Woman desperately searches for stolen service dog

March 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A San Bruno woman is desperate to find her service dog, stolen while she was sleeping on a BART train.

It is a small dog with a very big role in his owner's life. Kerrin Lanahan survived a plane crash as a child and that dog helps her cope with the anxiety she's dealt with ever since.

BART riders will see fliers of the missing dog at some BART stations. That dog disappeared on a southbound train either in San Francisco or on the peninsula.

"I completely freaked out, started screaming like, 'Oh my god! Where's my dog?'" said Lanahan. "Pure panic."

It's been one day since Lanahan woke up in a BART train to find her dog gone. She and "Archie," her 1-year-old Pomeranian, were heading home late Wednesday night from a San Francisco SPCA fundraising event. She had her handbag on one side and Archie, in a carrier, on the other.

"He was right next to me. I had him in his bag and I fell asleep. It was an accident and I woke up and he was gone," said Lanahan.

She has been looking for Archie around the clock ever since, going to shelters and filing reports. Archie is more than a pet, he's a registered, specially trained service dog. Lanahan says she suffers from extreme anxiety brought on by a plane crash she survived when she was 8 years old.

"With him, I don't even feel the need to be on medication. That's how much comfort he brings me. So, I'm just devastated," said Lanahan.

And so is her husband, Shay Machluf. He's been at his wife's side every minute since Archie's disappearance.

"Some people will think it's funny, but I don't think it's funny because for me and for my wife, that's our little kid. We don't have any kids, so," said Machluf.

The couple has posted flyers at every BART station between San Francisco and Millbrae. What started as a $1,000 reward has grown to $3,000, thanks to strangers who've heard their story.

BART police, meanwhile, are doing what they can. They say they plan to look at surveillance video.

"I can't even wrap it around my head. I just would do anything to get him back. Anything," said Lanahan.

That $3,000 reward could grow since her story has generated a lot of sympathy.


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