Veteran overwhelmed with joy after reunion with dog taken from him 7 weeks ago

80-year-old war veteran reunited with dog Olaf

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - An 80-year-old war veteran was overwhelmed with joy Saturday afternoon after he was reunited with his dog for the first time in seven weeks. 

That dog, a 6-year-old westie named Olaf, escaped his home in July and after someone tracked his chip back to the Lone Star Westie Rescue.

They kept him instead of returning him because they claimed his owner, Lt. Colonel Jim Martin, didn’t take care of him.

Fast Facts about the story:

Philanthropist Kym Rapier learned about the situation and generously donated all the funds needed for Martin to sue the rescue for the return of his dog.

Spokesperson for Rapier, Karina Villa, said they have spent $30,000 and counting in support of Martin.

A judge granted Martin temporary injunction where Olaf is now allowed to stay in the custody of Martin until a final decision is made after this case goes to trial in November. 

Rapier and supporters of Martin gathered for the celebratory reunion where they set up balloon, dog treats and toys for Olaf and Martin.

What they are saying about the reunion:

“As soon as we found out about this we were like, ‘Let’s find the best lawyers and let’s go to war,’ said Villa. “War is where we have been for approximately a month now. There were those trying times where we were really fortunate to have a wonderful judge who really understood the human animal connection and did some justice.”

“We were with Lt. Colonel Martin since the start of all this and I became very concerned about him,” said Villa. “He dropped a considerable amount of weight. He was really grief stricken. So at that point it stopped being a fight over a dog and started being a fight for a human life who has served this country for 27 years.”

"I also had Juliet who was about his size and she unfortunately died, so I was just devastated by that and when this happened it hurt badly,” said Martin. “All I could figure was somebody wanted that dog and they were trying very hard to get away from by any means.” 

“It is wonderful to realize there are people who would help me get my dog back,” said Martin. “I say my dog because that is my dog. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. They were in the wrong. You don’t steal somebody’s pet. And as far as I am concerned that is what they did.”

“I have worked for a non-profit for 10 years and I would advise that rescue to follow your mission,” said Villa. “Your mission is to rescue animals in need and provide them with medical care. It is not to cause harm to an animal or their owners. Right now there are animals that need you. Olaf is not an animal that needs you.” 

KSAT reached out to Lone Star Westie Rescue for comment but have not yet received a response.

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