Dog runs away after wrong family picks her up from kennel; owners offer $1,000 reward

A family’s pet ran away after a mishap led the wrong family to pick up a dog from a Greene County boarding facility.

Lilly, a mostly black Labrador retriever mix, is now missing, and her owners are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who successfully helps them catch her.

News Center 7’s Monica Castro was in Dominick Lofino Park in Beavercreek, near where Lilly got loose on Tuesday and where her owners and Francis Kennel staff have been searching. 

“She’s a rescue dog from Atlanta, Georgia. She was probably the best dog I’ve ever had,” Lauren Williamson said.

Lilly has been a part of the Williamson family for the past eight years.

“My mom and dad are a complete mess. I have hope we will find her,” she said. 

The Williamsons boarded Lilly at Francis Kennels in Xenia. 

“We came back from a weeklong vacation and we found out that the kennel gave away our dog to the wrong owner,” she said. 

"It was our mistake, for me to give them the dog in the first place," said Stephen Grech, owner and partner in Francis Kennel.

This is how the mixup happened: “Each dog that comes in has an individual collar. Lilly had her bath and the collar came off,” he said.

Grech’s staff left treats and set up traps near Lofino Park and help put up posters. They even reached out to lost pet recovery experts.

“We’ve used drones. We have brought down a group from Columbus who are experts at trapping or catching dogs that have gotten away from their owners,” he said. 

As of Friday night, nobody has seen Lilly. 

"If they see Lilly, don’t try and chase her because she will run. She’s skittish. Just report. We have flyers all over,” Grech said.

While the Williamsons understand this was a mistake, there's one question that no one can seem to answer. 

“How did the other people who picked up the dog not realize it wasn’t their dog? I do not know. ... When the owners pick up the dog they should know that that’s not their dog. But she is a black Lab mix and a lot of dogs look like her,” Grech said. 

The family who picked up Lilly did not return calls seeking comment.

Lilly’s owners are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who helps them successfully find her. If somebody spots Lilly, again, don’t try to chase the dog because she’ll run. Call Francis Kennels in Xenia, 937-374-1636.

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