ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, AR -
The St. Francis County, Ark. sheriff is in the process of issuing a governor warrant to extradite a woman accused of stealing a diabetes service dog.
Dog trainer takes service dog from 11-year-old diabetes patient
The family has been fighting to get the dog back after the Colorado-based trainer asked for more training time.
"I just want my dog back. I want my friend back," said 11-year-old Alayna Barnes, who is fighting Type 1 diabetes.
Her dog, Major, was sent back to his trainer, Julie Noyes of Arvada, Colorado, on July 5.
She owns Alert Service Dogs and promised to work with Major more after he wasn't properly alerting the family of Alayna's low blood sugar levels.
But Noyes never sent the dog back, alleging abuse.
"Her goal is to keep the money and then resell the dog," said St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May, who heard about the incident and immediately sprung into action.
After her arrest, Noyes was charged with a Class D Felony for theft of over $20,000. Her bond was set at $200,000.
She met bond and got out of jail, but Mays says she is not off the hook.
"We're in the process of getting a governor's warrant and bring her to Arkansas," May said.
The process takes anywhere from 20-30 days, but it would allow St. Francis County Sheriff's deputies to bring Noyes to Arkansas.
Meantime, Alayna can't get another dog, because most dogs are trained as puppies to specifically respond to their owner's scent. It would take up to a year to train a new dog, and the family doesn't have the time or money for that.
Sheriff May says that is why this crime could have big repercussions.
"This little girl is seriously ill. What if she went into a diabetic coma and she died? Then we're looking at accessory to a homicide here," he said.
As for Major, no one knows for sure where he may be. Sheriff May has issued a court order to have Major removed from Noyes' home and put in a safe location.