Jacksonville Residents Search For Veteran’s Lost Therapy Dog


Communities near Jacksonville, FL are on the lookout for a therapy dog that ran away from a traffic accident on April 15. Luna, a tiny five-pound Maltese-Papillon mix, belongs to Navy veteran Jose Castellon. Since suffering a traumatic brain injury in 2016, Castellon relies on Luna on a daily basis. The decorated sailor has served multiple overseas tours, and now all he wants is to have his dog back.

According to Fox35, rescue workers needed to cut Castellon out of his mangled vehicle after the crash on Interstate 4. Castellon was on his way home to Jacksonville after visiting family in Orlando when he crashed and his car rolled several times. His sister-in-law, Zoraida Castellon, told interviewers he doesn’t remember anything about the accident. He came to when the first responders pulled him out of the car, but Luna, who was also in the vehicle, was frightened.

The dog escaped the car when rescuers were focused on helping Castellon. The family believes she ran into the woods on the side of the highway and was last seen on Interstate 4 at mile marker 127. There’s a chance she was injured in the accident, and her family is desperate for her safe return. Friends, family, and complete strangers have organized search parties in hopes of finding the little dog. So far, no one has seen her.

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Posted by Volusia County Animal Services on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Volusia County Animal Services is asking everyone in the area to keep an eye out for the lost therapy dog. It’s unlikely Luna strayed far from the crash site but could have followed her nose in search of food. If found, it’s advised to move slowly and to not try and chase her. Luna is described as being a sweet dog, but after her traumatic experience, she could be easily spooked. She is mircochipped, and all possible sightings should be reported to Volusia County Animal Services or the local authorities.

Castellon was rushed via ambulance to the hospital where he needed surgery. Despite his injuries, he’s determined to be reunited with Luna. He continuously asks about her, and his family is doing everything they can to locate his beloved therapy dog. They worry she’s the missing piece in ensuring Castellon makes a full recovery.

Featured image via Volusia County Animal Services

h/t: Fox35

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