Pet dog’s barking leads rescuers to missing Texas woman with dementia

May 24, 2022
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Texas woman who suffers from dementia and was missing for three days was found in the early hours of last Friday, bruised and dehydrated but safe, after her dog’s barking helped rescuers track her down.

Sherry Noppe, 63, left her home in Houston, Texas last week, to take her black labrador, Max, for a stroll. The pair never returned.

For three days, authorities and volunteers searched for Noppe, who had recently been diagnosed with dementia.

They eventually found her next to three-year old Max in George Bush Park, an 8,000-acre expanse next to her home.

According to a family friend, Michael England, who joined search efforts, Noppe was found several hundred yards into the park.

“As they got closer to her, I think that’s what caused him to bark because he was protecting her,” Sherry Noppe’s brother, Justin Noppe, told KHOU.

“So I do think his barking is what led those people to hear him and go in that area and find her. So yes, I do believe he saved her life.

“When they actually found her, they heard him growling and barking.”

In a police statement, Constable Ted Heap of Harris county precinct 5, said Sherry Noppe “was located at approximately 3am on Friday by a group of tireless volunteers and deputies who were alerted by the sound of her dog, Max, barking in the woods”.

Aside from a few minor cuts and bruises, Noppe was not injured. She was admitted to hospital with dehydration and was given fluids.

“She’s doing surprisingly well for how long she’s been out there and the conditions that we were expecting: the heat, the rain,” said Courtney Noppe, her daughter.

“We’re very grateful.”

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