Iraq War Vet’s Service Dog Missing

BESSEMER CITY, N.C. – What Milka does for Dave Dowell is stronger than any medicine. He says, “Before Milka, I couldn’t go to the grocery store.”

After serving in Iraq, after Katrina, after Haiti and more, Dave Dowell, a Navy veteran, now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He says, “A lot of that stuff just haunts me.”

What now also haunts Dave is the night of July Fourth, when his beloved service dog Milka, a miniature Doberman mix, got spooked by fireworks. “She got out of her collar before I could get her,” he says.

That was near the Dallas, NC Police Department. We met Dave about four and a half miles away, off Bessemer City Road where the last Milka sighting was called in. WCCB News @ Ten Morgan Fogarty asked, “She wearing her (blue digital camo) vest still?” Dave said, “She should be.”

Dave’s put out food stations for Milka. He’s spread clothing and bed sheets with his scent throughout a nearby wooded area. He’s got fliers taped to his car.

Dave worries both that no one has Milka and also that the wrong person has Milka. He says, “I really hope nobody has her and they’re thinking they’re gonna get some sort of chunk of money for selling her to somebody or, ‘Hey shes a trained service dog and now I got a trained service dog.'”

Dave’s had Milka for three years, since she was just three months old. The dog has been helping the young war veteran cross things off what he calls his “get my life back” bucket list. He is begging for help finding the dog he calls his best friend and his life line.

He says, “I need her. She is the best medication I’ve ever had.”

Claude Dill of Dill Parking Lot Maintenance is offering a $500 reward for the location and safe return of Milka. A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise more reward money. There’s also a Find Milka Facebook page.