How a Marine Corps veteran's service dog was found after going missing in a stolen vehicle
Marine Corps veteran Lana Whitner and her family were on their way from Illinois to Florida this week when, during a pit stop on the long journey, their SUV was stolen, according to a police officer who worked on the case. Their dog, Wrigley, was inside -- and he went missing along with the vehicle.
The moment Lana stepped out of her car, thieves jumped in and three suspects sped off in the SUV, with Wrigley, according to Lawrence.
Lawrence said he and his partner found almost all of the Whitners' belongings still inside the vehicle. While some money was stolen, their laptops and the daughter's phone were inside. The service dog was not.
Lawrence said he then discovered, while speaking to Lana about what they found, that she is a Marine Corps veteran. Lawrence himself served in the Marine Corps for 17 years. He said he would've helped anyone in this situation, but the fact that Lana and her husband, Tim, were both Marines made it even more important to him.
He started reaching out to the police department and community members to try to locate the lost service dog, who Lana said is "trained to sense oncoming seizures and migraine headaches."
Within hours, the department's plea to find Wrigley went viral, and they were getting tons of calls from people who thought they saw the missing dog.
Video that the department took shows Wrigley barreling toward Tim and Lana. The pup jumps around excitedly and sprints between his two owners. The heartwarming reunion soon went viral. "Everybody pulled together overnight for this veteran, for Wrigley," Lawrence said. "Within 24 hours we found this dog. That's amazing."