Parisa the chihuahua

Missing therapy dog reunited with owner after 16 days

A PTSD therapy dog has been reunited with her owner after being missing for 16 days.

Parisa, a two-year-old chihuahua, went missing in Maida Vale in the early hours of the morning on 18 July.

The owner, actress Nisha Zala, had left Parisa in the care of a friend while working late, but claims during the night she felt that something wasn’t right.

Zala walked to pick the dog up at 5am only to discover Parisa had escaped through a locked metal gated door.

It is believed the chihuahua was trying to find her way back to her owner.

Karen Harding from Dog Lost said Zala was in pieces without Parisa, especially as Parisa is a therapy dog intended to help Zala who suffers from PTSD.

She set up groups on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to organise search parties, door-knocking, and poster distribution alongside meditation and prayer sessions.

The Facebook group reached 307 members and 2500 leaflets and posters were distributed across north west London.

On 31 July Parisa was assumed and declared stolen, prompting Zala to urge people to think twice before taking in stray animals and instead take them to the vet.

She wrote on Facebook: “You have no idea unless you have experienced the agony of what it feels like to be in the shoes and go through this. Even if you think you are going to give the animal a good home.”

Parisa was eventually picked up in the middle of a busy road in Kilburn facing oncoming traffic.

A Good Samaritan stopped his car and took her in. 

With no owner in sight, the man took Parisa to his brother in North Finchley before recognising the chihuahua in one of Zala’s posters.  

Parisa had been alone in London and had not eaten in days when she was found.

Having been reunited with Parisa, Zala was overflowing with gratitude to everyone who helped during what she called the toughest 16 days of her life.

Zala wrote: “From God answering my prayers to the trees holding the posters and the positive shares of hope in so many groups, as well as Karen Harding and the Dog Lost UK Team, it was truly a team effort in the efforts for Parisa to come home.”

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