Mayo family seeks closure after dog goes missing in trainer's care

Former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo hasn't seen his dog, Knox, for nearly two months. (WJAR)

It's bigger than sports. It's bigger than football. It's like dogs are part of the family.

Former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo hasn't seen his dog, Knox, for nearly two months.

Mayo says a trainer he hired through Off Leash K9 Training in Providence picked up his English bulldog on May 24.

But when it came time to return the dog several weeks later, the trainer said she lost Knox as she was out walking with another dog in Wrentham.

“It's funny, but it's not funny because the thing about Knox, he couldn't even walk down the street without huffing and puffing," Mayo told NBC 10 News.

Cranston police said the trainer, Amelia Ferreira, then changed her story, and told authorities Knox was last seen in a crate in her home in Cranston and disappeared while she was out.

"First of all, why lie in the first place" Mayo said.

In addition, the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recently seized five Maltese dogs from the basement of the trainer's Cranston home.

Authorities said Ferreira told them her estranged husband, Darrel, abused her and neglected the dogs. He was arrested for domestic simple assault.

Mayo's wife, Chantel, said she can't imagine her dog living in those conditions.

"It just made me feel terrible thinking that he could have been in a situation like that," Chantel Mayo said.

In a statement, Off Leash K9 Training said after Knox's training program ended in April: "His family subsequently entered into a separate agreement with our former independent contractor, without our knowledge or permission in violation of our policies and standards."

But the Mayo family says it only went through the company to hire the trainer and now wishes it hadn't.

"It's sad, especially when there's no closure, and that's what we're after is to find closure," Mayo said.

The RISPCA and the Mayo family are offering a $5,000 reward.

Ferreira and her estranged husband are people of interest in the case of the missing dog, Knox.

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