A Washington man who posted fliers for help finding his missing service dog received a warning instead of help from police, who said he could face jail time because the notices were posted on city property.
Shawn Slater, 34, of Marysville, Wash., lost Nanna, his 3-year-old Rottweiler, on June 29 after the service dog got spooked from a neighbor’s fireworks. Slater, who suffers from PTSD, said Nanna helps him ease his anxiety and assists him when he’s having seizures.
“If she doesn't come home soon I will have to be hospitalized,” Slater wrote in a posting on the Facebook group Lost Dogs of Snohomish County (Washington.) “I am offering a cash reward for her safe return, plus the satisfaction of knowing that you are saving someone’s life.”
Slater’s original post, which was since reposted Wednesday, garnered about 300 comments on Facebook. The 34-year-old said it was sickening to be without his dog.
“I have to find her. There is no way I could afford another service dog,” he wrote. “Nor would I feel right replacing her.”
The effort to find Nanna went beyond Facebook, as Slater and his friends posted fliers around Marysville in hopes of retrieving the Rottweiler.
The posters caught the attention of police, who issued a warning instead of help in finding Nanna.
"If I were to put another sign up, I will be getting a $250 fine and a day in jail per sign,” Slater told KING 5 in Seattle about the phone call he received.
Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said the call came from a senior volunteer with the department and characterized it as a “courtesy call,” not a warning.
“This affords them the opportunity to place signs that are in compliance with the law rather than a police officer issuing a citation,” he said in a statement to KING 5. “That said, 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.”
But Slater said on Facebook that he recorded the call and that it had a threatening tone.