Missing canine raises alarm


By Kevin Kelly - Special to the Tribune



PATRIOT — A call for help in finding a missing dog has raised concern from other owners in the area whose pets have recently gone missing.

Sherry Skidmore Russell is seeking assistance from friends, neighbors and citizens in locating her English Bulldog, Izzy, who went missing June 16 from her residence off Ohio 141 between Cadmus and Patriot. Her appeals on social media are accompanied by the offer of a $1,600 reward if Izzy is returned or for information leading to her whereabouts.

Information that helps in Izzy’s recovery can be messaged to Russell’s Facebook account, or by calling 740-645-3620 or 740-379-9392. Within the last several days, response to Russell’s online outreach has yielded a wealth of support from individuals and businesses anxious to help.

Also, Russell and those individuals who have responded to her postings have raised the possibility that some of the disappearances are actually thefts, and such incidents should be publicized to increase pet owners’ awareness.

Russell, a nurse-practitioner who operates a family health care office in Jackson, said Izzy is not the kind of dog to go off on her own for lengths of time.

“She is not a dog who wanders off,” Russell said. “She is a very low-energy English Bulldog who could never make it very far from our yard. Izzy is one of our family and she will not tolerate this heat.”

While pet owners have posted reports on Facebook of their dogs either going missing or being stolen, Gallia County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Troy Johnson said 9-1-1 has taken three calls of such incidents between May 30 and June 19, including Russell’s. Johnson has put in a request to 9-1-1 for similar calls and reports covering the past two months.

“I’ve asked for information that will help paint me a picture of this happening in certain townships, at certain times of the day or of certain breeds, anything that helps in forming a pattern,” said Johnson, who’s spoken this week with Russell about her situation.

“There are trends and we have heightened our awareness of these concerns,” added Johnson, who emphasized that help from the public, so critical to alerting deputies to criminal activity in the past, remains a valuable tool. Anyone with information on canines suspected of being stolen is encouraged to post it confidentially to the the sheriff’s Facebook page or the department’s anonymous tip line at 740-446-6555.

In the interim, help has poured in from local businesses and individuals in getting Izzy back to her owner. Ratliff Pool Center’s digital billboard in Gallipolis carries information for those searching for or who may locate the dog. Ohio Valley Home Health staff has joined the search.

Meanwhile the reward amount has been bolstered through contributions from Bubba Klinko and Julie Rayette Berkley of the Home Away from Home Kennel on Centerpoint Road near Thurman, Roxy’s Furniture at the Ohio River Plaza in Gallipolis, Rebecca Wilcoxon, Greg Bryant and Dixie Layton-Walker.

Home Away from Home has also volunteered as an anonymous drop site for Izzy. The kennel can be contacted at 740-245-5557.

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By Kevin Kelly

Special to the Tribune

Kevin Kelly, who was affiliated with Ohio Valley Publishing for 21 years, resides in Vinton.

Kevin Kelly, who was affiliated with Ohio Valley Publishing for 21 years, resides in Vinton.