ELKINS, Ark. (KFSM) — Madison County sheriff's deputies are searching for one family's dog after the owner said it was taken from their home twice in one week.
To the Vanlandingham family, their dog is more than just a pet. Yona is a blue pit bull who the Vanlandingham's raised to comfort their oldest daughter with Asperger's Syndrome and their second daughter who experiences seizures frequently.
"We got him as a puppy and started training it up with her (the oldest daughter)," Michael Vanlandingham said. "He (Yona) recognizes her symptoms and when she needs comfort."
The family has now been searching for their missing pet for more than a week. According to the family, they were recently out of town and unable to take the dog with them.
Their dog sitter noticed Yona missing last Monday and later that evening found him tied to the porch of a house over a mile away.
Yona was retrieved but then went missing again the next morning. The family says tire tracked were left in front of their home.
Vanlandingham says at this point all he wants is to have his dog back because to his daughters, he's more than just a pet.
"He is a family member and he is a very sweet dog and so to have him gone and you know both my daughters are upset because this was not only their pet but was their companion," Vanlandingham said.
Vanlandingham says Yona is chipped and is extremely friendly and gentle. Yona is wearing tags with the family's contact information on it. If you see Yona you're asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 479-738-2320.