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A pet husky has been hailed a lifesaver after she sniffed out a newborn baby dumped in a park.
The tot, just hours old, was wrapped in a blanket and abandoned at The Mound in Kings Norton on Thursday evening.
Speaking to BirminghamLive, the owner of the pooch – named Hel – praised his adorable dog for discovering the vulnerable infant, adding that it could have been eaten alive by rats or foxes.
Semi-retired royal engineer Terry Walsh, 64, 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?"
Terry added that if it wasn't for Hel alerting him to the boy by "gently nudging him" with her nose, then he would have walked on past, leaving the tiny baby in unspeakable danger.
He said: "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 a police image of the clothing.
Mr Walsh, a local resident in Kings Norton, continued: "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'."
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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."
After specialist police took charge of the baby, Terry was relieved that he was now in safe hands.
He said: "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.
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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".
Detective Superintendent Annie Miller said 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.
Detective Superintendent Annie Miller said: "Our primary concern is the well-being of the mother and we need to find her to check on her physical and mental health.
"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.
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