After the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, Bronx resident Robert Lebron knew that he wanted to serve in the military.
Like a true hero, he enlisted in the Army and headed to Afghanistan to fight for his country.
When the Army Ranger completed his tour of duty, he eventually moved to the Bronx. And like many former military members, he needed to find an outlet for healing.
That's where Mala, his beloved 8-month-old puppy, came in.
“It was one of the most amazing things that has happened to me in a long time. Because I can take her everywhere to the store, to church, to the hospital - and I do.”
He said that Mala has been able to help him in ways he could never have imagined:
“What she gives me I can't get from someone else: not a therapist or a family member or my friend. It's unconditional love.”
But on Mother's Day, somebody stole his support dog away from him.
According to The Daily Mail, Lebron was coming home after visiting a nearby park when he was “attacked from behind” by two assailants.
A security camera captured the scary moment when one of the thieves ran up behind the former Army Ranger and hit him in the head, causing Lebron to stumble backward down the stairs.
As Lebron was distracted, the other assailant grabbed Mala's leash and ran away with the pit bull.
And the veteran hasn't seen her since.
He now has a desperate plea for anyone that may come across Mala. He told Pix11:
“[If] you see something, say something - because I need her and she needs me.”
Lebron said that one of the attackers may have been his wife's ex-boyfriend, who has attacked him previously in recent months.
But so far, there have been no leads as to Mala's location.
According to the ASPCA, pit bulls are the most common breed used in dog fighting, though there's no proof that the thieves stole Mala for the fighting ring.
There is now a $1000 reward for anybody who finds Lebron's missing support dog.