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Local autistic teen misses best friend

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 8/16/2013 9:18 pm
PONTOTOC, Miss. (WTVA) -- An autistic teenager in Pontotc has lost his best friend, a companion dog named Anthony.

Anthony has been missing since Tuesday and Mit Pickering misses his friend.

"Anthony is an eight-year-old Labradoodle. He's an extra-large variety, blonde-wavy hair, and big golden eyes," said Peg Pickering. 

The family found Anthony on a pet website six years ago. 

She and her husband drove half-way to Chicago to retrieve him from a shelter.

"His picture just spoke to me," she continued. "Anthony's been with us for six years. He sleeps with Mit. He learned Mit's hand signals for commands, for come here or get down or whatever, because Mit is totally non-verbal," she said.

The dog is known to go each night on the family's property and usually comes back in around 10:00 p.m., but Tuesday night he didn't come back. 

"Some time after about 10:00 p.m., I let him out to do his business and that was the last we saw of him," said Pickering.

Anthony has a microchip and an alarm has been sent out to all of the area vets. The Pontotoc Animal Shelter is helping out with the search.

Posters have been put up all over town and Anthony has appeared on Facebook. 

"We've pulled out all the stops. We're doing everything we know to do to try to find him," Pickering added. 

Mit uses a machine to express some of his thoughts. Lately, he's used the words "Anthony" and "all gone" a lot.

The Pickerings are offering a $400 reward for the return of Anthony.

If you have any information you are asked to call 662-509-0599.
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