Vietnam veteran dies before being reunited with stolen service dog

A Vietnam War veteran, whose service dog was stolen last month, has died before he was able to be reunited with the Pomeranian which was recovered by authorities this week.

Two Florida women are accused of stealing the dog from a 67-year-old Joseph Hanson.  A spokesman with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says the day they recovered the dog, the veteran was in the hospital. He died the next day and never got to see his dog, Kira. The dog is now with a family friend. 

Hanson was at Old Town in Kissimmee on Oct. 28 with his two Pomeranian service dogs when a woman started an altercation with him. A few minutes later, he realized Kira was gone.  Surveillance video showed another woman behind him unleashing the dog.

Officials say they were able to so a tip from a concerned citizen, and on Wednesday, investigators obtained search warrants and arrested Jennifer Gotschall and Monique Cosser. They face grand theft charges. 

A news release stated that Kira was in good health.