life Lassie': Dog leads police to her hypothermic owner

Officers tried repeatedly to grab Tinsley but she ran out of reach each time, leading officers to the crash site


By Cliff Pinckard
cleveland.com

LEBANON, N.H. — A state trooper and police responding to reports of a dog running loose on an interstate Monday night realized the canine knew exactly what it was doing ... and it was a lifesaver.

The Shiloh shepherd named Tinsley led Trooper Tom Sandberg and Lebanon police officers to her owner and another man who had been badly injured after their pickup went off Interstate 89 and rolled over, ejecting both men, according to a news release from the State Highway Patrol.

“This was almost like a real-life Lassie situation,” NHSP Lt. Dan Baldassarre tells CNN. “It’s really quite remarkable. This dog definitely saved their lives. I don’t think they would have survived the night given the temperatures.”

At about 10 p.m. Monday Sandberg responded to a call at about a loose dog on the Veterans Memorial Bridge on I-89 near the border with Vermont, the news release says.

Sandberg and Lebanon police officers tried to get hold of Tinsley, but every time they got close, she would continue to run north on I-89. Tinsley eventually crossed the border into Vermont, and officers noticed a section of guardrail near the interstate had been damaged. Baldassarre tells CNN that Tinsley stood at the top of an embankment and looked down.

The officers found the badly damaged pickup truck, which had rolled over. They then found the two male passengers both had been thrown from the truck and were hypothermic and seriously injured.

Both men were taken to a hospital for treatment. Tinsley was not injured in the crash.

“She’s my guardian angel,” Cam Laundry, Tinsley’s owner, tells WPTZ Channel 5. “It’s a miracle that she had that kind of intelligence to do what she did.”

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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