Volunteers Search For Missing Berks County Service Dog

Volunteers Search For Missing Berks County Service Dog

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"Finley," pictured, went missing Tuesday night in Berks County. "Finley," pictured, went missing Tuesday night in Berks County.
Volunteers search through a wooded area in Wyomissing Thursday for a missing service dog. Volunteers search through a wooded area in Wyomissing Thursday for a missing service dog.
BERKS COUNTY, Pa. -

The search is heating up in Wyomissing, Berks county, for a service dog- recently paired with a stroke victim- but missing since Tuesday night.

As 46-year-old Denice DeAntonio waits for word of her beloved "Finley," she tells FOX 29's Bruce Gordon, "I waited all this time, and went through the training and we were doing so well..."

And now this.

Finley disappeared during the commotion when Denise fell and hurt herself outside a Wyomissing shopping center Tuesday night.

"I know when it happened," says Denice, "I just cried and kept telling people, 'Go get my dog! Get my dog! Get my dog...'"

Dustin Feldman with "Amazing Tails"-- they provided the service dog and he's helping to organize the search- says a veteran service dog might not have run. But Finley was new to the job-- just two weeks out of training with Denice.

"It usually takes several months to a year or a pair to really bond and just to trust each other," Feldman told Gordon.

Denise- just four years removed from a stroke that impaired her motor skills- had waited 18 months for Finley, then trained with him, side-by-side, for 10 days last month.

She says the dog changed her life, even in the short time they were paired together.

Searchers found Finley's ID packet in the woods early Thursday morning.

Late in the afternoon, a handler with his tracking dog- a wire-haired dachshund, joined the search.

All volunteers- looking to help a stranger reconnect with her companion.

"As bad as I feel, and as upset as I am," says Denice, "I have to say that I still feel blessed."

If you are interested in joining the search- people, but no dogs, please- or, if you have spotted Finley, call Dustin Feldman at 954-608-1217.

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