A beloved golden retriever goes missing after a car accident

Zoey went missing after a crash, and hasn't been seen since that night.
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A Minnesota family is searching for its beloved golden retriever after he was thrown from a crash in central Minnesota.

Daryl Ahlgren was in his SUV, driving southbound on Highway 169 from the cabin in Deerwood to their home in Maple Grove, his wife Sylvia Ahlgren explained. Their 8-year-old dog Zoey was in the car too.

It was Friday, late morning, and Daryl and Zoey were near County Road 16 when the road suddenly became icy. The SUV spun, turning around completely, and it was hit by a semi driving the same direction.

Daryl, thankfully, suffered relatively minor injuries after being cut out of the vehicle – a neck sprain and hairline fracture of a vertebrae. But somehow during the accident, Zoey ended up out of the back window.

"The back window either popped out or opened up and Zoey, I don't know if he was sucked out or jumped out because of the crash – he's really afraid of loud noises," Sylvia Ahlgren said.

Zoey was spotted standing and walking in the area right after the wreck. But he hasn't been seen since.

"He's the best dog we've ever had," Sylvia said. "He's so smart, he just, our whole life revolves around him. ... My husband and him are best buddies."

Mille Lacs Animal Control has repeatedly put an appeal for help on its Facebook page.

"The owner is from out of the area and needs help locating his furry family member. Please share like crazy!" one of the posts says.

Since the wreck, the Ahlgrens have gotten help from The Retrievers – a volunteer expert dog searching team. They've been out searching the area of the crash, thinking Zoey is likely to come back to the scene. They've also helped with laying out clothing with the family's scent on it, and with putting out food for Zoey.

They also put Zoey's photo and information on Facebook.

"We've got some great people, rescue groups that are coordinating the effort – putting up highway signs and posters," Sylvia said. "And they are such experts at knowing what to do, and so we're just taking their lead and following their directions."

Now, all they can do is search, hope, and wait.

"This has been really devastating for us, with the injuries and the accident and now missing Zoey," Sylvia said. "We are so hoping for a sighting anywhere in the area."

If anyone thinks they see Zoey (who is honey-colored, and a bit on the small side for a golden retriever, Sylvia says), they should contact Mille Lacs Animal Control at 320-983-8257 or Animal Control 320-492-5865. Or you can report sightings to 612-419-0283.

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