The family of a dog that has been missing since late December is asking for help in locating their four-year-old rottweiler.
The dog, known as Sarge, ran away from Mt. Everest Lane in Holiday City on Dec. 23, said Melissa Lopez. He hasn't been spotted since.
"We are heartbroken and very, very desperate to find him," she said.
Sarge was able to open a sliding glass door at the family home after spotting a cat in the nearby woods. He took off in the direction of the Ocean County Memorial Park Cemetery, Lopez said.
Lopez and her family, originally from Staten Island, lost everything in Hurricane Sandy and moved to Toms River just recently. Their 160 pound dog is not familiar with the area and was a yard dog, so he may be apprehensive of people.
The family has spoken with state police to confirm that the dog was not involved in a car strike, and they have contacted shelters and veterinarians throughout the state with no success.
"We have posted flyers and posters in shopping malls, parking lots, street poles and trees in the area also offering a reward," Lopez said. A Facebook page dedicated to finding the dog has been established.
Without any sightings since he went missing, the family believes that someone may have taken Sarge in.
"At this point it seems likely someone has him," Lopez said.
Sarged has a docked tail of about 3 or 4 inches long and a white scar on his right rear leg joint. He was wearing a silver chain choker collar at the time of his disappearance. He is not tagged or microchipped, according to Lopez.