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Neighbor Gives Veteran’s Service Dog Away So He Hires Pet Detective To Find Her.

It’s a pretty good bet Larry Peteet will never let his beloved service dog and best friend out of his sight ever again.

He suffers from PTSD and depression, and his 8-year-old Labrador retriever, Sandy, has stood by him through thick and thin her entire life. But in mid-October, Larry blacked out while driving along a street in Land O’Lakes, Florida, and that’s what unleashed a dizzying chain of events that would drag on for the next three weeks.

larry peteet

Larry’s blackout was caused by a heart condition that required medical attention, but before an ambulance whisked him away, a firefighter asked if he knew of anyone who could care for Sandy “instead of taking her to the pound (which I wish they did!!!). I mentioned my female neighbor “Neighbor #1″ might be able to watch her,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

So that’s what the firefighter did, and he reported back to Larry that Sandy was doing fine in her temporary home. When he was released several days later, he headed straight to his neighbor’s house at the the RV park where he lives, only to discover she didn’t have Sandy. She told him to go talk to the manager of the RV park, who first told him she was at one shelter, then another one… in an entirely different county. There was no sign of her at either.


By that point, Larry was frantic. Sandy, he said, is “the only reason, when I get down, that I care about anything. She’s my lifeline.”


Larry contacted the local sheriff’s office for help locating her, and that’s when the truth reared its ugly head: One of his other neighbors had taken Sandy to a local dog park, gave her away, then left to catch a flight to California! Sandy’s microchipped, but why would this new “owner” have any reason to have her scanned when she’d been given up voluntarily?

The neighbor who gave Sandy away couldn’t be reached, so all Larry could do was spread the word far and wide and hope it reached the right ears. He searched area shelters, hung up fliers announcing a $500 reward, posted on Facebook, even enlisted the help of a local television station:

missing dog story

And that’s how Sandy found her way home. Someone who knew Sandy’s new “owner,” Steve, saw the segment and got in touch with him. The neighbor who gave Sandy away had apparently told him she’d been abandoned, but now that he knew the real story, he knew he had to do the right thing. So he got in touch with the pet detective who Larry had hired to help with the search, and Sandy and Larry were finally reunited!

Whew! What a fiasco, right? But all’s well that ends well, and you can’t help shedding a few tears watching the joyful reunion below. Watch how emotional both of them get when they finally see each other, and share to thank everyone for their help in making this reunion possible.

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