INDIAN TRAIL - As Lindsey Jennings fights for her life in a hospital room, her family is desperately searching for her sidekick. Cato is Lindsey's six-year-old pit bull that ran off in the moments after the crash, according to Lindsey's sister-in-law, Ashley Jennings.
"It's tough. We can't tell her we haven't found him. We can't," she said.
Jennings tells WBTV Cato is much more than Lindsey's pet.
"That's her baby. She loves him. That's her best friend. That's the most important thing in her life to her," Jennings said.
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Jennings says Lindsey was involved in a head-on-collision on Indian Trail's Wesley Chapel Stouts Road last Tuesday. She says emergency crews had to cut her out of her vehicle, while Cato sat in the backseat, terrified.
"He took off running and a couple people tried to chase him down," she said.
But Cato was gone. Since then, the family has put up dozens of fliers hoping someone has seen the brown pit bull.
"We've been searching for a week. In the cold weather, night, day. We've had everybody in the community helping," she said.
Ashley says Lindsey has already made it through four surgeries and is expected to survive. But she worries about her recovery if Cato isn't found.
"When she wakes up, we have to have her dog. Because if she remembers anything from that night or even if she doesn't, she's going to ask 'How's Cato?'" she said.
Jennings says multiple people have called saying they've spotted Cato, but every time they get close, he runs off.
The family is offering a $500 reward for his safe return.
"I want to say I'm confident we're going to find him because I don't think this family can handle anymore," she said.
If he's spotted, the family asks people to stay back and call them immediately at: (704) 492-2482.
Click here for a gofundme page established to Support Lindsey Jennings.