US veteran looking for his missing service dog

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by Stella Inger

azfamily.com

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 15 at 3:35 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Bill Hembree, a Vietnam War veteran who's wheelchair bound, is looking for his little Zoe. She's a 3-year-old Great Dane, a service dog that helped him a lot.

"It really hurts 'cause I love her very much and I'd like to get her back," Hembree said.

Hembree said Zoe had only been in his life for just a few months after his other service dog died of old age.  Zoe was still being trained when last month the wind blew the door open and she ran away in the area of 59th Avenue and Rose Lane in Glendale. Steve Bettis raised Zoe and is helping in the search.

"She's leery of people, but if she was hungry or thirsty she could be lured into a home," Bettis said. "She may be just hanging out at someone's home -- hopefully!" 

Bettis said when you think of service dogs you think of German shepherds and golden retrievers, but Great Danes make good service dogs for disabled people, mainly because of their size. Great Danes can open doors, turn on lights and push wheelchairs.

"Since she's been with Bill she's learned how to do lots of things for him," Bettis said. "She's a perfect match for Bill."

Zoe wasn't wearing a dog tag, but she is microchipped. She had on a blue chain choker and a blue collar.

"If they see her, please return her. Call me, anything! Just please return her, no question asked," Hembree said.

If you see Zoe, please call Hembree at 623-202-3029.

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