CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A veteran lost his service dog in a terrible accident. Now, he needs a new companion to cope with his severe PTSD and traumatic brain injury. He reached out to FOX 46 to help him get results.
“Great dog. One in a million," Kevin Trainor said.
For eight years, Luca never left Kevin's side.
“He was a great dog. He was great ambassador. He made things a lot easier for me in public, traveling. Being without him now is tougher than I’d ever imagine.”
When the storm of PTSD and traumatic brain injury set in, Luca brought Kevin peace.
“It’s not just losing a pet. It’s a support system and he was vital to that. Waking me up at night with my night terrors. I think it was the second night I had him I had a night terror and Luca jumped up on the bed. My son vividly remembers him licking me, waking me up.”
That support system was ripped away last August. They were on a walk less than a mile away from his home in Crumpler.
“The accident happened when we were training for a ‘Walk for Bobby’ raising funds for another vet needing a dog. We had just finished four miles. Luca was to my right where he usually walks. He was right at my side and the car, the front right bumper, hit him and sent him sailing. That was it. It was over that quick.”
He says the driver didn’t stop. All he could do was run over to Luca, hold him, and tell him he loved him.
“You don’t get the chance to say goodbye in an accident. I miss him. Miss him a lot.”
Kevin says the first few weeks were paralyzing without Luca.
“Self-isolating now. Trying to manage it. Go to the grocery store real early so I don’t have to deal with the crowds. Traveling-- it out of the question.”
What Kevin really needs is another Luca.
“Joel Ryals with Fortress K9 said ‘I’ll knock $5,000 off. I got a dog for you. I can start training her.’ Just need to come up with that money,” said Kevin.
Her name is Molly. She’s a German Shepherd, eight months old, and will be ready in just three more months.
“That’s like the end of the tunnel.”
But to get Molly, Kevin needs to raise $10,000. That’s why He reached out to FOX 46 to help him get results.
“It seems like a lot of money for a dog. It’s the training, the food, the vet, the trainer’s time too.”
It is a lot of money, but for a U.S. Navy veteran who served his country, it’s not too much to ask that we serve Kevin too. Do it for Luca. You can help Kevin by donating to his GoFundMe.
There are options for insuring your service animal. According to the Disability Benefits Help Center, no health insurer or homeowner's insurer, even from private companies, will cover the costs or care of your service animal, so you must find a separate provider. You can view some of those options here.