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UPDATE: Missing emotional support dog found safe

Posted at 9:13 PM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 19:17:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A teenager and her emotional support dog have been reunited.

Eliza Ellison, 17, was riding in a friend's car when they hit black ice and crashed at the intersection of N Agnes Ave. and NE Cookingham Drive in the Northland. 

Diesel, the teen's 6-month-old black lab, either jumped or was ejected from the car during the rollover. 

"The windows were broken out of the car, and I think Diesel was spooked," Alyssa Benjamin, Ellison's mother, explained.

On Tuesday, the family told 41 Action News Diesel was home. Benjamin said a volunteer found the dog, who was outside the entire time she was missing. A vet told the family Diesel was a little cold but healthy. 

Ellison suffers from anxiety disorders and has depended on the emotional support dog for the past several months.

"She's important to all of us, but she's her entire world, and it's hard to see your daughter hurting that much and to not be able to fix it," Benjamin said of Diesel.

Ever since she went missing, the family searched by foot, by car and even by air. A volunteer with a drone searched the vicinity. Others posted fliers of the puppy.

Much of that help came after Benjamin posted the story on Facebook. On the Lost and Found Pets page for Kansas City, the post has been shared more than 5,000 times.

"We've had complete strangers reaching's been overwhelming, in a good way," she said.

All of the social media shares meant more eyes on the lookout for Diesel, who was last seen wearing an orange color and camouflage harness. 

Benjamin and her family held out hope someone may have brought her in from the cold.

"If they have, please return her. I'll even replace her with another dog for you. We need her back. She means everything to my daughter," Benjamin said.

Experts have told the family anyone who encounters Diesel should sit down and talk to her in a normal voice. Don't yell, as that could scare the puppy away.

Editorial note: A previous version of this story referred to Diesel as a service dog. She is technically registered as an emotional support animal.