But the next thing Robert Gabbert knew, his dog Baxter was gone — sold on Craigslist by his ex-girlfriend.
Despite being in a war zone, Gabbert posted a note on Craigslist: “I am currently deployed and my ex sold my dog,” said the 23-year-old soldier, whose rank has not been made public. “I just found out and I am trying to find the people (person) who bought him. I will pay anything to get him back. … I do not have my phone with me. You can email me. The phone number is my mom’s she is helping me locate him. If you have any information PLEASE give us a call or an email.”
His desperate plea worked, sort of. Gabbert’s family managed to find the new owners, but the family that bought Baxter didn’t want to give him up.
“They keep saying they have children that are attached,” Gabbert’s mother, Karen Fraley, tells KOAA. “Well, my child is attached to the dog. Just because he is older doesn’t mean he is not my child.”
Then social media did what it does best. Sympathetic strangers launched a campaign on Facebook, and the pressure seems to have worked.
“I think the people that bought the dog and read the stories and felt bad,” Gabbert’s father tells the Daily Mail. “That’s his baby,” Robert Gabbert Sr. says.