A dog walker who discovered an abandoned newborn has described the shocking moment – and said the find was thanks to his pet.
Terry Walsh was left stunned when his female Husky Hel uncovered the hours-old infant in Kings Norton, Birmingham on Thursday.
The semi-retired Royal Engineer, 64, said he saw what he thought was a discarded blanket at The Mound, a local park, while walking.
And he was about to carry on with his journey – until Hel began nudging the tiny package with her nose, reports Birmingham Live.
This alerted Terry to the baby’s cries and he ran over before alerting a passer-by and the police – sparking a search for the mother.
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West Midlands Police, who released an update including pictures of the baby’s clothes on Friday, say the hunt continues.
Terry said: “As we walked through to the top of The Mounds, looking down towards Shannon Road, there was a lot of glass that had been smashed.
“To my left there was a rolled up blanket just under the bushes. I turned round to grab hold of Hel so she didn’t go over the glass, and she went off to the blanket, lying next to it and started nudging it with her nose very gently.
“Suddenly I heard this baby cry. I think it was Hel’s gentle nudging and the heat from my Husky’s body that woke the baby up.
“A bigger dog or another dog with a different temperament might well have just ripped and tugged at the blanket and the baby could have been treated like a ragdoll and then you’ve also got the foxes and the rats and everything in there.
“How would they treat a baby?”
He continued: “I was a bit stunned so I quickly went over lifted part of the blanket away from the baby’s face and it was newborn, as I know now.
“I knew it was very young.”
Police said the baby was full term, likely to have been born the same day and abandoned hours later.
He had been dressed in an orange and white stripy ‘Dino Dude’ tee-shirt, grey trousers and was wrapped in a grey and white zig zag pattern blanket – which can be seen in an police image of the clothing.
Mr Walsh, a local resident, said: “I couldn’t see anyone in the immediate vicinity, but about 30ft away I saw a lady with two young children so I rushed down towards her.
“Not wishing to startle her, I said ‘Look I’ve just found what appeared to be an abandoned baby on top of the mounds there'”.
The mum took her phone out immediately to call West Midlands Police before they headed over to settle the baby, he said.
“We then went back to the baby, she picked the baby up. I kept hold of Hel – who just wanted to mother the child – and waited until the police came,” he said.
“They parked up on Shannon Road, I went down to meet them and guide them to the location where the baby was found.
“The baby settled down pretty quickly. Clearly he was cold and the baby was getting the heat from the woman.
“If it hadn’t been for Hel, I wouldn’t have known. All I would’ve thought is that it’s a rolled up blanket.
“I thank the Lord that the baby was alive, that could’ve been a lot worse. The baby could’ve been dead.
“I said to my neighbours, Heaven sent Hel to rescue newborn baby boy!”
Police are unable to release the ethnicity of the baby, but say that they want to trace a white woman in her early 20s who was seen by several witnesses around the time the baby was abandoned.
Terry added: “I spoke to two teenagers who thought they saw a woman with the same or similar blanket carrying a baby about half an hour or an hour beforehand.
“My concerns were first of all getting the police and ambulance there and then the mother.”
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Emergency services were called at around 5.30pm and arrived shortly after.
The boy was taken to hospital – where he’s said to be “doing really well”.
DS Annie Miller said on Friday that the mother had obviously cared for herself and her unborn baby during pregnancy, as her son was healthy as a result of good ante-natal care.
West Midlands Police repeated calls for the mother – or her friends and family – to come forward.
“Our primary concern is the well-being of the mother and we need to find her to check on her physical and mental health,” the DS said.
“Her baby is fine and in good hands, but the most important person in his life is his mother and it’s our priority to find her.
“We need to know she’s safe and how she is medically, after giving birth.
“Ideally we’d like the mother herself to come forward, but are also appealing to the family and friends of the woman to come forward, if they know anything.”
Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch with West Midlands Police either by Live Chat or ringing 101, quoting log 3476 of 22 April.
Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.