Public Help Sought in Locating Little Boy’s Service Dog Missing in the Crenshaw District

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Juan Hernandez, 10, and his service dog Buddy are seen in a photo provided by his family.

Juan Hernandez, 10, and his service dog Buddy are seen in a photo provided by his family.

For six years, a service dog named Buddy has been by the side of 10-year-old Juan Hernandez until now.

Buddy is missing and his young master is devastated.

"I want my doggie back," a tearful Juan old KTLA on Tuesday.

Juan has osteogenesis imperfecta -- a form of brittle bone disease -- and spends much of his time in a wheelchair, according to his mother, Mirna Vargas. The family lives in Hyde Park.

Buddy has been Juan's constant companion and life isn't the same without him.

"It's been sad and depressing," Juan said.

Last Friday, while Juan was at a movie with his cousin, his parents went to Big 5 Sporting Goods in the Leimert Park area with their other two boys and Buddy.

When they returned, Vargas and her husband were putting a car seat and stroller into the vehicle, and Buddy somehow jumped out, Vargas told KTLA. No one realized the little terrier was gone until they got home.

Juan Hernandez tears up as he talks about his missing dog on May 3, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Juan Hernandez tears up as he talks about his missing dog on May 3, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

The family rushed back to the parking lot on Crenshaw Boulevard near Coliseum Street to search for Buddy, but he had vanished.

Later, the family discovered surveillance video that shows Buddy walking around outside a Verizon store. Several people can be seen trying to pick him up, then he just disappears from view.

Juan and his parents have done everything they can think of to find Buddy, including putting up fliers, filing a police report and checking local shelters.

"This dog means the world to my son," Vargas said.  "He makes him really, really happy."

It's the first time in six years Buddy and Juan have been apart.

Buddy is not micro-chipped, but he was wearing a collar.

Anyone with information about Buddy was asked to call 323-356-1764.

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