When Navy veteran Levi Roybal went out to eat at a Colorado restaurant, he tied the responsible dog up outside and stepped inside. But when he came back out with a full stomach, his dog Astro was gone. The pup, which is a service dog for the veteran, is a Shibu Inu. And the kidnapping occurred on Sunday evening while the vet was eating at the Hibachi Grill in Aurora, Colorado.
Astro entered Roybal’s life six years ago when he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Astro could help him navigate the world around him and help alleviate some of his military-service-related symptoms.
Although he was skeptical that a service dog could really help him deal with his severe symptoms, Astro proved to be the best thing ever to enter his life. And after the kidnapping, a grieving Roybal described the dog as his “life” and “soul,” according to Fox 31.
The Navy veteran became tearful and emotional when describing the kidnapping to the news outlet.
“They have no conscience. They don’t care,” he said. “I don’t understand how people could do this.”
Thankfully the restaurant had a surveillance camera on the dog. And they were able to see the kidnapper taking the highly sought after breed. But the camera was not of a high enough quality to identify the criminal. But Roybal watched as a person walked off with Astro in the grainy footage.
“My head is just spinning with anger, sadness – not understanding why,” he said.
After reporting the theft of his dog, the tides of good fortune began to shift for the needy veteran. The next day the restaurant called Roybal to give the good news. An unidentified man had returned the dog to the restaurant.
Aurora Police told Fox 31 that the man who took Astro was trying to protect him. Because Roybal had tied the dog up outside in frigid temperatures, the bystander simply took him home for the night so he would not freeze to death.
Roybal is just glad to be reunited with Astro. He will not press charges.
The cameras were present when the Navy veteran and his service dog were reunited. Stricken with relief, Roybal opens his arms to the dog as the Shibu Inu jumps around filled with excitement.
“I’m never letting him out of my sight now,” Roybal, filled with emotion, told Fox 31. “He’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me. He’s the reason why I wake up.”
While Fox News readers were sympathetic to Roybal’s plight, they also believe he shouldn’t have left his dog alone on the sidewalk.
“He’s very lucky to have his dog back. Service dogs are, by law, allowed wherever their owners go, so there was no reason for Roybal to have tied the dog outside. That’s an open invitation to have the dog stolen.”
“If it’s just an emotional support animal, it’s not allowed inside, and should have been left at home.”
What do you think about this incident?