A paralyzed veteran and his fiancée have had an emotional reunion with their service dog two weeks after the Great Dane disappeared from an animal rescue, which was supposed to be looking after the dog temporarily.
Texas Animal Control officers recently reunited the beloved companion with former US Coast Guard veteran Tim Overgaard, 22, and his fiancée Amber Blanchard, 21. The video of an overjoyed Scooby jumping into Blanchard’s arms has been widely shared on social media after it was posted on the Atascosa County Animal Control Facebook page.
Overgaard adopted Scooby to ease his anxiety after a tragic motorbike accident in 2017 left him paralyzed from the middle of his chest down.
But the Coast Guard veteran from Atascosa and his fiancée had their world turned upside down again when Scooby went missing, Kens5 reported. The couple had to temporality board Scooby after Overgaard fell in his wheelchair and was placed in a nursing home that didn’t allow dogs.
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They had found someone to foster Scooby while Overgaard got treatment and they searched for a new home. However, this arrangement soon had to come to an end and the woman caring for him recommended a rescue shelter called Little Texas Rescue Ranch in Rossville.
Blanchard said the shelter seemed accommodating and even offered to help her with the boarding fees. She drove Scooby to meet someone who claimed to be with Little Texas Rescue Ranch and arrived at a church where a teen girl waited for her.
“I pull up. She’s sitting on the curb and she says, ‘I live down the road,’” Blanchard recalled to the local news station.
Blanchard didn’t think anything was odd about her interaction at first but grew concerned when the alleged boarding center didn’t return any of her or Overgaard’s calls or texts requesting updates about Scooby.
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Finally, they spoke with someone claiming to be a volunteer who reportedly said: “You gave your dog to a child. Everybody’s got problems. Goodbye.”
Overgaard and Blanchard reported their dog missing to Atascosa County Animal Control, who investigated the disappearance.
Chief of the Atascosa County animal control division, Henry Dominguez, told The Post that Little Texas Rescue Ranch initially denied ever having Scooby. It allowed a deputy to search its property and the deputy determined Scooby was not there.
“We eventually got them to confess that they did have the dog,” Dominguez said, and animal control officials were given an address to a rural home in Poteet where Scooby had been staying.
“The person that had Scooby had no idea that anybody was looking for him and immediately surrendered him to us.
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“Scooby was a little skinny but otherwise was in good spirits.”
Dominguez then transported Scooby to the Atascosa County animal control facility to wait for his parents to come and take him back home.
“We were told that Scooby had exhibited signs of depression while at the house and was probably missing his family,” Atascosa County Animal Control wrote on its Facebook page.
Animal control officials, as well as the sheriff’s office, are still investigating the animal rescue. Charges have yet to be filed.
But Overgaard and Blanchard believe the rescue may have been trying to sell Scooby.
“A now removed Craigslist ad was posted describing Scooby perfectly. It’s clear that this person (or people) involved are just looking to make a quick buck,” a GoFundMe page created to help Overgaard and Blanchard pay for Scooby’s boarding costs reads.
Scooby will now stay at a foster home in San Antonio until the family can find a home for all of them.
“We’re just looking for somewhere for him to stay safe until we can bring him back home,” Blanchard told Kens5.
This story was originally published by the New York Post.