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This heroic dog traversed the interstate to lead police to her injured owner

Updated January 5, 2022 at 6:18 PM ET

A one year old Shiloh Shepherd named Tinsley is getting praise — and extra treats — after she saved her owner's life by leading New Hampshire police to the site of his vehicle rollover.

According to New Hampshire State Police, a state trooper and several police officers responded to a report of a canine loose on Interstate 89 in Lebanon, near the border with Vermont, around 10 p.m. ET on Monday. When they tried to approach her, she ran north on the highway into Vermont.

A short time later, police said, the responders found a damaged section of guardrail at a nearby junction. They spotted a "badly damaged pickup truck that had rolled over," and realized that two people had been ejected from it. Both were suffering hypothermia and serious injuries and were later treated at a local hospital.

While at the scene, the officers learned that Tinsley — who did not appear to be hurt in the crash — belonged to one of the vehicle's occupants.

"It quickly became apparent that Tinsley led Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police to the crash site and injured occupants," the police wrote.

They posted a photo to Facebook showing the overturned and crumpled truck, lying in a wooded area off the side of the road.

Lt. Daniel Baldassare of the New Hampshire State Police told My NBC5 that it was unclear how long the two men had been outside of the vehicle, adding that Tinsley had evidently been outside for "a little bit," since her fur was wet.

"This was almost like a real-life Lassie situation," Baldassarre said, according to 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."

Tinsley's story has already gotten significant attention from national and local media outlets, including My NBC5 and WCVB-TV, which posted a photo of the "adorable hero herself."

Officers on the scene called EMS, who credit their fast response to Tinsley. Captain Jack Hedges of the Hartford Fire Department told the station that while responders were tending to the two men, the dog "sat there nice and calm, right next to its owner."

The driver of the vehicle has been charged by Vermont State Police with driving under the influence, with other charges pending. In a press release, officials said 31-year-old Cameron Laundry, who has been identified in media reports as Tinsley's owner, "was intoxicated and sustained minor injuries." The passenger suffered "serious injuries," and his dog — a bulldog — was found dead at the scene.

This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman
Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.