Pet dog found protecting girl, 3, who disappeared on flooded, remote property

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

A young girl in WA has been reunited with her relieved parents after going missing with her pet dog in a flooded rural area for nearly 24 hours.

Three-year-old Matilda wandered from her home about 2.30pm on Wednesday with her small Jack Russell Terrier at their Noreena Downs Homestead in Pilbara region.

The child and her dog walked 3.5km from her home, 70km from Nullagine, before becoming trapped on a creek due to rising flood waters.

A muddied Matilda with her parents and Jack Russel Terrier. Source: WA Police Force

After her distressed parents raised the alarm, three helicopters, nine police officers, eight SES personnel and seven horses were deployed to search for her, along with staff from the Noreena Downs station.

Heavy rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Blake had made search conditions challenging and filled a number of creeks surrounding the property.

She was eventually spotted alongside her loyal dog on Thursday afternoon stranded in the creek.

An area near Marble Bar in the Pilbara north of Nullagine. Source: Marble Bar Police
The crew which helped find Matilada during a challenging search over nearly 24 hours. Source: WA Police Force

Late on Thursday, WA Police Force shared an image of a muddied Matilda reunited with her parents.

Her faithful companion can be spotted in the background.

“That little dog will be the toast of the station,” Pilbara police superintendent Kim Massam told reporters.

Another photo was shared displaying the extensive crew which helped find the girl.