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Owner heartbroken after disappearance of beloved service dog after being left with trainer

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 19:05:56-04

LOUISVILLE, Ohio — A 19-year-old Summit County woman is making a desperate plea for help after the heartbreaking disappearance of her beloved service dog “Benny.”

Grace Kolich, an honors student at Kent State University, says she has a medical condition that can cause her blood pressure to suddenly plummet—something Benny is trained to detect and alert her to prior to passing out.

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Benny is a trained service animal.

“I’d be able to lay down, get my feet up, get into position—that would less likely I would pass out,” says Grace, who says Benny changed her life.

Grace says she taught Benny at least 200 commands but noticed he could use additional training to better socialize around other dogs.

So, she turned to the web and found Ohio Pet Resort, based in Stark County, that had good reviews and boasts “world class training” in a “great environment."

But a four-week stay ended with Benny, an 80-pound Golden Retriever, disappearing.

Mathew Cox, owner and trainer at Ohio Pet Resort, called Marlboro Township Police at 4 a.m. on June 13 to report that Benny had escaped through a gap in the fence post where he was confined, and asked for help to find him.

It was the same day that Grace was later scheduled to bring him home.

Grace says Cox also texted her a photo of the fence post opening.

Marlboro Township Police Chief Ronald Devies said, “We did a canvass and nobody reported seeing anything."

Court documents reveal a search warrant has been issued by the Stark County Court to reach the property at Ohio Pet Resort, and a search is underway Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Grace has filed a lawsuit seeking the return of Benny, as well as damages in excess of $50,000.

Benny was microchipped and if found, could be identified.

If you have seen Benny you can call the Stark County Dog Warden at 330-451-2343.

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