Search on for missing leader dog in Lapeer County

Blind woman loses leader dog 10 days into partnership

ALMONT, Mich. – An urgent search is underway Monday for a missing dog that's unlike most others.

It's the type of story that's not usually covered, as missing dogs aren't uncommon. But a missing leader dog for the blind can cause problems.

A leader dog named Brinkley disappeared Saturday from a home in Almont, which is in Lapeer County. Even though several people are already looking for her, the family is hoping the public can help, too.

Jackie McKeon said Brinkley is the teammate she's desperately needed, but she only had her for 10 days before the dog ran away.

"I think I went more places in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 months," McKeon said.

McKeon said she started losing her vision four years ago and through Leader Dogs for the Blind, she was paired with Brinkley.

But on Saturday, her new dog vanished.

When outside, McKeon keeps the yellow Lab on a 40-foot tie-out, but it appeared the lawn mower cut the line, and McKeon had no way to know. She said on Saturday morning, another lawn mower might have spooked the dog.

"As soon as the lawn mower started, she took off," McKeon said. "I tried to run after her. I went down the middle of the street asking for help."

Search efforts were largely focused on the area south of where McKeon lives until police started receiving phone calls that Brinkley could have traveled north, near Van Dyke and Dryden.

Tracking dogs from Livonia came to help in the search.

"There's people in town here that have been out until midnight looking for her," McKeon said.

Brinkley is only 18 months old. She's quick and she's likely to be afraid of anyone she doesn't know, so the search has been difficult.

Brinkley is described as a cinnamon-colored yellow Labrador retriever. She should still have a piece of the tie-out connected to her collar.

Anyone who has seen Brinkley is asked to call Leader Dogs for the Blind at 248-651-9011 and press 7. A $1,000 reward is being offered in the search.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit.com for updates.

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