Disabled Boone Co. vet asks for help finding stolen service dog
WALTON, Ky. (WKRC) - Gunner the Siberian Husky is much more than a pet to veteran Bryan Vallandingham.
“He’s basically my lifeline,” Vallandingham said Monday morning from the couch in his Walton living room.
Gunner, the blue-eyed, 3-year-old service dog has been missing since Friday night.
For Vallandingham, the dog has been not only a companion, but a lifesaver.
“I have epilepsy from a traumatic brain injury in the military. He knows when I’m going to have a seizure 30 to 45 minutes before I have one,” said Vallandingham. “When my wife isn’t home, he’ll put his body weight against me to keep me from falling.”
Vallandingham says he let the dog out for a bathroom break about 9:00 p.m. Friday night. He was on a leash that stretched to the middle of his yard. When he came back, the leash was lying in the snow. The dog was gone, but there were no pawprints only bootprints in the snow.
“We followed as many human prints as we could but in the snow storm they just kept getting covered over and we ended up losing them, “ said Vallandingham’s sister-in-law Anjannette Smith.
“We’ve been walking door-to-door, we put fliers in the neighborhood and on Facebook. Others have shared our posts so it’s getting out there, “ said Bryan’s wife Kimberly Vallandingham.
The Vallandinghams are convinced Gunner was stolen. They have offered a reward for locating the service dog and really want him back.
“It’s devastating. We’ve got four kids and he’s like our fifth child, “ said Vallandingham. “And without him I don’t know when I’m going to get sick.”
Gunner has two blue eyes. He weighs about 90 pounds. He was wearing a camouflage collar with a blue i.d. tag and a rabies vaccination tag. Gunner also has a microchip identification implant.
If you have any information about Gunner, please call the Vallandingham’s at (859) 905-8255 or (859) 250-1615. You can also call the Boone County Sheriff’s office or the Boone or Kenton County Animal Shelters.