Sign In

Therapy Dog Returns

July 1, 2020

A Tampa family is overjoyed to be back with their dog, Sully.

When he went missing, his owners launched a widespread search with the help of dozens of community members. Just as they thought the situation was hopeless, Sully showed back up.

It was the reunion everyone was hoping for after the 1-year-old Bernedoodle therapy dog was being dropped off at a Tampa groomer Saturday morning but got loose and disappeared into a wooded area.

Squeals of excitement could be heard Monday when Sully reunited with his family and his best pal, 7-year-old Liam, who is a pediatric brain tumor patient. Sully helps him with anxiety by attending chemotherapy treatments and doctors’ appointments with him.

“The dog helps to calm him down and the dog is trained to lay on him much like he’s doing to me right now, such to provide that calming nature,” Liam’s mom, Laura Holland said. “Knowing Florida and knowing what’s in the woods, that was scary. He’s a little dog and trained therapy dog for our family and I honestly didn’t think he could survive in the woods.”

Holland quickly got to work posting pleas for help on social media. Soon, dozens of community members joined the search effort. She also contacted trappers who instructed her to use the family’s scent to attract Sully by leaving behind something you wouldn’t expect.

“We actually put traces of urine in the location, which again, I thought it was crazy. We put it in a bottle and we just drizzled it along the shoreline to try and give him a path to come back and it worked,” Holland said.

Monday, Sully made his way back to the very spot where he ran off three days earlier. However, when people tried to grab him, he ran off again. A driver passing by was able to stop and grab him, putting an end to the search and ultimately making the Holland family whole again.

“I looked up and it was like out of a movie. This man was walking back holding my dog in his arms. It couldn’t have been more of a dramatic, but happy ending for this whole thing,” Holland said.

Right now, the family says they’re focusing on helping Sully settle back into normal life and recover from severe dehydration. When he was found, his paws were burned as well, but he is healing well and the family says he’ll be back to normal in just a few weeks.

Register your Dog Schedule a Visit

  • Recent News

    Pet Therapy Program

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    AMR Therapy Dog

    Rampart, a therapy dog with American Medical Response San Bernardino County, recently passed his Certified Therapy Dog exam. AMR acquired Rampart, a 1½-year-old goldendoodle, when he was 10 weeks old. Rampart started basic obedience classes when he was 4 months old and continued through advanced obedience classes, according to a news release. When he was […]

    Read more

    Workers Get Canine Interactions

    It was a long, boring spring and summer for the four-footed members of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, who couldn’t visit nursing homes and hospitals giving tail wags and doggy smiles. The coronavirus paused the professional canine therapeutic interactions with patients and hospital workers. “You could actually see him falling into a depression at home,” said Wendy Kadish of […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Program

    An initiative by Cyndy Caravelis, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Western Carolina University, will include a pilot program to use a therapy dog to aid domestic violence victims and their families in Jackson County. Caravelis’ German shepherd Atlas will escort victims and family members into court procedures and stay with children while […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogs Working With Staff

    After a pause due to COVID-19, the St. John Ambulance Abbotsford therapy dog team recently returned to visit staff at several different correctional facilities in the Fraser Valley. The PAWS inside program originally began at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women five years ago and started off by providing services to inmates. Last year, the […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Bringing Comfort

    The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has a special K-9 who plays an important role. While most K-9s help in crime scenes and investigations, Comfort Caj is crime therapy dog and brings smiles to the community and the sheriff’s office. “He really brings a light and energy to this whole building, that you can’t fathom, you […]

    Read more

    Montgomery County's Therapy Dog

    Montgomery County has a new tool to help give crime victims some support. That tool’s name is Zurg. Zurg is the new therapy dog for the Montgomery County district attorney’s office. Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey introduced Zurg as the newest member of the team Monday. Coming from Canine Companions for Independence, Zurg will […]

    Read more