Schenectady County woman pleads for safe return of missing service dogs

Schenectady County

GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Schenectady County woman recovering from severe illness is now frantic searching for her two missing therapy dogs. Mary Ann Powers says she’s gone through more than a dozen surgeries in the last three years. Always by her side are her two physical and emotional service dogs, Orso and Lucia.

“It makes the difference between a good day and a bad day, literally,” Mary explains to NEWS10’S Mikhaela Singleton.

She’s recovering from sepsis that’s put her in a hospital bed many times, and once even in a coma. The two dogs help manage Powers’ PTSD, plus basic physical tasks.

“He’d walk up and I put my arms around his neck, and he’ll back up to help me stand up, same thing in the bathroom,” Mary explains.

But since Monday, she says she’s suffered to see their empty beds and abandoned toys. Orso and Lucia vanished during Powers weekly routine to change her bandages.

“This is a port that goes close to my heart, and that’s how I get fed,” she says while showing us the patch and tube leading from her chest. “When you do it, it has to be completely sterile, so then what the dogs do at that point, we have to let them out.”

Mary says Orso and Lucia are well trained never to leave the safety of their home and yard, but they may not have left on their own.

“My husband walked up the driveway where there was still snow, and you could see the fresh prints going out to the road and they don’t go in the road, they just go to the road and that was it,” she says.

She and her husband, Gil, searched the woods and trails all around their home Ridge Road, but never found a print, hair, or any trace at all where the dogs may have gone. She says people have tried to steal her dogs in the past — once last summer and again just two weeks ago.

“A car stopped, opened up the back door and was calling the dogs, and I came running off the deck and the car took off,” she says. “I think this time they finally got them.”

The Powers family have put up flyers and Facebook posts begging for Orso and Lucia’s safe return.

“Just drop them off, you know we won’t ask anything. No questions, we just want the dogs back. That’s all,” Mary says tearfully.

She adds she has another operation coming up in November.

“My next surgery is going to be a big one, and I just don’t know how I’ll get through it without the dogs,” Mary says. “I always used to tell Orso all the time, don’t worry mom’s coming home, and now they’re not there.”

The Powers family thanks members of the community who have volunteered their time and effort to find Orso and Lucia. Contact Mary or Gil Powers with any information on their missing service dogs at 518-424-9242 or 518-399-8840.

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