JASPER, TX (KTRE) - A heartbroken Zavalla family is searching for their father's beloved recovery dog, Lucky, who they had boarded in the Jasper Animal Hospital two weeks ago.
"We had used this vet before, my husband had boarded him once before and we didn't have a problem," said Lucky's owner Barbara Bridges. "We get our medicine from them."
Bridges received a call she never expected from the vet's office.
"The boy told me he had taken him out for five minutes and when he went back, Lucky was gone." Bridges said.
According to the family and the City of Jasper Animal Control, the Jasper Animal Hospital hasn't been very helpful in locating the family's poodle.
"They did send one person out Friday," said City of Jasper Animal Control Officer Renee Collier. "He came out there and stayed maybe two hours. No one from there has been out here since."
"I could no longer communicate with these people and they had decided to do nothing," said Bridge's daughter Jeanne Schmitt, who lives in Austin. "I just got my car and came down and I've been down here ever since."
The family tried to reason with the Jasper Animal Hospital, but according to them, they refused to take responsibility and even filed a Notice of Trespass on Schmitt.
East Texas News tried to get the vet on the phone as well, but they told us they had nothing to say to us.
The family is understandably upset.
"When you pay someone to take care of your dog, you expect them to do it," Schmitt said.
"It's my opinion that they are one hundred percent responsible," Collier said. "It's my understanding that they accepted payment for boarding for the animal."
Now the family has taken matters into their own hands and are searching for Lucky themselves with the help of Jasper Animal Control and several Jasper community members, searching the Sandy Creek and Kiwanis Parks, where Lucky has been seen. Bridges even broke her arm trying to catch Lucky herself.
For the family, it's important that they find him, because Lucky is the reason why Bridges' husband was able to recover from a massive stroke.
"He couldn't talk, he couldn't walk , he couldn't eat, he couldn't do anything, but Lucky stayed right with him," Bridges said.
The family is grateful to Jasper for stepping up and helping them, when the Jasper Animal Hospital would not.
If you see Lucky you are asked to call Jasper Police at 409-384-3471 or the Jasper Animal Shelter at 409-383-2220. You can also call Bridges at 936-676-0361. The family asks not to catch him, just keep an eye out until they or Animal Control can get there. They have raised their reward amount from $200 to $500.