A Laurel Fork family is desperately trying to find its therapy dog that went missing on Monday morning.
Stella, a dark brindle-colored boxer, has been missing since Monday morning when her owner, Emily Goad, let the dog and her pet pig, Piggy, out for a bathroom break. Piggy came back, but Stella didn’t. Goad’s nephew, who is very close with the dog, has been distraught ever since, Goad said.
“Stella is a special dog. We have been training her to be a therapy dog. My nephew likes to pet her while he is doing schoolwork and she keeps him focused as well. He has been so upset,” Goad said.
Goad said the dog she owned before Stella was also a therapy dog and was well known in the area as it visited with local nursing homes, including Laurel Meadows. The dog knew close to 30 commands before passing away with cancer. Stella now knows between 10-12 commands, Goad said, but has other special qualities as well.
“Stella is like my animal whisperer. I have a small farm and any new animal I have brought home, from a parakeet to a horse to chickens, ducks and even a hedgehog, she is the first to welcome them and comfort them,” Goad said. “We have spent the last day or so handing out close to 200 flyers all over the area. Stella never wanders. We have been blessed with how much help we have been offered to find her, but we haven’t received any leads at all, which is what scares us.”
Goad said a K-9 search team out of Greensboro, N.C. came to Laurel Fork on Friday morning (Jan. 12) to help search for the dog. Unfortunately, the dog was not found.
“They tracked her to about 150 yards east of my house toward Meadows on Dan on (U.S.) 58 and the track just stopped. It was in a turnaround type of spot, which the handler said was a good indication someone picked her up,” Goad said. “Whether someone picked her up with good, bad or whatever intentions, we don’t know. Everybody is telling me the biggest thing is to get her picture out there as much as possible.”
Goad is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to finding Stella. Goad said anyone with information about Stella may call her at (276) 730-5516.