A local family is continuing to seek the community’s help in locating Charlie, their dog who slipped out of his harness and ran off during the fireworks last week.

In what was the first of several Facebook posts over the past week, Aimee Artes, one of the dog’s owners, said the 1-year-old tan and white bulldog got out of his harness while in the area of Howe Avenue during the Shelton fireworks show on Wednesday, July 3. For updates on this article, visit sheltonherald.com.

“We have been overwhelmed with the community’s support,” Artes said about the search for Charlie. “It’s a holiday weekend, and people could be doing things with their families, but they have come together to help us.

“We have faith that he will be coming home soon,” Artes added. “Charlie is very loved by his family, and we need him home. He is very loved and extremely missed. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and shares.”

Artes recalled one instance on Sunday when one store owner, normally off for the day, came into his business just to meet the

family and go over surveillance tapes. Artes’s husband, John, was spending much of the morning Monday at businesses in the area where Charlie was last seen to examine surveillance tapes.

“Charlie was a happy 1-year-old, 45-pound little guy,” said Artes. “He would run up to everyone, running up with his stubby tail wagging. I’m not sure what his temperament is now. That is why we are asking anyone who may see him to not approach him or call out his name. Just call the number on the poster immediately. Let us know, and the dog tracker will come immediately.”

Artes said her family has notified the Shelton Animal Control and Shelton police, and is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to them finding Charlie and bringing him home safe to his family. The family has also hired a professional dog tracker to assist in the search.

"We’ve received information about a couple sightings, but nothing on camera,” said Artes. “We have no idea yet if these claims are legitimate.”

Some in social media have suggested that someone has already found Charlie and has either kept him as his or her own or may be holding him until the reward is increased. Artes said she understands that feeling, but still believes that Charlie is "out there, scared and alone. Made all area shelters and vets aware of the situation and now working with a professional dog tracker.

“Charlie is part of our family, and we are devastated,” said Artes, adding that her oldest daughter, Ava, has taken the situation hardest of all, since she and Charlie were virtually inseparable since she helped train him.

“I want to thank everyone for all they have done for us in this difficult time,” said Artes. “The best thing anyone can do is keep sharing Charlie’s picture. If you see someone with a new bulldog, question it. Keep an eye out and call the number if you see him. The help we have already received is overwhelming.

“If you, or anyone you know, has Charlie, or knows information about Charlie, please let us know,” stated Artes in one of her recent Facebook posts. “We will take him back, no questions asked. There is a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the finding of Charlie.”

Artes again stressed not to chase or call out to Charlie. Sightings are asked to be reported immediately at 203-444-7473.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com