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Service Dog Missing in N.Y.
An autistic boy has been without his pup for over a week
Update: Echo was returned home safely on Friday, 11/15, read more here.

A very special dog is missing in my neck of the woods. Echo, a Black Labrador, has been gone from her Rye, N.Y. home since last Wednesday, leaving 5-year old Mark Fontana without his service dog.  

Two years ago Mark was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and as a result, does not speak. He is prone to running away from home or darting into the street or pools, although he can't swim.  

Echo was donated to the Fontana family by Guiding Eyes for the Blind and has been invaluable for keeping Mark safe. The 5-year old Lab is trained to automatically brace Mark when he tries to run.

Echo is between 50 and 55 pounds and is wearing a red collar with tags. There was a possible sighting yesterday in New Rochelle, N.Y. Officials ask that anyone who finds Echo bring her to a vet or animal shelter where they can read her microchip and get in contact with the Fontanta family.

Follow the search for Echo on the Guiding Eyes for the Blind web site. They also have fliers that you can print and post if you live in Westchester County. Hopefully Echo and Mark will be reunited soon!

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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