Police have identified and arrested two Florida women accused of stealing a service dog from a Vietnam veteran last month.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on Oct. 28 that a Pomeranian service dog had disappeared without a trace. Its owner: a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, the dog’s owner, 67-year-old Joseph Hanson, died the day after his dog was taken.
Surveillance video shows one woman starting an altercation with the victim, while the other comes from behind, unleashes the dog, named Kira, and walks off with her, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.
Jennifer Gotschall, 53, and Monique Cosser, 51, were identified Wednesday after a tip to police from a “concerned citizen” led them to the pair. The Pomeranian, named Kira, was found on Monday and was recovered “in good health,” police say.
“It’s sad and we wanted to return his dog to his as soon as possible so he could be reunited with his family member and unfortunately that didn’t happen,” Maj. Jacob Ruiz of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies have not provided details on where the dog was found.
Gotschall and Cosser have been charged with grand theft, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years’ incarceration. Officials said they are thought to have been released on bond.