U.S. Marine veteran Lanasu Whitner and her husband Tim had their car stolen, with Lanasu's service dog inside, while they were stopped at a gas station

July 25, 2018 05:08 PM

The stress of a big move from Illinois to Florida was amplified for U.S. Marine veteran Lanasu Whitner and her husband Tim when Lanasu’s service dog Wrigley was stolen, along with the couple’s car.

According to ABC News, the Whitners were stopped at an Indianapolis gas station when three individuals rushed up behind the vehicle while both the Whitners were outside of it, jump inside and drove off — with Wrigley.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the incident and quickly posted a call for help on its Facebook page, asking locals to keep an eye out for Wrigley, a Rhodesian Ridgeback that Lanasu got to help with her seizures and migraines.

There was a break in the case when the Whitners’ SUV was recovered, but unfortunately, the service dog was not inside.

Thankfully, shortly after finding the vehicle, sightings of Wrigley started to trickle in to the Whitners and the IMPD. The military couple, who met on a mission 20 years ago, started to search the area where the car was found, in hopes that they would find Wrigley themselves.

After they turned up nothing, the Whitners decided to place a few articles of their clothing around the area where a skittish Wrigley was spotted by locals, in hopes the service dog would recognize the scent and reveal himself.

It turns out the nose knows: Wrigley eventually sniffed out one of the shirts and was reunited with his family, who wasn’t too far away. The touching reunion was caught on video.

The clip shows Wrigley eagerly bounding toward his owners and happily accepting kisses and pats.

So far the IMPD has apprehended two of the suspects from the car theft and is still searching for the third, but the Whitners, especially Lanasu, are just happy to have their best friend back in their arms.

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