Reward jumps to $5,000 for missing Seeing Eye puppy
Morristown Daily Record
Desperate to locate a trainee puppy missing for two weeks, the Seeing Eye announced a $5,000 reward Monday for its safe return.
The 14-month-old female German shepherd, named Ondrea, has been missing from Wantage since the morning of June 24, when it pushed through a door latch and ran from its foster home during a loud storm. A $500 reward was quickly posted.
Since then, a small army of volunteers have conducted searches, robo-calls and put up thousands of fliers with no results. A professional dog tracker also failed to locate Ondrea, despite the use of feeding stations and cameras equipped with night vision.
“We feel we have exhausted all options in terms of finding her loose in the vicinity and are refocusing our efforts on the possibility that someone may have her and not realize we are looking for her,” Seeing Eye Director of Canine Development Peggy Gibbon said. “We hope that increasing the reward for information leading to her safe return will raise the visibility of our search for Ondrea. We will gladly accept her back with no questions asked.”
Established in 1929, The Seeing Eye provides specially bred and trained dogs to guide people who are blind. The Seeing Eye is a trademarked name and can only be used to describe the dogs bred and trained at the school’s facilities in Morristown.
Seeing Eye spokeswoman Michelle Barlak said the organization values its services “for one person-and-dog team” at $65,000. “That includes everything from birth to placement with the person and lifetime follow-up,” she said.
Ondrea is nearly full-grown with black and tan markings, weighing approximately 50 pounds and can be identified with a tattoo in her right ear. Anyone with information about the dog’s whereabouts should call the tip line at 973-525-1084.
There have been no sightings since the morning of Ondrea’s disappearance, Gibbon said. The dog had been scheduled to begin training the day after its disappearance.
Seeing Eye puppies live with volunteer families for the first year of their lives, until they are old enough to begin formal training.
“She’s never gotten out before,” foster owner Patrick Hanson wrote in a public Facebook post. “She broke the storm door chasing something. My stomach is in knots.”
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