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Valley Veteran Suffering PTSD Reunites with Comfort Pet

4 years 9 months 1 week ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 February 22, 2018 11:06 PM February 22, 2018 in News

PHARR – Alex Aranda is relieved after being reunited with his comfort dog "Wheezle." Aranda reported Wheezle stolen to Pharr police last week.

Aranda tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the dog brings him a sense of tranquility.

"I feel at peace," said Aranda. "I feel at ease. Instead of taking that medication, I worry about taking care of him."

Days without his best friend came to an end with a call from an unknown number.

"Yeah some lady called me like I said and said hey if you still want him," said Aranda. "’You're the guy from Channel 5?’ And I said yes ma'am! If you still want him, pick him up at the animal shelter."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS introduced you to Aranda on Monday. The Pharr veteran was in distress after reporting Wheezle stolen. Aranda suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and admitted he hadn't slept in days at the time of our interview.

"They stole him so that really, really hurts me," Aranda told CHANNEL 5 NEWS in our initial interview. "It's just a sick feeling inside that somebody would do that."

Aranda picked Wheezle up from the Palm Valley Animal Shelter in Edinburg on Wednesday. He tells us he tried meeting up with the person who found his dog.  She declined.

"I think she was afraid that I was going to press charges on her, but that's not what it was about. I just wanted to find him," said Aranda.

Aranda plans to have Wheezle microchipped at Palm Valley on Friday. The shelter is waiving the $15 fee in recognition of his military service.

Executive Director Tim Ousley tells us microchipping increases the odds of finding your lost or stolen pet.

"If they go to a vet's office, they scan," said Ousley. "If they come to the center here, they're scanned. And they're scanned multiple times."

Aranda says the good people of the valley closed the gap between him and his dog.

"I was lost, I was just lost," said Aranda. "I didn't understand why people would do that. You know what I mean? But having him has renewed my faith in people because there is good people here in the Valley."

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