The dog that went missing with two Louisiana girls is now being recognized as a hero for protecting his family and aiding first responders.

On Monday evening (Nov. 28), authorities with St. Tammany Parish and State Police put out an alert that two little girls and their dog had gone missing in the Folsom area.

Members of the community, both far and wide, shared the message on social media while many others volunteered to search for the young girls (ages 7 and 4) who went missing from their family property a little after 5 p.m. according to an initial post from their mother, Mary Bourg.

Luckily, the girls and the family dog were found unharmed and returned home safely later that night after an hours-long search that involved ATVs, helicopters, dogs, cars, and a physical army of volunteers who lined the streets to help in any way they could.

A video from St. Tammany Parish authorities shows the moment the girls were reunited with their parents along with the family dog who is now being hailed a hero for not only protecting the girls but for helping to lead first responders to their location once authorities detected activity from above.

According to a Facebook post from Bourg, Artemis never left the side of her 4-year-old and 7-year-old daughters as they wandered deep into the woods. Her oldest said she made the decision to "stay put" because "she knew they would be found" but it was the chocolate golden retriever who played the role of protector, reportedly barking to lead first responders to their exact area in the depth of the Folsom woods where the girls had gone missing.

Bourg said that Artemis even growled at the police officers who found the girls as the retriever stayed committed to his role of protector until they were all back home safely with their family.

Also, so grateful for our hero Artemis, our golden retriever. The helicopter first spotted some movement and sent a search crew in their direction. And then Artemis heard people coming and started barking making it much easier to find them. He even growled at the police at first because he was protecting our babies.

In a Facebook post showing gratitude, Bourg thanked all of the first responders and the community for their help in searching for their babies.

Big thanks to everyone who shared the Bourg family's post and shared prayers and good energy. This situation is another example of how a community can come together for the greater good in south Louisiana, even for strangers who may be in need.

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