Two trained service dogs that have helped a girl with special needs adjust to school have gone missing.
Georgia and Copper, both standard poodles, ran away from the Springfield Township home of their dog sitter Sunday and haven't been seen since, said Lucy Pawloski.
"I don't know what I'll do if they don't come back," she said Monday night.
Georgia and Copper, both about three years old, belong to the family of Pawloski's son, David. The family, who live in the Pittsburgh area, are on vacation in South Carolina and Pawloski and her husband, Joe, were watching the dogs, she said.
The dogs aid 12-year-old Emily, Pawloski's granddaughter, and are almost always by her side.
"They (the family) are very attached to the poodles," Pawloski said. "They are really an extension of Emily."
Jumped lead: Pawloski was hosting a birthday party for a grandson Sunday at her School Road house when he and two other boys took Georgia and Copper for a walk.
Copper tugged on his leash, pulling it out of the hands of a boy who was holding it, and ran off. Georgia soon followed suit.
"The kids were mortified," Pawloski said. "They (the dogs) went down this ravine and Lord knows where they are."
Since the dogs ran off, Pawloski and family members have searched the area. Pawloski alerted a dog warden and hung posters. She added that she plans to call the York County SPCA to see if the dogs were brought there and will place ads in The York Dispatch.
"I'm hoping someone picked up these dogs (and took them to the SPCA). That's really the only hope I have," she said.
Comfort: Georgia is a female and has black fur. Copper is a male and is brown.
Pawloski said the dogs spent more than a year in training to become service dogs.
The family first got Georgia about a little more than a year ago as a service dog for Emily, who has autism, but the dog was too skittish. That's when the family got Copper, and he became Emily's main service dog, Pawloski said.
Georgia is now more of a family pet for Emily, her two siblings and her parents. Copper accompanies Emily to school and provides comfort to her when she become stressed.
"It enables my granddaughter to take part of the school community," Pawloski said.
Though the dogs are trained to be service dogs, they do have a wild streak. They ran away previously but returned home.
"They're well trained and behave when they have their (service) vests on, but they can run like gazelles," said Laura Pawloski, Emily's aunt.
A reward of $100 is being offered for their safe return.
Anyone who may have seen the dogs or has information on their whereabouts is asked to call Lucy Pawloski at (717) 428-1201.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.