Veteran Searching for Missing Service Dog Finds 8 Other Lost Dogs

For the past two years, a service dog named Ozzy has been constantly by the side of Lori Bilyou, a combat veteran who suffered a brain injury in 2012 while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Ozzy, who was provided to Bilyou by K9 Navigators Assistance Dogs, helps her stand, walk and visit public places. He picks up items she can’t due to balance issues. He calms the anxiety she often experiences as a result of PTSD.

The large, gray goldendoodle (golden retriever/poodle mix) “was designed by (Muppets creator) Jim Henson, and he gave him his personality as well,” Bilyou jokingly told The News Journal.

During the afternoon of Oct. 18, Ozzy had a grand mal seizure. Afterward, apparently spooked and confused, he jumped over the fence around Bilyou’s Newark, Del., home – which he’d never done before. He collapsed when he reached the road, but was able to get up and run away before Bilyou could stop him.

Ozzy’s vet told Bilyou that the dog was likely in a “post-ictal state,” when a dog can be temporarily blind and disoriented after a seizure, with no memory of home.

Bilyou has been doing everything she can to find Ozzy. She’s enlisted the help of volunteers to distribute flyers and search local parks and trails. She’s notified mail carriers and delivery people about Ozzy, and has placed surveillance cameras on trees in the area. To help cover the more than $7,000 she’s spent so far in her efforts to find Ozzy, Bilyou refinanced her house, she told USA Today.

The bad news is that although Ozzy sightings have been reported in Delaware and Pennsylvania, Bilyou hasn’t yet been able to locate him. The good news is that during their search over the past two months, Bilyou and her helpers have found eight other lost dogs. Seven of them have been reunited with their very grateful owners.

“I like to think that Ozzy is collecting up all the strays before he comes home,” Bilyou told USA Today.

Most recently, someone who thought they had located Ozzy on Dec. 8 actually found Lilly, who’d run away as her blind owner recovered from surgery.

Three days before that, Bilyou found Callie, a nearly blind and deaf dog, who’d run away and was wandering around outside in the rain. She’s been returned to her owner.

Because Ozzy suffered a seizure, he may no longer be able to be a service dog, but that doesn’t matter to Bilyou. She’s been contacted by some other service dog organizations about getting another dog, which she told The News Journal made her feel like she was “trying to be set up for a first date after losing a spouse.”

If you’re in Newark, Del., southwestern Chester County, Penn., or the surrounding areas, please keep an eye out for Ozzy. If you think you see him, call 302-765-8694. Just be aware that you shouldn’t try to catch Ozzy or lure him to you. As a service dog, he’s trained for one handler.

“He’s in survival mode,” Bilyou told The News Journal. “He will run from everyone. I’m concerned about the hunters in the parks. I’m concerned about dogs chasing him and people trying to catch him because we need him to stay in the area so that we can catch up with him.”

For the latest Ozzy sightings and more ways to help find him – and hopefully the good news soon that he’s been reunited with Bilyou – visit the Bring Ozzie Home (@lostservicedog) Facebook page.

Photo credit: leguy42/YouTube

138 comments

hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN hEARFIELD1 months ago

tyfs

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

well done to find the others

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

any news?

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

poor dog

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

th

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Sue H
Sue H2 months ago

An update would be nice.

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD2 months ago

tyfs

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Peggy B
Peggy B3 months ago

Aww bless

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Marija M
Marija M3 months ago

tks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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