By Anne Allred
LEBANON, Ill. (KSDK) - A retired United States Marine, Lance Corporal James Sperry is asking for the public's help locating his two dogs after they were swept away by flood waters in Lebanon, Ill.
One of the dogs has served as Sperry's therapy dog for the last five years helping him deal with symptoms of PTSD. Sperry suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was hit by a rocket propelled grenade in Iraq.
"When I get my PTSD and my symptoms, she'll come cuddle by me and basically make me calm down and connect with reality again," said Sperry.
The dogs escaped Sperry's backyard fence in Lebanon, Ill. on Wednesday. A nearby farmer called Sperry a few hours later to say he spotted the dogs, Sophie and Justice, in his field. When Sperry went to retrieve the dogs, they were near a flooded creek. The dogs were swept away in the flood waters and Sperry tried to rescue them by climbing into the creek.
"I was armpit high so I was probably a good 60-70 yards into the creek. I mean at that time it was a big giant flood plain," he said.
But, Sperry had to turn back. He believes his therapy dog, Sophie, an Akita Shar-Pei mix and Justice, a Doberman Pinscher, are still alive. He said they were headed in the direction of O'Fallon, Ill.
If you spot the dogs please call Lebanon or O'Fallon, Ill. police or email Sperry directly at JHSUSMC@gmail.com.