Man loses service animal after severe flooding fills house

Sportster, a German shepherd who worked as a service animal, was matched with Copper who is deaf about eight years ago. She helped him function, alerting Copper when someone was at the front door, called on the phone and waking him in the morning.

Now Copper is struggling with the loss of his companion after rising flood waters filled his basement Wednesday where Sportsters’ kennel was, killing the dog.

“I have no family,” he told WANE. “All I have is this home and she was my girl. It’s very lonely here without her.”

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Copper was with his girlfriend and had left Sportster at home. He did not anticipate the rain coming down so incessantly. By the time he got home it was too late.

Coppers friends set up a GoFundMe to help him get a new service animal -- when he is ready to.

“No dog ever made me laugh as much as Sportster did,” Copper told WANE. “She laid in funny positions. She had the most beautiful eyes that would just make you grin no matter what kind of day you were having. All she did was want me. She waited for me to come home all day. That’s all she wanted to do. The companionship that she gave me is irreplaceable. I love her very much and I always will.”

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