Volunteers search for Perceus, dog lost during JJ's explosion

Volunteers search for dog lost in Plaza fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dozens of people gathered on the Country Club Plaza Sunday to help find a dog that disappeared after the explosion at JJ's restaurant.

The 2-year old yellow lab reportedly got scared after the explosion and ran away from his handler. The dog belongs to Dr. John Verstraete who owns a medical practice next door to JJ's. Search organizers believe Perceus has stayed in the area. They searched for tracks and followed up on tips on Sunday.

"He's going to be panicked, he's going to be traumatized," search organizer Jamie Staley said. "He may have suffered hearing loss since he was in such close proximity to the explosion."

Search crews said if you see Perceus, do not yell at him or chase after him. They said that will only scare the dog away.

"You need to just kind of ignore him, get his attention by making a sneeze or a cough, and then actually take a treat and sit down on the sidewalk where you see him," Staley said. "Don't look at him, just pretend you're eating. Actually if he comes closer lay down, put the treat on your chest and act like you don't care if he comes or not."

Sunday's search effort was the idea of Staley's son, Atticus.

"I've always loved animals," Atticus said. "I really want to find Perceus. I hope we do."

Even though it has been more than two weeks since the dog disappeared, organizers remain hopeful he will be found.

"We've got two things on our side: hope and action," Staley said. "We hope today that both of those will result in his safe return."

There is currently a $1,500 reward for the person who finds Perceus.

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