Rochester/Farmington, N.Y.—For the past five months, Josh Merrall has always had his dog Raven by his side. However, to Josh, Raven is more than a pet. Raven is a lifeline.
Raven is a 60 pound black lab who serves as Josh’s service dog. Josh is a U.S. army veteran and suffers from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He says Raven helps keep him calm.
“If you're having a rough day and you're with a friend [Raven’s] that friend,” Josh says. “She's right there. She's always by the door waiting for me. She never leaves my side.”
But on Sunday afternoon, that all changed.
Josh was riding in a car with a friend and Raven was in the backseat. They were heading back to Rochester from Canandaigua after participating in a triathlon when their car got t-boned at the intersection of Rt. 96 and 332.
Josh says several people stopped and tried to help him and his friend out. Someone tried to get Raven out of the car as well, but at the first chance she got, Raven slipped out of her collar and bolted out the door. She went straight north on 332 and Josh chased after her but Raven eventually turned into the woods and disappeared.
“There were just too many people around her,” Josh says. “It just scared her.”
Josh suffered bruised ribs as a result of that accident but says he’s more worried about Raven.
Josh, his family and friends have put up fliers around the area in hopes that someone has seen Raven. He says there have been sightings in the Farmington area.
Raven is a 60 pound black lab with white specks on her face. She isn’t wearing a vest or a collar, but there is a chip implanted in her.
Josh says Raven can be shy and he asks that if anyone spots her, to stay back far and call animal control.