Veteran returns to car to find service dog stolen, pleads for his best friend's return

    Photo courtesy: Lynn Jones

    A veteran was traveling through western Montana when he says his dog was taken from his truck early Monday morning.

    Ryan Jones served in the Marines and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. His dog, Masik, helps calm him down and makes him feel more comfortable in public settings.

    He transports RVs for a living and was stopped at the Travel Centers of America at the Wye, west of Missoula, late Sunday night. Masik’s back leg is shorter than the others and it’s hard for him to go upstairs. That’s why Jones said he left Masik in the truck with the windows cracked and the vehicle running. When he returned, the dog, cash and a tuner were all missing.

    “I couldn’t believe it. I was just shocked, angry, I didn’t know what to think. I mean I’ve had to leave him in the truck before, but I just -- it never crossed my mind that someone would take him,” said Jones.

    He said they filed a report with law enforcement, but he told them all he cares about is the dog.

    “It’s been hard. I mean he was more than just my dog. He’s a best friend, and he’s been with us everywhere since I got him, and I just don’t know why someone would go and take him,” said Jones.

    Masik is a chow chow. He’s black with red tips on his back. Jones says the dog’s shorter back left leg is probably the most distinguishable feature as it barely touches the ground when he is standing. Jones had been trying to get a boot for Masik to help him walk.

    Jones has been trying to get the word out on social media, but he had to leave the area for work, making the whole situation even more difficult.

    “It’s been really hard -- trying to get the word out and everything while still having the drive. It’s not like we’ve been able to sit at home and take time off of work.”

    He said they were headed to North Carolina to check on their trailer. If it’s not damaged in Hurricane Florence, he plans to travel back and forth to Montana at certain points so they can keep looking around the area. If their home is damaged, they will have to clean up the mess.

    Anyone who knows anything should call the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 258-4810. You can also reach out to the owners' Facebook page, Missing Masik.

    “Just let him come home. That’s all I want. I just want him to come home,” pleaded Jones.

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