Veteran died hours before he was set to be reunited with stolen service dog

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) – A veteran’s stolen service dog has been recovered, hours after he passed away. Two women have been placed under arrest in Osceola County.

Authorities said detectives from Osceola County, Lake County and the Winter Garden Police Department identified Jennifer Gotschall and Monique Cosser on Wednesday.

Authorities said one of the woman got into an altercation with 67-year-old veteran Joseph Hanson last week in Kissimmee, while the other came up behind him and unleashed his dog, named Kira.

Before he died, Hanson told WESH 2 News a woman confronted him, yelling and cursing.

“During that time, that’s when the other lady, who I didn’t even know was there until I saw (surveillance) video, that’s when she came up and grabbed the dog,” Hanson said.

Hanson said he immediately knew one of his dogs was gone, but didn’t know what happened until he saw footage of a woman with Kira in her arms.

“(I) can’t understand why you would steal a Pomeranian that only weighs about 6 1/2 pounds,” Hanson said.

He said both of his dogs were wearing service vests when Kira was stolen.

Authorities said the Pomeranian is in good health and has been recovered. Joseph was sadly never reunited with his beloved service dog, passing away hours prior to her recovery.

His dogs are staying with a family friend.

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