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Idaho Falls woman desperately searching for service dog

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Feb 10 2013 08:53:46 PM CST

An Idaho Falls woman is desperately searching for her dog, which she says was stolen from her van in the parking lot of a grocery store. The dog, a German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix named Rocco, is a service animal.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

An Idaho Falls woman is desperately searching for her dog, which she says was stolen from her van in the parking lot of a grocery store. 

The dog, a German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix named Rocco, is a service animal. 

When April Burnside stopped into Smith's on Woodruff Avenue last week for a quick errand, she didn't think twice about leaving her dog, Rocco, in the van. 

But when she returned, the van door was open and Rocco was nowhere to be found. 

"It's like seeing a child gone. My heart dropped," said Burnside. "It's hard to explain, but you feel like you're going to have a heart attack. I have anxiety really bad, so I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack."

So she drove around the area, searching for Rocco. She phoned the Idaho Falls Animal Shelter, but had no luck.

April said after a car accident left her in a wheelchair, Rocco became her source of help, companionship and security. 

"He's very loyal. If I have to use the restroom, he will sit and wait by the restroom door until I'm done and then he'll follow me out. He's my guard dog," said Burnside.

Now, April is searching for hope and help. She only has a few pictures and videos on her phone of Rocco, but she hopes someone will recognize him. 

Rocco is a 6-year-old German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix. He weighs around 100 pounds, has droopy eyes and his left ear is a little shorter than his right. He also has a special talent. 

"He will sing for you. It's so fun because he's usually better at it with me, but he'll sing with you," said Burnside.

April said she hopes she'll be able to hear her best friend sing to her again.

Anyone with any information that could help April is asked to call her at 821-8832.

April said she's willing to offer a reward to anyone who helps bring Rocco home.

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