Therapy Dog Returns

July 1, 2020

A Tampa family is overjoyed to be back with their dog, Sully.

When he went missing, his owners launched a widespread search with the help of dozens of community members. Just as they thought the situation was hopeless, Sully showed back up.

It was the reunion everyone was hoping for after the 1-year-old Bernedoodle therapy dog was being dropped off at a Tampa groomer Saturday morning but got loose and disappeared into a wooded area.

Squeals of excitement could be heard Monday when Sully reunited with his family and his best pal, 7-year-old Liam, who is a pediatric brain tumor patient. Sully helps him with anxiety by attending chemotherapy treatments and doctors’ appointments with him.

“The dog helps to calm him down and the dog is trained to lay on him much like he’s doing to me right now, such to provide that calming nature,” Liam’s mom, Laura Holland said. “Knowing Florida and knowing what’s in the woods, that was scary. He’s a little dog and trained therapy dog for our family and I honestly didn’t think he could survive in the woods.”

Holland quickly got to work posting pleas for help on social media. Soon, dozens of community members joined the search effort. She also contacted trappers who instructed her to use the family’s scent to attract Sully by leaving behind something you wouldn’t expect.

“We actually put traces of urine in the location, which again, I thought it was crazy. We put it in a bottle and we just drizzled it along the shoreline to try and give him a path to come back and it worked,” Holland said.

Monday, Sully made his way back to the very spot where he ran off three days earlier. However, when people tried to grab him, he ran off again. A driver passing by was able to stop and grab him, putting an end to the search and ultimately making the Holland family whole again.

“I looked up and it was like out of a movie. This man was walking back holding my dog in his arms. It couldn’t have been more of a dramatic, but happy ending for this whole thing,” Holland said.

Right now, the family says they’re focusing on helping Sully settle back into normal life and recover from severe dehydration. When he was found, his paws were burned as well, but he is healing well and the family says he’ll be back to normal in just a few weeks.

  • Most Recent News

    Firefighters battling California wildfires visited by Kerith the therapy dog

    October 29, 2020

    Battling wildfires can take an emotional and physical toll on firefighters, but a two-year-old golden retriever has come to rescue, relieving stress and providing comfort to firefighters on the front lines. Kerith is a certified crisis response therapy animal through a nonprofit organization, Pet Partners. Kerith and her handler, Heidi Carman, started volunteering at MarinHealth […]

    Read more

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    October 9, 2020

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    October 9, 2020

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    October 9, 2020

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    October 9, 2020

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcomes New Canine

    October 9, 2020

    Young Kingston Police service dog Bask may look small, but his handler says his training and energy are proving that he’s up to fill the shoes of his predecessor. “I think he’s going to be a great little dog,” Const. Jeff Dickson said, looking down at his new partner. A partner that, wearing the right […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    October 9, 2020

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Helps Firefighters

    October 9, 2020

    Firefighters battling the Archie Creek and Thielsen fires have had some long, exhausting days. But for some, their troubles seemed to melt away once they got back to camp. Why? Meet Ralph Colombo. He hauls oversize loads. And joining Ralph is his service dog, Cowboy – the morale boosting, firefighting puppy. “He just keeps my […]

    Read more

    Pet Therapy Program

    October 9, 2020

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    A Service Dogs Place

    October 9, 2020

    A new Pineville nonprofit that helps people with disabilities obtain service dogs has made its first match. The Saber Life Foundation was started in March by Danea Key and her husband Joel. They provide people with trained service dogs, paying 51 percent of the cost, with the client paying the other 49 percent. Service dogs […]

    Read more

    More Recent News