Army Vet Reunited With Dog Who Helps Him Manage PTSD on Veterans Day

An army veteran who served in Afghanistan has been reunited with his service dog, which went missing last week in Boardman, Ohio.

Nick Rankin announced in a Facebook post on Thursday that the dog, named Fossy, had been found.

"FOSSY IS FOUND AND HEADING HOME!" Rankin said in the post. "I can't even begin to express my gratitude to the Boardman community! Thank you so much!!"

Rankin had asked the local community for help in finding the two-year-old German Shepherd, who helps him manage his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He only moved to the area two weeks ago from New York. But just a week after settling in, the veteran's beloved dog escaped from its kennel.

"He's phenomenal. He's my best friend. He goes everywhere I go. He's friendly with everybody. He's great with all animals." Rankin told WKBN after Fossy went missing.

Rankin posted in the Facebook group "Youngstown Area Lost And Found Pets" more than 24 hours after the dog went missing.

"Going on 24hr since my service dog, Fossy, was lost and I haven't slept since. Giving a $300 reward to whoever finds him. I know he's extremely scared right now because he hasn't been alone since he was 2 months old when I got him," Rankin said.

"He means the world to me. I just moved here from NY last week so I'm still learning the area."

With some help from the local community, Rankin was able to roughly localize where Fossy was and set some humane traps baited with food.

Community Help

The dog eventually fell for one of the traps around four miles from Rankin's new home at around 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. The trap had been set outside the home of local resident Michael Chapel.

"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 told WKBN.

Chapel said the local police and community had been very helpful in helping the army veteran find the dog.

"I feel on top of the world to have him back," Rankin told WKBN. "When he saw me, he started crying."

"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.

The army vet said the dog didn't appear to be malnourished or in bad health after its adventure.

"He's a survivor," Rankin said.

A German shepherd dog
A file photo of a German Shepherd dog. An army veteran has been reunited with his service dog, Fossy, who went missing in Boardman, Ohio. iStock