Rescue Dog Saves 3 Sleeping Girls from Kidnapper Who Broke Into Their House


Thom Lambert knew something was wrong when his dog, Edgar, wouldn’t stop barking and was acting strangely on the night of April 28. The Pennsylvania dad said the pup is usually playful and laid back.

“It was like a growl-howl,” Lambert told FOX43, describing the sounds coming from his 4-year-old rescue pup. “It was obvious he was really upset, and as soon as I got him to quit barking, I heard sounds of someone going down the stairs.”

  • What Lambert would soon find out was that Edgar was reacting to the presence of an intruder in the house, who had broken in to abduct Lambert’s three children.

    That intruder was 20-year-old Thomas Dewald, who had allegedly abducted another child three days earlier and had stuffed her in a wooden trunk at his grandmother’s house. 

    In that case, the 4-year-old was somehow able to escape just hours after she was kidnapped and was found safe on a road nearly three miles from her home.

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  • Dewald was allegedly looking for his next victims and snuck in during the middle of the night.

    “When they interviewed Dewald, he admitted to picking out [the Lambert] house because he knew there were young children in there,” Pennsylvania State Trooper Megan Frazer told People.

  • The dog started barking and woke up the homeowner and scared away Dewald. Now, he's being credited with potentially saving the little girls’ lives.

    “The dog is a hero,” Frazer said.

    Lambert tells PennLive that after he got Edgar to quiet down, he went downstairs and discovered that the kitchen door and window were open. He immediately panicked, because he was aware of the abduction of the girl from a nearby township a few nights earlier.

    After bolting upstairs to make sure his own girls -- ages 3 to 8 -- were safe, Lambert grabbed a knife and made a sweep of the house and then called 911. "Without Edgar, genuinely, who knows where our daughters would be right now," Lambert told Fox43. "Our family was one hundred percent rescued by our dog that we rescued."

  • Police confirmed that it was Dewald who had broken into Lambert’s home, and that he had come with the intention of abducting the children.

    “He was really drawn to take one of our kids,” Lambert said. Police reported that Dewald admitted to casing the neighborhood in the weeks prior, looking for young children.

    Police also told Lambert that Dewald had admitted to fleeing once he heard Edgar’s barking. “He told the police he knows how dogs bark, and the difference between ‘hey,’ and ‘I’m going to hurt you,’” Lambert recounted.

    Dewald has since been charged with attempted kidnapping in the Lambert case, and with multiple felony counts including kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass in connection with the earlier kidnapping of the 4-year-old girl.

  • Lambert is just grateful his girls are safe and that the family made the decision to bring Edgar -- once labeled “unadoptable” -- into their family

    “It’s so damn impossible right now to think we got this dog for any other reason than it was meant to be,” Lambert said. “Everything had to happen in just the right way for him to be there at that moment.”

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