A story from Griggs County, ND that could have had unimaginable consequences has thankfully resulted in a heartwarming ending. A missing 3-year-old boy and his dog, Cooper, were found safe after authorities spent hours searching for them.

After being reported missing, the Cooperstown Fire Department, Cooperstown Ambulance and Binford Fire Department were all dispatched to the scene to look for the boy, which was about seven miles northwest of Cooperstown. Local authorities, the North Dakota Highway Patrol, and volunteers on ATVs, horseback, and on foot all searched for the boy until early Tuesday morning. An airplane and and bloodhound search dog were also called in to assist in efforts.

Shortly after 2AM, after a number of volunteers had been sent home due to the threat of rain, the boy and Cooper were found about a mile southeast of the farm the boy went missing from. A Cooperstown fireman spotted an object on a knoll, and when he shone his ATV light in the area, the boy's dog stood up. The fireman said Cooper had been laying on top of the boy to shield him from the rain and cold. The boy was sleeping at the time he was found.

The boy was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.