A $25,000 reward is being offered after Phineas the dog disappeared Friday night from the Salem, Missouri vet's office where he's lived for more than a year.
The dog has been the subject of legal challenges after being condemned by the mayor in 2012 for allegedly biting a 7 year old girl. She wasn't seriously hurt and experts are questioning the photographic evidence of that bite.
Staff at the veterinary office discovered Phineas missing when they arrived about 7:30 Saturday morning. They'd last seen him Friday evening when they fed the dog.
The vet who's been caring for Phineas, Dr. J. J. Tune was expected to testify at a pivotal court hearing Thursday. Dr. Tune told Fox 2 News that the evidence seems to lean in the dog's favor. "You know, in my estimation, the dog would have been exonerated," Tune said. "The bite wound that they have pictures of is of a primate bite. It's not of a canine bite."
Now the dog's owners are worried that someone who wanted to harm the dog has taken him. Their attorney, Joe Simon told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it's likely the dog is dead. Even so, the reward for information about his disappearance stands.