Veteran searching for therapy dog lost in Campbell River area

The search is on for Adam Bartsch’s dog.

Bailey – a purebred French Bulldog – has been missing from her home just north of Campbell River since Nov. 9, when she was out for a walk with her owner.

The pair were walking back towards Bartsch’s truck on a gravel road about one kilometre south of the Brown’s Bay turnoff near Ripple Rock when Bailey bolted towards a heard of elk.

Despite a frantic search for more than six hours, Bailey could not be found.

For the Canadian Forces army veteran, Bailey is much more than just a pet.

For the 15-year Combat Arms member who served five years overseas, she is his therapy dog.

“I received a medical discharge because I suffer from PTSD, anxiety, severe depression and other medical issues. I was depressed and angry – I was not the funnest person to be around, but I wasn’t always like that,” explains Bartsch.

Bailey snuggling in bed. Photo submitted.

Three years ago, Bartsch’s wife, Chantelle, decided it was time to get a dog for their family, and purchased Bailey.

“At first, I looked at her and thought ‘what an ugly little sucker,’ ” Bartsch notes with a slight chuckle. “But she just took to me, and I took to her. She would go everywhere with me; we’d go fishing together, we’d watch TV and it would help me relax and she’d help take my mind off my problems. Sometimes, she would just sit on my lap; she’s just the sweetest little dog.”

While Bartsch says Bailey isn’t formally a service dog, as he doesn’t have the paperwork, both his doctor and health care professionals agree the dog assists him and makes a difference in his day-to-day actions.

“She’s a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” he says holding back tears.

Following searches of the roadway and nearby ditches, Bartsch says he received notification from a driver who was following a pick-up truck south towards Campbell River. The driver believes someone in the truck may have picked up the dog along the roadway.

Ever since the dog went missing, Bartsch has placed posters around Campbell River, and various organizations such as animal welfare society CR Paws have assisted in the search.

Bartsch says he has used his military experience to organize grid searches, and he’s pedalled up and down roads searching for Bailey on his bike.

He’s offering a $2,000 for the safe return of Bailey, who has a microchip but was not wearing a collar. He says he has a ‘no questions asked’ policy for her return, and he can be contacted at 778-418-3070. For additional anonymity, the dog can be dropped off at the Campbell River Veterinary Hospital at 2566 South Island Highway.

“I’m just devastated; I just want my dog back.”

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