Military veterans with service dogs rely on them to help deal with a variety of issues once they have gotten out of the military. In addition to providing much-needed companionship, service dogs also help veterans deal with physical and mental medical issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
So, when a veteran loses that animal, it can leave a void in their life that is hard to fill.
The role that service dogs fill
Service dogs help the veterans they belong to deal with the stress of their daily life, decreasing episodes of violence, drug use, and suicidal thoughts. Veterans who have service dogs report feeling safe and protected and can often return to a normal life with family, friends, and coworkers.
So, when that companion is gone, it can leave a veteran feeling lost and alone.
A veteran loses his dog
Emmanuel Bernadin lost his service dog, Rosalyn, in a burglary, and now he is begging the public to help him find the mastiff. Living in Austin, Texas, Bernadin had gone to a friend’s house while Roz stayed at home. After arriving at his friend’s house, he got a call from a neighbor saying his house had been broken into.
“She was like, ‘Well, it appears as if your sliding glass door is open. The screen is down. It just doesn’t look right,’” Bernadin recalled.
Bernadin seeks help in finding Roz
Rushing back home, Bernadin discovered that the thieves had made off with his jewelry and electronics. Most shocking of all, Roz was also missing.
He immediately started looking for her, but, unfortunately, was unable to find his dog. At a loss, Bernadin did not know where to turn.
A U.S. Navy veteran, who enlisted in 2007, Bernadin served in Afghanistan and Iraq and was medically discharged after his second tour. Bernadin received Roz after he lost his first service dog to cancer. He had come to rely on Roz to help him with his night terrors.
“I deal with a lot of night terrors. It’s very hard to turn off the conditions of war, and Roz is there to wake me up at times when I shouldn’t be alone by myself asleep,” Bernadin told Fox 4 News.
Police are at a loss
“People don’t just steal dogs. It’s just not a common theme, and so we’re kind of baffled as to who would think in their right mind, ‘we’re not only going to take your property, but we’re going to steal your dog,’” Lt. Chris Cook, with the Arlington Police Department, said.
Unfortunately, no one witnessed the crime.
Bernadin has turned to the public in the hopes that someone knows of the whereabouts of Roz or who might have stolen her. There has also been a $5,000 reward offered for her return. If you have any information about Roz or her abductor, you can contact the Arlington Police Department or anonymously at the Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.
You can watch the video of Bernadin’s heartbreaking story below.
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