'I lost my best friend': Man searching for missing emotional support dog

'I lost my best friend': Man searching for missing emotional support dog
JoJo went missing on May 7 - his trainer says JoJo may have been taken. (Source: Arnold Spencer)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond man is asking the community to help find his missing emotional support dog named JoJo, who hasn't been seen in more than a week.

Arnold Spencer says the 14-month-old pit bull loves people and has been through extensive obedience training with Front Door Dog Training. Spencer says JoJo is well known in their neighborhood near Hopkins Road and is good around children.

"He goes everywhere with me, to Walmart, WaWa, even out to eat," said Spencer. "It's like I've lost a child."

Spencer suffers from depression and says JoJo has served as a life line for him in many ways.

"It gets bad, where I feel like I don't want to be here anymore," he explained. "He just knows what to do when I'm feeling bad."

On May 7, JoJo went outside to use the bathroom. His usual routine of simply returning home took a turn, when after 10 minutes, JoJo never responded to the beeping sensor on his collar. Spencer says the sensor has a 1,000 yard reach.

"How did he get away 1,000 yards in ten minutes?" said JoJo's trainer, Greg Brooks. "That let us know someone probably lured him into a car and took him."

They feel JoJo may have been stolen because of his breed, and fear that someone could have taken him for dog fighting, or even just to sell him for profit.

"We believe he may have been stolen, because it's not in his nature to run away," said Brooks. "I can imagine how scared he is being away from his dad."

Front Door Dog Training took to Facebook to help spread the word about JoJo.

Spencer says he has reached out to RPD and several shelters. He is offering a reward for information and/or JoJo's safe return, but he is holding on to hope that someone will "do the right thing."

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