San Bernardino man claims woman has his lost service dog and is refusing to give it back

Rob McMillan Image
Thursday, February 8, 2018
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David Guindon said he bought Zeus in 2014 and Zeus became a service animal for him.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- Zeus was lost, then found. But he's still not home in San Bernardino.

"I miss him every day," said David Guindon about his husky Zeus. Guindon suffered a stroke and heart attack six years ago, and is now disabled. He needs a motorized wheelchair to get around.

"Being alone, I thought it was a good time to get a dog," said Guindon. "So that's how Zeus came into my life."

Guindon said he bought Zeus in 2014 and Zeus became a service animal for him. He said Zeus would even help to open the doors around his San Bernardino home.

"If I want to go outside I just tell him open the door, he'd flip it open for me," said Guindon. "(He'd) hold it open long enough so I could get towards it and get out."

But when one of his nurses left the front door unlocked in May of 2016, Zeus got away.

"I was looking around everywhere for him," said Guindon. "I put up posters. I hired a pet detective."

Guindon said there were several people who thought they found Zeus, but there was never a match. Guindon said for a while, he thought Zeus might never be found. But then, a year and a half after Zeus disappeared, a phone call came. It changed everything.

"It's from Home Again (microchip) company," explained Guindon. "Telling me that there's a lady who has my dog and she wants to re-register my dog in her name, and am I OK to let her do that."

Guindon was stunned.

"I'm like, no!" exclaimed Guindon. "I want my dog back."

But Guindon claims the person who now has Zeus is refusing to give him back. All he knows about that person's identity is that her name is "Shawnee," and she lives in Lake Elsinore. He says neither the microchip company nor animal control will give him her information.

Animal Friends of the Valley is the organization that handles animal control in that area. Executive director Neil Trent said if Zeus came into their shelter as a lost animal, and his microchip identified Guindon as the owner, Guindon could come and pick him up. But Trent says they've never had possession of Zeus in their shelter.

Guindon said he also contacted the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, which sent a deputy to the home, but he was told that Zeus had run away. Guindon says he might have to hire a lawyer to resolve the matter, unless the person who has Zeus now has a change of heart.

"I just want my dog back please," Guindon pleaded.