A service dog that’s helped rescue other dogs is now in need of rescue himself.
Paula Heckathorn was in the process of moving into her new Pleasant Plain home in the 9000 block of Morrow-Rossburg Road June 30 when she says her 9-year-old Australian Shepherd Cody darted out in the street and was struck by a vehicle.
“He rolled into the grass and he got up and ran. That’s the last time I saw him,” said Heckathorn.
Heckathorn adopted Cody after his previous owner could no longer afford to keep him. After she attended Zen4K9s, a California-based dog rehabilitation and training facility endorsed by “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan, Cody became a valuable tool in her behavioral work with dogs.
Heckathorn works with local animal rescues and shelters to rehabilitate and train abused, abandoned and untrained dogs that would otherwise be euthanized.
“I take the cases where dogs can’t be touched usually and turn those dogs into adoptable dogs,” she explained. “Cody can teach more quickly than I because the dogs understand him better than a human.”
The last confirmed sighting of Cody came from a neighbor on June 30, who said he saw a dog matching Cody’s description limping. When the neighbor approached him, he ran off, said Heckathorn.
Cody is normally very friendly and comes when called, but Heckathorn believes he may be scared.
More than 20 searchers, some with bloodhounds, combed the area over the July 4 holiday, but turned up no trace of Cody. Heckathorn said a friend even consulted a pet psychic, but that also turned up no leads.
Complicating the search is the fact that Cody is unfamiliar with his new home. Heckathorn believes he may try to find his way back to her previous residence 18 miles away on School Road in Sycamore Township.
Cody is about 45 pounds and has brown and white markings. He’s wearing a collar with tags, but is not micro-chipped. If you’ve seen Cody, contact Heckathorn at 513-877-2227, 513-703-9881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.