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Lost Therapy Dog

December 29, 2020

Victoria Williamson, a Lexington resident, is asking community members to keep an eye out for her missing dog, Duke.

Duke is an English Shepherd mix with black fur and tan markings on his snout, chest and paws. Williamson describes him as about a foot and a half tall and between 30 and 35 pounds.

The 6-year-old dog went missing Friday evening after a friend let him out without her knowledge. Williamson, who lives off of State Route 546, was leaving her home when Duke began chasing down her vehicle. Williamson was past the square in Lexington when her friend called her to alert her that Duke had run off. She immediately turned around and began searching for Duke, but was unable to find him during the Christmas snowstorm.

“The snow was blowing all over so I couldn’t see anything,” she recalled.

Duke was not wearing a collar and was not chipped, so Williamson is concerned that someone may have picked him up, assuming he was a stray.

“He’s a good dog. He’s very friendly. He’s very responsive to his name,” she said.“He’s never run away before.”

Williamson said her dog is unlikely to run from a stranger if approached slowly with a calm tone of voice. Duke is a therapy dog, which means he is trained to provide emotional support to those in distress.

Williamson, a home health aide, takes Duke with her during her 14- to 48-hour shifts. Clients, often hospice patients and their families, love him.

Williamson said Monday morning she has yet to hear of anyone seeing Duke, despite numerous Facebook posts and calls to dozens of nearby shelters and first responders.

She has posted fliers in downtown Lexington and at local pet stores, pet rescues, gas stations and grocery stores. Volunteers have helped hang fliers, knock on doors and search the woods calling his name.

“It saddens me to think that someone maybe took him and he is a wonderful dog, perhaps they want to keep him,” Williamson said. “He is my life and I need to get him home as soon as possible.”

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