Service dogs change people’s lives. They give sight to the blind, sound to the deaf, and love and comfort to those with emotional disorders.
Some people would be utterly lost without their service dogs.
That’s why this story, where a woman’s service dog was allegedly held for ransom, seems like an especially cruel one.
Dawn Evins spent 10 long days away from her service dog Freddie before he was returned to her in exchange for a wad of cash.
It started when Hurricane Harvey descended upon Evins’ Texas neighborhood.
The weather was terrible and had already put Freddie in a nervous mood. That was compounded when a car came rushing scaring the dog and causing him to take off.
“I was walking down 529 down Barker Cypress and it was raining real bad,” Evins told ABC 13. “He took off running behind that church and I never saw him again.”
Thankfully, Evins had a friend to help her look for Freddie.
Jennifer Williams helped Evins to create a Facebook page and made flyers to help find the dog.
Evins got a call about a week later. But it wasn’t the kind of call she was hoping for.
Someone had found Freddie but they threatened her saying they would return the dog but only for a hefty price.
“(The man said) ‘Are you the dog’s owner?’ I was like ‘Yes.” He’s like ‘I have your dog but I’m telling you right now nonnegotiable $300 for your dog or you will never see your dog again,'” Evins recalls.
Evins and Williams were extremely shocked by the phone call.
“I didn’t even know how to respond to it, absolutely mortified for my friend,” said Williams. “It was so bizarre it felt like a kidnapping.”
Evins was terrified she wouldn’t ever see her dog again. She is homeless and wasn’t sure how she would come up with the money, but somehow she did.
Evins needed her service dog back and wanted him unharmed so she relented, met the man and gave him the money. But Williams said she recorded everything.
“It picked up everything the transaction from when he took the money,” said Williams.
Freddie and Evins’ reunion was an incredibly happy one. Freddie was especially excited wagging his tail
“He’s never been like that where he’s just crying and going crazy,” Evins said.
Evins is beyond happy to be reunited with Freddie.
“(Freddie) calms me down I have seizures so he helps me with that,” said Evins.
But she’s still upset about how the situation went down and says, “Now I’m angry.” She has filed a police report regarding the incident.
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