MILTON, GA - The search is on for a service dog puppy stolen from a non-profit organization in Milton.
Dorie is a service dog puppy that was taken from the Canine Assistants Farm in Milton Sept. 2. The person who took her also took her green service dog vest, her harness and leash.
A golden retriever puppy, Dorie is white in color, and about 11 ½ weeks old. She has not been microchipped yet.
The vest is a dark green Cordura vest with two zipper pockets on it. One side has a Canine Assistants patch, the other a Milk Bone logo patch, and in the middle of the back, a round patch reading “Please Don’t Pet Me – I’m Working.”
It looks like someone who knew the place well and could have been a former or perhaps present volunteer or staffer may be responsible.
Dorie is one of a litter of six puppies -- including Nemo, Bailey, Becky, Destiny and Flo -- all named for characters in the recent movie "Finding Dory."
It was initially thought a volunteer may have taken her and failed to sign her out, but a check of dozens of volunteers found otherwise. Founder Jennifer Arnold said that one of her prize puppies has been stolen, along with her service dog vest and leash -- most likely by someone Arnold trusted.
"They did have to know their way around," Arnold said. "They knew the code to get into the building, and clearly they knew where the equipment was kept, which is not something everybody knows."
Dorie is one of 130 dogs at the farm who undergo at least a year of training before being given to the disabled as service dogs. Some aid owners in wheelchairs, others can detect seizures, low blood sugar and other dangerous medical conditions.
"These are extraordinary creatures who have a very noble purpose and we adore every one of them," Arnold said.
A $1,000 reward has been offered by Canine Assistants for information leading to her safe return. A Facebook page has also been set up to help bring Dorie home.
Arnold has a message for the person who has Dorie.
"Please just let us get her. We're not mad. We won't pursue you legally. You can email, you can drop her off," she said. "This is doing a great deal of harm to an organization that does a great deal of good, so please bring her back."
Anyone with information about Dorie’s whereabouts is asked to call Canine Assistants at 770-664-7178, or to call Milton Police at 678-242-2570.
Canine Assistants is a non-profit organization that helps train service dogs for people with special needs.
(© 2016 WXIA)