Nanna, a 3-year-old Rottweiler, isn’t just a mere pet to 34-year-old Shawn Slater. Slater has suffered from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and anxiety for some time, Examiner.com reports. His condition is so dire he has even had seizures as a result.
That’s when Nanna, a trained medical alert dog and therapy canine, came into Slater’s life. Before Nanna’s help, Slater had to take several medications just to get through the day. But Nanna gave Slater confidence and hope, he says.
“With Nanna, I didn’t take any medication at all,” Slater tells KING5.com. “I was two years clean odd all those drugs. I didn’t have any problems. I didn’t even have to take her everywhere I went. I’m finally employed again.”
Slater and Nanna were inseparable — that is, until recently. Frightened by the loud booms and bangs of a nearby fireworks display on June 29, Nanna bolted, forcing her way through a small hole in Slater’s fence and ran, her identification tags falling off in the process.
When Slater learned his service dog was missing, he was frantic. He and friends began searching the town, calling animal shelters, hoping for some small sign that Nanna was okay. The search party distributed “Lost Dog” flyers, posting them around Marysville and nearby communities in Snohomish County.
Not knowing it was illegal, they posted some of the signs on utility poles. Slater realized this unfortunate mistake when he was contacted by a police department representative who told him he was not to hang anymore “Lost Dog” signs or face serious consequences.
“If I were to put another sign up, I will be getting a $250 fine and a day in jail per sign,” Slater explains.
Commander Robb Lamoureux says he believes senior volunteers tried to pay Slater a service call regarding the signs.
“This affords them the opportunity to place signs that are in compliance with the law rather than a police officer issuing a citation,” Commander Lamoureux explained in a statement.
“We are reviewing with our volunteers the precise message we want to provide to our community members to be certain that we accomplish our goal of educating,” he added.
While Slater understands he made a mistake posting flyers on the utility poles, he says all he intended was to spread the word about Nanna’s disappearance, to get his dog — and his life — back.
“It’s my family and it’s my sanity, I just want back,” Slater says.
An organization called Lost Dogs of Snohomish County has offered to help in the search for Nanna, but Slater is asking for anyone in the Marysville, Washington area to keep a lookout for his beloved service dog. Nanna is a 127-pound black-and-tan purebred Rottweiler with classic markings on her face, chest, and rear. She was last seen wearing her red nylon collar. Slater is offering a cash reward for Nanna’s safe return.