BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – An Army veteran who fought in Afghanistan has been reunited with his service dog that helps him manage PTSD.
Nick Rankin said Thursday that his dog Fossy was found.
“I feel on top of the world to have him back,” he said.
With help from the Mahoning County Dog Warden, a trap was set up in woods off of Beech Avenue in Boardman, which is about four miles from the dog’s home. They put food in the trap, and Fossy went in there and triggered the humane trap. The dog was recovered about 12:45 p.m. Thursday.
“When he saw me, he started crying,” Rankin said.
Fossy is in good health. Rankin said he didn’t look malnourished at all.
“He’s a survivor,” he said.
The bond between a human and a dog is strong, but a bond between a veteran and his service dog is even stronger — which is why Rankin could barely sleep for a week after his dog Fossy went missing.
“I mean he’s always with us, he’s never alone ever so it’s… the amount of relief and amount of gratefulness to have him back is just insane,” Rankin said.
Fossy was eventually found on Beech Avenue at the home of Michael Chapel, over 4 miles away from Nick’s house on Orlo Lane.
“Somebody told me they were looking for it and then about a day later all of the sudden here’s this dog coming out of the woods south of me,” Chapel said.
Fossy was eating cat food Chapel had out for his pets. Officials then put a cage behind Chapel’s barn to catch Fossy, and 12 hours after it was set Fossy was caught.
“And then I’m going to check on the trap and rebait it and he calls me, he’s like, ‘Hey, your dog is in the trap,’ as I’m pulling into the driveway,” Rankin said.
Needless to say, it made Nick’s day to be reunited with his German Shepherd. Rankin and Chapel said the community and police were a huge help in helping find Fossy.
“I was very happy with the Boardman police, I was very happy with a lot of people that helped out,” Chapel said.
WKBN 27 First News featured Rankin in a report Wednesday about his lost dog. Rankin, who just moved to Boardman two weeks ago from New York, reported that the dog was lost and probably scared. Rankin thanks everyone for coming together to help the new guy on the block find his best friend.
He said he received overwhelming support and thanks everyone for helping out.
“Coming on Veterans Day, having him… I feel on top of the world to have him back and I know he’s just as happy,” Rankin said.
Rankin thanked the Boardman community in a Facebook post for helping to locate Fossy.