Residents at assisted living home devastated after therapy dog goes missing

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FREDRICKTOWN, MO (KPLR) - Residents at a Fredricktown assisted living home are devastated, now that their favorite dog has been missing for nearly a month.

Avery, an 18 month-old Basset Hound, belongs to Kristi Herbst, who also owns Avery’s mother, and the assisted living home this Basset Hound would always to visit.

Herbst explains, “Avery was a singleton, a litter of one. So she was a very special puppy, very specially loved.  We actually had a baby shower here at Ozark Manor when Frieda was pregnant, and it was just a wonderful thing, and she started coming here when she was just a tiny little puppy.”

Resident Wanda LaPlant has loved her ever since.  “She’d lay on the bed and sleep with me, then we’d take a nap,” she says.

But lately, LaPlant has been napping alone. On December 17, Avery went outside, and never came back.  They’ve posted fliers and looked everywhere, but still, no sign of her.

After talking with police, Avery's owner has a hunch she was stolen. Herbst says, “They say it is a problem, and that we should watch the pet websites where pets are for sale, and also Craigslist.”

Residents are devastated.  LaPlant says, “She helps us old people so much.  It makes you feel better, it gives you something little to love.”

“I pet her, feed her, everything,” adds Delores Hawkins.

During Avery’s absence, residents have gotten close with Herbst’s other dogs, who also visit the assisted living home regularly.  But it just isn’t the same without Avery.

“I ask about that dog every day,” says Hawkins.

“I loved her,” adds LaPlant, “If it wasn’t your dog, why would you want to take it?”

Avery’s owner is hoping the dog’s unique markings will help them find her.  She has black spots on her back that resemble Mickey Mouse’s head.


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