NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - A U.S. veteran's service dog has been found after running off outside the Vet Center in New Port Richey.
"Aquino" is a cream-colored labradoodle. He was last seen in the vicinity of Deer Park Elementary School near Little Road. He's the service dog of Sonny, an Iraq veteran who suffers from PTSD.
Pasco County deputies say a New Port Richey family found the nine-month-old pup digging in their backyard on Easthaven Court Thursday afternoon and called Pasco County Animal Services. Two Animal Control officers immediately responded, identified the dog as Aquino and were able to reunite him with his owner at the scene.
The dog was a little disoriented and needed a bath, but other than that Animal Services says he's in good shape and was very happy to see his owner, deputies say.
"He's a wonderful person -- I mean, a wonderful dog," said Sonny, choking back tears. “He's helped me through the adjustments of becoming a civilian from a soldier."
They're in a program called K9 Partners for Patriots in Hernando County.