SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A father in Point Loma is begging for the public's help to find his baby's missing service dog.
Thirty-eight-year-old Brian Margarita is a single father raising a baby with epilepsy, but not totally alone. His dog Bella, a purebred Doberman pinscher and certified therapy dog, sleeps next to nine-month-old Reese's crib every night and barks when she has a seizure.
"Obviously there are baby monitors in here that I can hear the baby, but there's no way I could react as fast as the dog senses things almost before they happen," Brian said.
Last Saturday, somehow two gates mysteriously opened and Bella disappeared. Brian's other dog Harley stayed put, and when he called a Doberman rescue for help, they told him Bella was most likely stolen.
"That was the first question they asked me, were hear ears cropped, and I'm like yeah, and they said yeah this happens a lot more than you think," Brian said.
Making matters worse, Brian is recovering from hernia surgery.
"I was supposed to be in bed resting this whole week and taking it easy," he said.
Instead, he's up and out of bed, printing lost dog flyers and posting them all over town, not to mention reaching out to 8,000 people on Facebook.
"So I actually have people that are signed up as dog rescuers everywhere from here to Florida, and so I have her on there, I have her on Oodle, I've been posting to Craigslist every day the $1,000 reward," Brian said.
Brian has also checked every shelter in town. Bella is microchipped, so if you come across a Doberman pinscher, turn her in, no questions asked. Missing for five days now is a dog that has never run away before, and is desperately needed by a single father and his baby.
"It's beyond stealing, I mean, you are stealing a family member away from somebody. It's crazy that somebody could steal a dog," Brian said.
There is a 1,000 reward for anyone with information on Bella's whereabouts. If you know anything, you are asked to call Brian at (858) 204-4642.