Murphy the dog

Murphy has been missing since Dec. 2018.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- In March, Las Vegas veteran Morris Collins shared his desperate search for his service dog Murphy.

On Friday, Morris passed away, just months after being diagnosed with espophogial cancer, and before he was able to reunite with his dog.

Even though Morris is gone, his neighbor and close friend Jacki Scaturro said she won’t stop searching for Murphy.

She said it’s a small way to stay connected to Morris. But more so, she wants to fulfill his final wish.

“The last few days before he passed were pretty rough, he was in a lot of pain,” Scaturro said.

Days after turning 73, Collins died without his best friend and service dog Murphy by his side.

Valley veteran dies, search for his missing service dog continues

“Murphy went with Morris everywhere,” Scaturro explained. “He was training him to open doors and cabinets and grab him things.”

In December, Collins, who is a disabled veteran, had to be rushed to the hospital. Murphy chased after his ambulance and has been missing ever since.

“We needed to get it done, we needed to bring Murphy home,” Scaturro said.

Scaturro handed out fliers and created a Facebook page that gained more than 3,000 followers, knowing they were running out of time.

“We literally have done everything we can,” she said. “I wanted him to know that there are so many people that cared about him and Murphy.”

People sent Collins cards from around the world. His goddaughter gave him a blanket with pictures of Murphy.

“But it still breaks my heart that they weren't able to see each other before he left this earth,” Scaturro said.

But Scaturro said she isn’t giving up.

“I will never stop looking for Murphy, never,” she said.

She still believes someone found Murphy and kept him.

“No questions asked, just hand him over please,” she pleaded. “He still needs to come home, he's still loved. He still has a family.”

Until then, Scaturro said she's holding onto hope and memories of her close friend.

“He loved Murphy more than anything and I'll definitely feel that connection more so when I have Murphy in my arms,” she said. “And I'm never going to let him go.”

In January, Collins had Scaturro’s name added to Murphy’s microchip.

Scaturro said starting on April 22, there will be a billboard of Murphy up near Craig Road and U.S. 95. Murphy’s picture will also pop up on electric billboards across the country.

There is a reward for Murphy’s safe return. To track the search for Murphy, click here

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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