As a boy I was devasted when our beloved Trixie went missing. As a teen, I was devasted when our Rex died, and when our Poncho died. As an adult, I’ve been devasted by the deaths of my dogs. I feel for Robert Lebron. Having a dog stolen would be just as devastating as death, perhaps.
I’m hopeful that with the publicity this story is getting, plus the reward, that the good people in the Bronx will keep an eye out for Mala and call the cops when they see her.
KINGSBRIDGE, Bronx — An Army veteran from the Bronx is reeling after he was beaten during a Mother’s Day walk with his service dog, who was stolen.
The attack by two men on Robert Lebron was caught on surveillance video.
Lebron had taken his 8-month-old pup, Mala, on a walk Sunday morning, he said. The pair were returning to his Bronx building from Poe Park when the attack happened.
“I was attacked from behind,” Lebron said.
One man pounced on Lebron. He stumbled down the stairs. A second man grabbed Mala’s leash and ran off with Lebron’s companion.
Lebron said he believes his attacker is an ex-boyfriend of his wife who he says also attacked him less than a month ago.
He is devastated in the wake of Mala’s loss.
“What she gives me I can’t get from someone else: not a therapist or a family member or my friend,” he said about his service dog. “It’s unconditional love.”
Lebron served as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Mala signified a new chapter in his life.
“It was one of the most amazing things that has happened to me in a long time,” he said about getting Mala. “Because I can take her everywhere to the store, to church, to the hospital – and I do.”
He’s asked for help finding his beloved pet.
“[If] you see something, say something – because I need her and she needs me.”
A day after this story appeared, PIX11 reported that a man has offered a $1,000 reward for the return of Mala to Lebron.
But PIX11 viewer Darran Brown, who’s also CEO of Go Charity, stepped up after seeing the story. He said he’ll guarantee a reward of $1,000 to anyone who helps bring Mala back home. Brown’s own dog, Nicky, disappeared last month.
“I did offer a reward at the time and I’m one of the lucky ones to get my little guy back, my little buddy Nicky,” Brown said.
Lebron was overwhelmed when he heard about Brown’s offer.
“My heart just wants to come out of it’s chest right now,” Lebron said. “It’s hard.”
Mala helps Lebron manage the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. He’s been devastated since she was taken. Two men attacked him on Mother’s Day. One man pounced on Lebron and the veteran stumbled down the stairs.
A second man grabbed Mala’s leash and ran off with Lebron’s companion.
The Army Times, Daily Mail, and NYC local news outlets have also covered this story. It would help if descriptions of the dog thieves were given, but I haven’t seen any.