Leigh's Lost and Found: celebrating 8 years of reuniting lost pets with the reunion of stolen dog and his military vet owner!

In our Leigh's Lost and Found todaoy, a special reunion on a special anniversary.

Eight years ago today, anchor Leigh Moody started the Leigh's Lost and Found facebook page, and since then, it's helped reunite thousands of animals.

It's fitting to celebrate with the happy reunion of a military veteran and his stolen dog.

"I'm already tearing up because this story is just one of those."

Bruce Butyter has struggled since his return from a year in Afghanistan with the Missouri National Guard. His dog Deacon really helped with those struggles.

"He's helped a lot with my depression issues that I have. It's life changing. It's allowed me to make social milestones that I never thought I could again."

So when Deacon disappeared in early January, Bruce was devastated.

"I walk up to my back fence and I see footprints leading down the alley up to my back fence and then footprints and Deacon prints leading away from my back fence."

"That night we searched for probably three hours, Springfield P.D. came out, they helped us search for three or four hours."

Bruce then plastered Deacon's face all over social media. Two agonizing weeks later, a little boy in Bruce's neighborhood spotted something suspicious.

"A young man saw him and just happened to tell his mom and dad that there's a dog abandoned in a backyard."

Whoever stole Deacon got evicted and left him behind. A neighbor took him in, made the match on the Leigh's Lost and Found page and called Bruce.

"I sent her a picture that had the white spot on the back of his neck. And when she told me the words, do you want to come get your puppy? I was still a bawling wreck for the next three hours."

Bruce hopes his happy ending will inspire hope in others with missing pets. And he's eternally grateful to his neighbors and their eagle eyes.

"Thank God for them."

Read the original version of this article at www.kspr.com.