Lakeland family turns to billboard and search and rescue team to find their beloved golden retriever

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Lakeland family is pulling out all the stops to find their beloved golden retriever who went missing two weeks ago.

"This has left a real hole in our family's life," said Peter McFarland, the owner of Sophie, a 6-year-old golden retriever. "This dog has a family and we're waiting for her to come home."

Close family friend Blane Fox helped the McFarland family go to extreme measures to find Sophie.

Besides the countless signs and fliers posted all over time, Fox pulled some strings and got a giant billboard that shows her picture and his phone number.

On July Fourth, he also got in touch with a friend to fly a plane over Tigertown that pulled a banner with details of the lost dog.

"I feel like one of my kids is missing. I really do. That's why we're not going to stop," Fox said.

The family even hired a search and rescue team to trace the dog's path.

"She tracked the dog over here to this area and what she told us that was good is that the dog did not find any signs of blood or fur," he said.

They believe that means Sophie is uninjured and that someone may have picked her up, thinking she was abandoned.

Sophie's owners are starting to get desperate. Fox isn't giving up either.

"I'm willing to do whatever it takes…we'll double the reward," he said. "A thousand dollars. Lets get the dog back."

Since family and friends posted the signs, they have been inundated with leads. On Thursday, they thought they found her, but it turned out to be a different dog.

"I want to make sure that everybody knows that I'm serious about getting her back," McFarland said.

If you've seen Sophie, or have information on where she is, contact Peter McFarland at 863-370-8575 or Blane Fox at 863-698-0880.

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