CLEVELAND– A local Army private did something she never thought would happen again: She hugged her dog, Buck.
“Good boy, good boy,” said Army Pvt. Katelyn Gallagher as she hugged her 5-year-old bloodhound. “I missed you so much.”
Gallagher was reunited with Buck on Tuesday when she returned from a nine-month training program. The reunion came after a court battle for the dog.
When Gallagher left for training last year, she left the dog in the care of a family friend. When she returned home in December, on leave, she went to get the dog and was told the friend gave Buck away.
“He said he gave him to a family and he wouldn’t tell me where Buck was,” Gallagher said. “It was a nightmare.”
Gallagher filed a police report at Cleveland’s second district police station. A charge was filed against the man who gave the dog away. At the end of February, Buck was returned to Gallagher’s family. The criminal charges were then dismissed.
“I did not want to fight,” Gallagher said. “I didn’t want to battle. I didn't want other people to be hurt. I just wanted my boy back, that’s all.”
Gallagher’s attorney, Paul Cristallo, said he is glad the issues were resolved.
“She adopted Buck as a pup, she loves him and she deserves to have him back,” Cristallo said.
And her family agrees.
“When you see Katelyn, you see Buck,” said her brother, Terry McCready.
Gallagher said Buck will be at her side from here on out.