Claiming stolen dog turns into nightmare for veteran

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A stolen dog can be an emotional hardship on pet owners. Imagine finding your stolen dog, only to be told it’s not yours anymore.

Bill Lowery served our country in Iraq and Kuwait for a total of 16 months. Doctors diagnosed him with PTSD when he came home.

He adopted a pit bull terrier mix named Sweetie to help him with some of his issues, and to teach his 10-year-old about responsibility.

The dog seemed to fit the bill.

“Since I’ve had this dog it’s helped me tremendously,” Lowery said. “I don’t take my meds for my PTSD, some for sleep that’s about it.”

Last November, Bill says someone took Sweetie while she was outside for a bathroom break. In early January, Bill found Sweetie at the Franklin County Animal Shelter. She had scratches on her face and body.

Adopt a Pit Rescue stepped in and assumed her medical and financial responsibility, making it the new owner.

Bill applied to get her back.

“Rescue’s mission is to get a dog back to their home or if they can’t find that home, to get them into a new home,” Lowery said. “I found them, they know where the dog belongs and they just simply refuse to give me my dog.”

NBC4’s Mike Jackson spoke with the rescue’s director who explained that an adoption can be denied without any reason. The rescue had already adopted Sweetie out, another blow for Bill and his son.

“He was so excited and then, ah, after he thought, we were getting our dog back, so did I, and I had to tell him again, we’re not getting our dog back,” Lowery said.

The rescue’s director hinted that some of Sweetie’s scratches and cuts were from possible mistreatment before she was lost.

Lowery flatly denies the allegation. “That’s the picture right before she was taken and there’s not a mark or flaw on his dog it’s a perfectly healthy dog.”

Susan Smith with the Franklin County Dog Shelter said Lowery’s problems could have been avoided if he licensed his dog and had the dog micro-chipped.

Lowery admits he made some mistakes in that regard but says the added costs can be a strain for a single parent.

The Franklin County Animal Shelter provides a free clinic where you can have your pet micro-chipped several times per year.

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