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Soldier’s Missing Dog Returned Under Mysterious Circumstances

Rusty and his soldier friend are eager to see one another, but the reunion will have to wait a few more days.

Rusty, an Urbandale solider's Pomeranian mix companion dog, has been located and will soon be reunited with his master. Photo courtesy of David Schontala
Rusty, an Urbandale solider's Pomeranian mix companion dog, has been located and will soon be reunited with his master. Photo courtesy of David Schontala

The grapevine worked and an Urbandale soldier’s dog, missing since May 25, is almost back where he belongs.

David Schnotala, a chief warrant officer 2 in the Iowa National Guard based in Johnston, is on maneuvers with his unit, so the reunion will have to wait a bit.

Rusty, a 5-year-old Pomeranian mix, is sniffing around Schnotala’s parents’ home looking for the guy who’s been his companion for three years. Schnotala gave Rusty a second chance at life when he rescued the dog, which had been abandoned on a cul-de-sac in Alabama.

“He found me,” Schnotala said.

So they’re tight.

“I can’t wait to get back to him,” Schnotala said. “My parents said he’s been looking around the house and waiting at the door for me.”

How the two came to be separated isn’t a mystery to Schnotala.

Three generations were allegedly involved – a young woman Schnotala thinks took the dog; her mother, who reportedly received Rusty as a gift; and her grandmother, who saw a news report about the hunt for Rusty and told her granddaughter, Schnotala paraphrased:

“You need to call those people and give them their dog back.”

Schnotala said he’s ready to let the whole thing go now that Rusty has been rescued and doesn’t want to press criminal charges – unless there’s a claim on the $1,500 in reward money his buddies at Camp Dodge raised for the dog’s safe return.

Schnotala credits the media – an original story on Urbandale Patch was picked up by KCCI – with the quick return of his pal.

“Things happened pretty quickly after that,” said Schnotala, noting that he got dozens of phone calls from people on the lookout for his dog.

Read more:

  Friends Raise Reward to Reunite Urbandale Soldier with His Best Friend>>
Theresia Nepveux Simon July 11, 2013 at 02:58 PM
So happy for you!! Stay safe and God Bless you and all your buddies. <3
jenny July 18, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Good news for the soldier and the dog. This is as it should be!

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