Bloodhound rescues 12-year-old girl who had been missing in desert for 20 hours

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(Jefferson County Sheriff) (Jefferson County Sheriff)

A bloodhound from Colorado was "in the right place at the right time" to help safely rescue a missing 12-year-old girl in the Wyoming desert, authorities said.

The Jefferson County bloodhound, named Jessie, was with her handler in Wyoming on an unrelated call when they were asked to help in the search for the missing girl, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

The girl had left her home the night of July 1. Two investigators from the Natrona County Sheriff's Office were able to track her movements -- up until she left a roadway, Natrona County Sheriff's Office investigator Sean Ellis told ABC News.

The community was desperate to participate in the search, Ellis said.

"We had people that were voluntarily searching their barns and their buildings and their acreages," he said.

On Tuesday, July 2, Ellis said he authorized bringing in Jessie and her handler to help.

Jessie endured nearly 90-degree weather and cactus-ridden terrain, but "knew exactly where she was going," said the sheriff's office.

After nearly two hours, Jessie zeroed in on the missing girl.

The 12-year-old, who had spent about 20 hours in the elements, was hungry and dehydrated but in good condition, according to Ellis and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Jessie and her handler "were in the right place at the right time," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "We’re thankful this young girl is going to be OK, and we’re thankful Deputy Fosler and K9 Jessie were in Wyoming and able to respond to help another agency and this family."

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