Army veteran’s service dog found executed, possibly after being held for ransom

Army veteran Bryan Vallandingham and his service dog Gunner. (Facebook)

A US Army veteran in Northern Kentucky is grieving after his kidnapped service dog was found shot in the head and disposed of near a local railroad line.

Gunner -a 3-year-old Husky trained in seizure detection and assigned to handler and former Army flight nurse Bryan Vallandingham- reportedly went missing on January 12, only to be found shot in the back of the head and dumped near a railroad line in Boone County a little over two weeks later.

A post on Vallandingham’s Facebook page reveals that Gunner was possibly kidnapped, held for ransom and executed after negotiations had failed or completed.

There is a dog theft ring that has my dog, Gunner,” he wrote on January 26, nearly two weeks after Gunner went missing. “The guy who [stole] my dog has been talking to my wife and wants a $100 gift card to give us the address where Gunner is being held.”

Shortly after the ransom was demanded, Gunner’s body was found.

Vallandingham, who suffers from frequent seizures following a military accident, depended on Gunner to alert him before one would occur. However, Vallandingham is now left not only without a medical aid, but a dear friend as well.

According to WCBV, an organization known as Faithful Friends is covering the cost of Gunner’s cremation and Vallandingham will be issued a new service dog within eight weeks- one who will take over Gunner’s role, but never really replace him.

The investigation is ongoing and Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of $2,500 to anyone who can provide information on Gunner’s alleged dognapping and murder.

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