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“A part of me is missing right now” Firefighter pleads for help finding missing K9

3-year-old Hope’s owner, Carl, says she was stolen from his car after a training session Tuesday night. There’s a $3,500 reward to help find her. (Photo from Carl Hall)

Carl Hall has been an Horry County Firefighter for the last three years.

During that time, he’s had three K9s he trains to search and rescue. Right now, his focus is on his third partner, 3-year-old Hope.

“It’s overwhelming,” he said, Thursday. “I feel like a part of me is missing right now.”

Tuesday night was a weekly training session for Hope. This time, he decided they’d head to the woods off Water Tower Road and Highway 31 in Horry County. The training is designed to simulate search and rescue missions.

“If you keep it fun and keep it enjoyable, they’ll want to do the job more,” he said. “I actually spend more time with her than my family (with work).”

They’d just finished their session.

He took her back to her black metal crate in the back of his SUV and turned on the battery-powered fan, locking the car, but leaving a rear window rolled partially down.

“(I) went out and got my training articles and when I came back...she was gone,” he said.

He said he was only gone for 15 minutes and wasn’t more than a football field away.

Also missing were three bags of equipment from his car.

“It’s easier for me to replace the gear. It’s almost hard to replace where I’m at right now with Hope,” he said. “It’s confusion. In a way, I don’t know what to think.”

He said the worst part is waking up and realizing they can’t complete the morning routine they’d been used to for more than two years.

“I kinda wanna go and start that routine, and it’s like, ‘oh yeah...she’s not here right now,’” he said.

He and his wife Lizabeth have been spreading the word since Tuesday, posting on Facebook, Craigslist and printing out paper fliers.

He said she’s more than a member of the family; Hope’s job is important. A job the community needs her to get back and do.

“She has a great job. To save lives...and assist in any way that we can,” he said.

North Myrtle Beach Police are investigating. If you have any information, you’re urged to call the department. Hall said there is a $4,500 reward for any information leading to Hope.

Horry County Fire Rescue has offered to help as needed.

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