RIVER RIDGE, La. — Instead of resting in her home, Barbara Barrosse is using what little strength she has left to put up fliers and looking for her lost dog, Shelby.

The River Ridge woman has lung cancer and other serious medical conditions. Her dog has been missing since Aug. 6.

"This is not a dog to me," Barrosse said. "She's my health. She keeps me from getting worse."

A noise scared the 2-year-old Catahoula-pit bull mix and it jumped over a 6-foot fence in the backyard. The dog then ran down Andrea Street toward Jefferson Highway.

"I hollered, 'Shelby, Shelby' and I ran behind her, but I couldn't catch her," Barrosse said. "She ran across the highway."

Barrosse hasn't seen Shelby since.

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The 75-year-old said the dog comforts her as she battles a host of health problems.

"Shelby is better than doctors," Barrosse said. "Better than medicine. She's an instant cure with no side effects."

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Barrosse's daughter Joanne Smith said someone told her a man in a black pickup truck may have taken the dog.

"We don't know if she was picked up and brought somewhere else or if she's still in this area," Smith said. "We're very concerned."

She's also concerned her mother's health will go down hill without the dog.

"It's my mom's cancer treatment," Smith said. "It's my mom's therapy dog. It's my mom's comfort dog."

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Lost dog signs dot the landscape in the Harahan, River Ridge and Kenner area. Family members said they have gotten several leads, but so far, nothing has led them closer to finding Shelby.

Barrosse just wants her dog back. She even set up a Facebook page, "Shelby, my lost dog" to raise awareness and get Shelby's picture out to more people. 

"I need Shelby home,' Barrosse said. "She's everything to me. Whoever has her, please, please, I beg you to bring her home."

The family is now offering a $1,750 reward for Shelby's safe return.

If you can help, call the family at 504-738-3259. 

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