Wellington, FL – A man has been reunited with his stolen dog after ten long months.
Authorities believe the people who stole retired US Air Force Sergeant Robert Moreland’s friend was using the animal as bait in a dog-fighting ring. According to NBC News, the two-year-old German Shepherd named Blackjack was stolen nearly a year ago.
Although the missing dog was stolen from the Florida man’s backyard, it’s unclear who took the animal or where he was being held. Blackjack was recently spotted wandering around Century Village in Pembroke Pines. Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington president Laurie Simmons said she went someone down to investigate.
WPTV reports that the dog was found with a crude collar fastened around his neck. The animal was also found with meat attacked to its neck, a fact which led investigators to believe Blackjack had been used as bait in a dog-fighting ring. Staff located the owner after scanning the canine’s microchip.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said:
“It’s something that we take seriously. As a dog owner myself [and] someone who’s rescued a dog before, this hits close to home. There is understandable outrage in the community when something like this happens.”
Moreland said he was overjoyed when he was reunited with his stolen dog. Since Blackjack had been missing for nearly ten months, the retired sergeant never expected to see his companion again. Moreland said the dog was instrumental in helping him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In order to get the dog back in good health, a number of surgeries will be required to address his injuries. In order to cover the cost of these expenses, Big Dog Ranch Rescue is helping to raise more for Moreland and Blackjack. You can learn more by visiting the organization’s official website.
The Florida man was reunited with his stolen dog on Valentine’s Day. The Palm Beach Post explains that the two were quickly re-acquainted with one another. Blackjack was expected to return to his home on Sunday.