St. Paul man searches for lost dog who disappeared while he was in rehab

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Credit: Retrievers on Facebook

A St. Paul man is desperate to find his companion after leaving the German Shepherd with a friend when he went to rehab.

Once Elias Cimbura left his dog with a friend, the dog disappeared and has now been missing for months.

Cimbura said his fiancé died a couple years ago, so he hopes someone will return another member of his family.

Whether the dog played fetch in the water or was an affectionate co-pilot while his owner drove, the dog named Riley was Cimbura’s constant companion.

Now, the man is trying to bring his gentle German Shepherd he’s raised since it was 1 month old back home.

“He’s everything to me,” Cimbura said. “He’s like a son. He’s like the son I never had.”

Cimbura left Riley with a friend who lives near Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul last fall before he entered rehab. When he got out, his friend told him Riley escaped through a gap in the fence back in October and has been on his own ever since.

“I was a little upset because he could have gotten ahold of me a lot sooner,” Cimbura said. “With the time between, it’s a lot of time for anything to happen.”

Now, Cimbura is going door to door handing out Flyers with Riley’s picture on it.

He also contacted the retrievers who help reunite lost dogs with their owners to blanket the neighborhood where Riley was last seen.

Cimbura believes someone took Riley in without knowing about his past and he hopes they will do the right thing and fill the hole in his heart.

“It would mean the world,” Cimbura said. “It would fill that space inside me right now. That sadness. Not knowing what’s going on with him. Not knowing if he is safe or out running around in the cold.”

Riley has been chipped, so he can be identified if recovered. If you know where Riley is, reach out to the Retrievers on Facebook.