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He served four years in Iraq and returned with PTSD, now his therapy dog is missing

Posted at 10:10 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 23:10:24-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- As night fell on Country Quay Lane in Mechanicsville, retired Marine Sergeant Rodney Hatley asked a higher power for some earthly assistance while he called out for his missing therapy dog Jack.

“God send him,” Hatley said.  “I’m not too good to ask for help. I don’t know what else to do.”

The Marine Corps veteran served four tours of duty in Iraq and came back a changed man.

“I love this country. It was an honor to serve. I have PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury),” Hatley said.

Rodney Hatley

Rodney Hatley

One of the bright spots in a post-military life full of doctor’s visits, medication and horrifying nightmares, was his toy poodle, Jack.

“A little dog with the biggest heart you ever seen,” Hatley said.

On Sunday morning, though, little Jack disappeared from Hatley's front yard.



“My wife went in for a few seconds, come right back out and he vanished,” Hatley said.

Since then, Hatley said he has looked everywhere and anywhere for his best buddy.

“Usually he would come running,” Hatley said.

Particularly concerning is the fact that Jack needs seizure medicine, and he has now been without it for more than 72 hours.

“That’s where I related to Jack, I take medicine, so does Jack,” Hatley said.

Rodney Hatley and Jack

Rodney Hatley and Jack

A therapeutic bond and one that the former Navy Seal whose memoir was turned into the movie “American Sniper” encouraged.

“One of the people that got me thinking about a service dog is Chris Kyle, I knew him, I did two tours with Chris,” Hatley said.

Hatley said the tours took their toll on him.

“Watched my best friend die in my arms from sniper fire,” Hatley said.

Hatley said he cannot afford to lose another best friend.

“You know, this dog means everything to me,” Hatley said.

Jack missing poster

Hatley is offering a reward of up to $500 for the recovery of Jack. He was last seen in the Cold Harbor/Black Creek Area of Hanover County.

Please call him at (804) 781-0185 or (804) 301-8662 if you have any information about Jack’s whereabouts.

UPDATE: Hately now believes Jack was in fact taken from his yard after he noticed his four wheeler is also missing from his yard. Police are now investigating the theft. Hately believes the same person who took the four wheeler also took Jack.

There is also now a $2,000 reward after a viewer donated $1,000 after seeing the story and the Hatley family contributed an additional $500.