(In a previous post, Kerry was referred to as a Seeing Eye dog. Kerry was not, however, trained through that program. This clarification has been made in the story)
ROGERS, Ohio — In the late 1980s, Janet Armstrong, 73, was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which rendered her almost completely blind and unable to drive by 1990.
Five years ago, Armstrong was granted a guide dog, funded partially by a member of the New Waterford, Ohio, Lions Club, in which the Armstrong family had been active for the past 20 years.
The black English Labrador Retriever, Kerry, became an indispensable partner to Armstrong, giving her back much of her independence.
But on Jan. 5, 2015, Kerry went missing from the Armstrong property.
The family believes Kerry was stolen and that the thief had to know she was a service dog, due to the fact that she was wearing both her county dog license and ID tag identifying herself as being from Columbus-based Pilot Dogs.
In March, Kerry’s collar was found along a rural road in Lisbon, Ohio — 15 miles from the Armstrong home.
Several Facebook pages and a billboard campaign have been launched in an effort to find Kerry. Donations have also allowed for a $1,000 reward to be offered for information leading to Kerry’s safe return.
The family is now hoping to take the local search state- and nationwide. Persons who have purchased a dog matching Kerry’s description since Jan. 5, or know of anyone who has, are being asked to call Deanne Engle at 330-692-1441 or the Columbiana County Sheriff Department at 330-424-7255.
Family members said they are not interested in pressing charges against those who took Kerry, but are only interested in bringing her home.
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