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RAPID RIVER, Mich. – A shelter dog with a difficult past is being called a hero, after finding a 3-year-old girl naked, alone and curled up in a ditch in freezing temperatures.

According to a post by the Delta Animal Shelter in Delta County, Michigan, Peanut led his owner to the girl in a field behind their home on March 20.

“About 11am this morning, Peanut started going crazy at our house. She was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping,” Peanut’s owner wrote in a note shared with the shelter, which was later shared on Facebook.

Eventually, the family let Peanut outside, and she immediately bolted to a field behind their house.

“My husband followed her and to his surprise, he found a naked, shivering, 3 year old girl curled up in a ball. He scooped her up, wrapped her in his sweatshirt, and brought her inside,” wrote Peanut’s owner.

The family called police. They say all the little girl could manage to say was “doggie.”

The Delta County Sheriff’s office said in a statement that the little girl was taken to a hospital as deputies went door-to-door trying to locate the girl’s home. When they eventually found her parents, they discovered the girl was living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

Child Protective Services later took two other children from the home.

“Through all of this sad news, give thanks the children are safe,” the shelter wrote on Facebook.

According to WLUC-TV, Peanut had a dark past of her own. When she arrived at the animal shelter, she had two broken legs, broken ribs and carpet in her belly.

“The good in this heartbreaking story is the heroism of this former abused shelter dog Peanut, and her wonderful adoptive family,” the shelter wrote.