'Canine Hero' leads police to injured owner after highway wreck
[Jan 6, 2022: Corine Gatti-Santillo]
Cameron Laundry, 31, of Vermont with his hero pup, Tinsley. He's shown with bandages around his left hand and wrist after first responders found him and rescued him after a crash — thanks to the diligence of his devoted young Shiloh shepherd. (CREDIT: New Hampshire State Police)
Cameron Laundry of Hartland, Vermont, is one lucky guy — with one great dog.
On Monday night, Jan. 3, 2022, highway drivers spotted a young Shiloh shepherd — thought at first to be a German shepherd — running loose and on her own on Veterans Memorial Bridge on I-89 near the New Hampshire-Vermont border.
It's a miracle she wasn't struck and killed in traffic — but this was one determined dog. "A little guardian angel," to be sure.
When New Hampshire State Police responded to reports of a wandering dog on the highway at around 10 p.m., they quickly realized the pup wasn't merely "wandering." The dog named Tinsley had a purpose: to take police to the scene of an accident, where two people — including her owner — lay badly injured and in need of help.
Police tried to corral the pup, yet Tinsley instead led them past a damaged section of the guardrail and toward the rollover crash of a 2019 Ford F350 pickup. Two men had been ejected from the car, which was totaled.
"The dog wanted Trooper Sandberg and the [other] officers to follow her. Tinsley never tried to run away, but rather [she led] them further up the road and over the bridge," public relations and community outreach officer Amber Lagace told Fox News Digital in an email on Wednesday evening about the incident.
Lagace also shared the words of Lt. Dan Baldassarre, commander of Troop D of the New Hampshire State Police: "It’s a real-life Lassie story. Tinsley led law enforcement directly to the crash scene to provide assistance. She’s the hero."
Lebanon Police, also responding, called for medical assistance. First responders found the two victims of the crash injured and hypothermic.
Once rescuers reached the two injured men who had been ejected from the car, the dog "stood by her owner as officers assisted him and the passenger." — Vermont State Police
Tinsley was wet, the police said, but was not hurt — and apparently later received goodies for all her bravery, including a venison dinner.
Laundry said after the crash, "She's my little guardian angel. It's a miracle how she has that kind of intelligence to do what she did," as Fox23 and other outlets reported.
Laundry suffered minor injuries and was later released from the hospital. The other passenger, identified by Vermont State Police as Justin Connors, suffered more serious injuries and is still in the hospital. He has undergone at least two surgeries by this point, according to new reports.
Unfortunately, Connors' dog, a bulldog, was also riding in the truck with the two men and with Tinsley. Sadly, the bulldog was struck on the interstate after the crash; its body was discovered the next morning.
The New Hampshire State Police took this image at the scene of the accident they were investigating a few nights ago. A hero dog led them to two injured men. (CREDIT: New Hampshire State Police)
The New Hampshire State Police posted a long message on Facebook about the incident.
"On January 3, 2022, at approximately 10 p.m., Trooper Sandberg of #NHSP #TroopD responded to a report of a loose canine on the Veterans Memorial Bridge located on Interstate 89 at the New Hampshire/Vermont border in Lebanon," they wrote.
"Trooper Sandberg and Officers from the Lebanon Police Department located a large German Shepherd [later identified as a Shiloh Shepherd] on northbound Interstate 89. When Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police Officers attempted to get close to the canine, it continued to run northbound on Interstate 89, crossing into Vermont."
"A short time later, Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police Officers located a damaged section of guardrail near the Interstate 91 and Interstate 89 junction," the post continued.
"Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police Officers observed a badly damaged pickup truck that had rolled over. As the Officers investigated further, they realized that both occupants of the pickup truck had been ejected from the vehicle and were hypothermic and seriously injured. Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police Officers were able to quickly call for medical assistance."
A frightened but brave Tinsley all by herself on the highway, after her owner's car crash. She led police officers to her injured owner and his passenger, who were both ejected from the vehicle in the rollover. (CREDIT: New Hampshire State Police)
"While at the scene, Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police Officers learned that the [Shiloh] Shepherd, named Tinsley, belonged to one of the injured occupants of the truck. It quickly became apparent that Tinsley led Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police to the crash site and injured occupants."
"Additional NHSP Troopers, Lebanon Police and Fire Department, and the Hartford, Vermont Police and Fire Department, assisted at the scene."
The post continued, "The crash investigation is being handled by the Vermont State Police."
And finally, they said, "Tinsley did not appear to be injured in the crash."
"Tinsley is a young Shiloh Shepherd," they also noted.
Laundry was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and rollover, according to the Vermont State Police.
He also is now due in court in February to face a charge of driving under the influence, according to a press release issued this week by the Vermont State Police. State troopers said he provided an evidentiary blood sample at the hospital. That same release noted, "Other charges [are] pending as well."
Notably, the Vermont State Police noted in its report that the dog — once rescuers were at the two men's sides and giving them aid — "stood by her owner as officers assisted him and the passenger."
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Note: Materials provided above by Corine Gatti-Santillo. Content may be edited for style and length.
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