Navy Vet Won’t Give Up: Searching Everywhere for His Lost
Service Dog

Navy Vet Won’t Give Up: Searching Everywhere for His Lost Service Dog

In Hillsboro, Missouri, Timothy Fresta, a former Navy serviceman, has been using several methods to find his missing service dog, Jared, for the past week. Fresta has been actively riding his ATV, flying a drone, and even grilling bones on his BBQ to attract Jared, a three-year-old German Shepherd who disappeared recently.

On the morning of May 22, Jared was last seen on a security camera, walking off the porch of his home after possibly spotting some wildlife. The area where Jared went missing is heavily wooded and located between state scenic route Y and Webb Street in Hillsboro.

During his search efforts, Fresta had a moment of hope when he used his drone. “I got on my ATV and rode around looking for him and when I didn’t see him, I got my drone up and once it made it to a decent altitude, I heard some barking,” he recalled. However, the barking sounded like Jared was in distress, suggesting he might be hurt. Since that day, the search has been non-stop.

Image Source Credit via YouTube

Fresta, who left the Navy in 2013 due to back pain and mental health issues, received Jared in September 2021 from the organization Dogs That Help. Jared has been a crucial support for Fresta, helping him with physical stability and emotional challenges. “He’s been there for my full-body tremor episodes, for anxiety and PTSD and my back when it goes out, upon command he can brace up and I can use him to get off the ground if I need to,” Fresta stated. He also expressed how difficult the past week has been without Jared, “I haven’t cried this much since, I don’t even know. I’m remaining strong as I can be because I have faith he’s out there and he’s fine but just like a dad with his child, you’re gonna be worried until you find him again.”

Helping in the search are Dogs That Help and the Hillsboro Police Department. Luke Reinhold, CEO of Dogs That Help, outlined their efforts: “We’ve had numerous groups go to the property and search, we’ve gone door to door asking neighbors, we’ve done social media, friends of ours who are business owners in the area have put fliers up.” He emphasized the community effort, “Our effort is to build a family, to build a service dog community that truly cares and takes care of the veterans and that’s why we do what we do. I’m the CEO, my wife’s the COO Tim’s like one of our adopted kids, we’re family.”

Image Source Credit via YouTube

Fresta remains determined, highlighting his commitment to Jared. “It’s my responsibility, I made a commitment when I accepted this donated service dog from when he was a puppy and there’s no reason to give up on him, especially a dog, they’re completely innocent,” he stated firmly. “There’s a reason why they call them man’s best friend, I just can’t give up on him, he’s never given up on me, he’s always been there.”

Jared is a large dog, over 100 pounds, with a coat of brown and black and distinctive white fur on his backside. He was last seen wearing a green collar with his name, Jared, embroidered in white thread. The collar also has a gray American flag patch, and Jared has a noticeable sore on his front right elbow. He is microchipped for identification.

If anyone finds Jared or has information, they are encouraged to email luke@dogsthathelp.org or call 314-223-2621. A cash reward is available for information leading to Jared’s safe return.

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