Service dog for girl with autism stolen out of front yard

Published: Dec. 15, 2011 at 4:14 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2011 at 5:56 PM EST
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BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - One family is suffering after their dog was stolen out of their front yard in Moncks Corner, but their dog isn't just any pet.

This American Bull Terrier plays a very special role in one child's life and her health could be affected if the dog is not returned. The family is desperate to get him back

"We can't sleep, we can't eat and we can't go on until he comes home," said Kelly Nolan. "It's like having our own child gone."

Nolan is talking about her daughter's dog, Toby. The dog has been in the family for years, but on Tuesday, witnesses told Nolan they saw Toby snatched and taken away in a car from her own front yard in Moncks Corner. Nolan's 9-year-old daughter Allie is taking it the hardest.

"She has been extra upset, you can tell, she brings us his picture," Nolan said.

This isn't your normal case of a missing pet. Allie is austic and Toby was her trained special needs dog.

"When we're outside playing he makes sure she's safe at all times," Nolan said. "If she has a certain cry he can tell the difference in her cries. He can tell if something bothering her."

Allie's vocabulary is very limited, but her Nolan says the dog is her voice when she's upset or in danger.

Now that he has been taken, Nolan says the whole family is suffering.

"It's going to be really hard for her to understand where he is and why he's gone," Nolan said. "We just pray for someone to please do the right thing and give him back."

The Nolans say they will continue to search for him and his water bowl will be waiting for him when he comes home.

"I just pray for his safe return," she said.

Berkeley County sheriff's deputies are searching for the person driving a black Dodge Charger who witnesses say took the dog. Witnesses say a white female with blonde hair took the dog.

The Nolans are offering a reward to anyone who returns him.

He was last seen wearing a spiked leather collar with the Nolan's address and phone number on it.

If you have any information on Toby you can call the Nolans at 843-826-2920 or you can contact the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.