Last Thursday, a young female Iraq War veteran who had a 65-pound service dog to help with her anxiety and depression was shoved to the ground by a man who then stole her dog.
Ashley McCall, of Concord, New Hampshire, said she was about to put her 3-year-old pitbull, Jax, in her car behind her Concord, New Hampshire apartment when a man approached her and started asking her questions about her dog. She told WHDH, “He starts asking me questions about what kind of dog he was, what his name was and then wanted to see the dog. And I told him, 'I really need to get going.'”
But that didn’t stop the man, McCall told WXFT, "And he reaches for my door and he pulls it open so I shut it back and as I do that he takes me and slams me to the ground and then takes Jax and gets into this silver Ford Focus and leaves and starts speeding off.”
McCall said the man threw Jax’s service vest and leash out of his car before fleeing. She said, “I’m screaming at him, this is my dog, what are you doing, you can’t do this! He just takes off.”
Fred Keach, a former law enforcement officer who owns a flower shop next door to McCall’s apartment building, told police later he had noticed the car that the assailant used had been sitting in a parking lot all morning. He asked what the assailant and the man with him were doing, only to get the reply that they were waiting for someone.
Keach told WXFT, "The explanation they were waiting for someone didn’t make sense when this day and age when everyone has a cell phone you can pick up the phone, call, and ask them where they are so from the beginning it looked like there was some ambush that was about to happen at some point.”
Keach saw the incident and took down the assailant’s car’s license plate number and type of car; he called and gave the information to police as well as a description of the men.
McCall’s husband, Christopher McCall, said Jax is trained to help Ashley with anxiety and depression. He said, "Ultimately, we just want the dog back. He's a family member. He's not a pet. He's a family member.”
WHDH reports that the McCalls have announced a $500 reward for information helping them to find Jax; they have also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise additional reward funds.