Family searching for missing service animal last seen in East Texas

Local News

BIG SANDY, Texas (KETK)- You always hear about dogs being a man’s best friend, but for one Texas man, his cat is more than a pet, but an emotional service animal that helps in his recovery.

A Port Arthur man is desperately searching for his service animal, after it went missing when his family fled to East Texas, hoping to escape from Hurricane Laura.

Searching in Big Sandy for days, he is now on a mission.

For years, Callie the cat has been there through the ups, but most importantly the downs.

Chris Thibodeaux suffers from cerebral palsy, a disorder that effects his muscles caused by damage in the brain.

One day Thibodeaux had a seizure, causing him to spend 13 days in the hospital. Now, relying on a wheelchair, Callie was there when he needed help the most.

“Callie licked me in the face and when I didn’t come to, and I didn’t move, she ran and got her,” remembered Chris.

Callie the cat, has always been by Chris’s side. Now, for the first time in 7 years, he’s headed back home to Port Arthur without her.

“She knows where I hurt, and when I need relief and she’ll just get right on that spot and lay down,” said Chris.

Chris and his family had no idea that a hurricane would change everything.

“It looked like it was on a direct path at that time and everybody was saying get out, get out, and then they called for a mandatory evacuation,” explained Chris.

Traveling through Big Sandy, the Thibodeaux’s, were seeking shelter from Hurricane Laura, when a stranger gave them money for gas. While they feared what the weather would bring, they had no idea their nightmare would start in Big Sandy.

Stopping at a gas station right behind city hall, Callie the cat ran away.

“We start thinking about her and missing her,” said Elaine Thibodeaux, holding back tears.

Chris and his wife Elaine are now hoping his little helper will be found soon.

“Every time I got down, I would just have Leah go outside out of the yard and bring her in the house, because I knew I would get immediate comfort,” said Chris.

The Thibodeaux’s are offering a $150 reward if found and returned. If you see Callie, please call (409)300-9441.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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