Missing therapy dog

A Bakersfield woman is hoping you can help her track down her lost dog but it's not just any pooch. Baxter works as a therapy dog who brings comfort to people, young and old alike.
A Bakersfield woman is hoping you can help her track down her lost dog but it's not just any pooch. Baxter works as a therapy dog who brings comfort to people, young and old alike.

Baxter's owner, Tamara Van Dam, is a speech therapist who works with children and the elderly. She says when she brings Baxter to see patients, the response is amazing but, for almost a month, Baxter has been missing.

On December 22nd, Van Dam let her three dogs out to play in her fenced-in yard near Garces High School but Baxter somehow found a way out.

"Went back out and he wasn't in the yard anymore. So, I went back out on to the street and called his name and a neighbor said, 'hey are you looking for a little white dog?' I said yes and they said, 'a little SUV stopped and picked up your dog in front of your house,'" said Van Dam.

Van Dam isn't the only one heartbroken about losing Baxter. She brings Baxter with her when she works with special needs children in the Edison School District and elderly patients at the Delano Skilled Nursing Facility.

"I had a little four-year-old that I had met with four times and she had made no attempt to communicate at all with me. As soon as she saw the dog, she came over, so I was sold," said Van Dam.

Now, Van Dam says each day she goes to work, Baxter is missed.

She has put up hundreds of fliers and has even started a Facebook page to help find the 8-year-old Schnauzer.

Baxter is missing a few front teeth and wasn't wearing a collar when he disappeared from her Magnolia Avenue home.

"I've had three therapy dogs, and by far he is the best that I have had," said Van Dam.

There is a reward for Baxter's return. If you have any information, call Tamara Van Dam at 871-8444.
 
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