ROGERS, Ohio (WKBN) – The owner of a pilot dog that has been missing since January from its home in Rogers thinks the dog may have been stolen because of new evidence that’s turned up in the search.
Deanne Engel’s mother, 73-year-old Janet Armstrong, is the owner of Kerry, a 6-year-old pilot dog that went missing January 5.
The dog was let out on that cold January morning with two other dogs the family owns, but the black Labrador retriever never returned.
Engel said they thought the dog had just run off, but its footprints led down the driveway and stopped at the road. Just a few weeks ago, the dog’s collar was found on Eagleton Road, south of Salem, which is about 15 miles away.
Engel said her mother has lost 90 percent of her vision and counted on Kerry for just about everything in her life. Engel said it is mostly her mother’s independence that has been lost since the dog’s disappearance.
“She called Kerry her left arm because that is where she was. It was amazing to watch Kerry take her through a crowd. My mom could tell Kerry to take her to the door, and she would take her right through the crowd. It was amazing the bond they had,” Engel said.
Engel said her mother didn’t leave the house for weeks after Kerry’s disappearance for fear that someone would call about her or return the dog.
Police have followed several leads in the dog’s disappearance but are still searching.
Kerry was given to Armstrong through a local Lion’s Club donation. She came to Armstrong at one year old from Pilot Dog Incorporated, which will replace the service dog if it is not recovered.
Engel has launched a social media campaign to find Kerry and the family is offering a $1,000 reward. You can follow the search on their facebook page.
Anyone with information can call the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Department at (330) 424-7255.