‘I just feel not whole without him’: Breast cancer patient pleads for return of support dog

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Jessey Swaney and Andy King canvass the alley off South Addison Street in the Fan, whistling and keeping their eyes open for a very special dog. 

“Dumpy,” they call his name. “Dumpy.”

Swaney and King are just two members of a search party of sorts moving across Richmond.

They are looking for Dump Truck Gregg, who was saved by the group Ring Dog Rescue.

The pit bull with piercing blue eyes, affectionately known as ‘Dumpy,’ is more than a pet to Swaney.

“He’s been with me every day. Just been my little buddy,” she says. “Getting me through treatment.”

Swaney was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in March, and Dumpy has been the 30-year-old’s emotional support animal throughout the journey.

Swaney says she finished a round of radiation Monday afternoon with Dumpy and then stopped by a friend’s house for a few minutes, leaving the dog in the backyard behind a six-foot fence and latched the gate.

When she came back outside, Dumpy was gone. 

She says a construction worker down the alley saw a man snatch the dog.

“He didn’t have a leash on or anything,” Swaney describes. “So he said he had a rope wrapped around him and was taking him that way.”

Local businesses, including Sticky Rice, are spreading the word on social media and among customers.

Swaney’s friends, like King, are also posting signs to make a plea for the dog’s return.

“If you see him or took the dog, just give him back,” says King. “Let him go home.”

They are also chipping in money for a cash reward.

Swaney fears Dumpy was targeted and taken because of his breed and striking features.

She desperately wants him back for her cancer journey.

“I’m really powering through, but I’m kinda stressed now and nervous what I’m going to do without him,” she relays. “I just feel not whole without him. I don’t know what to do.”

Richmond Police tell 8News their investigation is ongoing. 

Call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 with any information.

Find 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.

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