WRIC – HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A registered U.S. service dog and its puppy have been stolen from a Henrico veteran battling post-traumatic stress disorder. The theft happened overnight on New Years.
"I went to visit a friend of mine for New Years," said Marcus Taylor. "I left right before midnight and when I got back in the morning my dogs were gone."
Three-year old Kaycee and her 6-month old puppy, Lei were nowhere to be found. Taylor says someone broke into his fenced-in back hard and stole them.
"My fence closes, latches, I even use a chair to barricade it," he said. "They had to come through that gate, go to my kennel, and I had a ten-gage master lock. Somebody had to cut through that in order to get back there into my dog kennel."
Taylor served ten years in the military, retiring in 2013 with an injury. Now battling post-traumatic stress disorder, he said Kaycee, a bulldog-pitbull mix, is his closest companion.
"Not being able to sleep at night, having nightmares and all, I always had my dog right there. She goes to the grocery store and everything," said Taylor. "She's all I've got."
A longtime friend described watching Taylor and Kaycee together. "Kaycee is always with Marcus," said Desiree Smith. "He can get real sad sometimes, and the dog brings him a lot of joy. When he's around that dog it's like he's a kid again."
Now Taylor is asking whoever took Kaycee and Lei to bring the dogs back to him.
"My dog Kaycee, most people just see her as just a dog," he said. "But it's a lot more. When you're away from your family that's all you got, protection, your best friend, it's irreplaceable, that's my child."
If you have information about this incident you are encouraged to call Henrico County Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.