Thieves steal military vet's dog: 'I feel like I've lost my child'

UPDATE: Mitchell emailed to say Maximus was returned to him Friday evening. He said he is "overwhelmed with joy."

OLYMPIA, Wash. --- Robert Mitchell has been to combat zones in some of the harshest climates and locales in the world.

Yet it is a five month old pit bull puppy that makes his eyes well up with tears.

"I feel like I've lost my child," Mitchell said from his Olympia backyard.

Mitchell said his dog Maximus was stolen early Monday morning from the backyard.

He was dogsitting at the time and the other dog was completely untouched. No holes were found in the fence and the gate's lock was untouched.

"His blanket and his toys (are) gone. The dog wouldn't have packed his toys and his blanket," Mitchell said.

Mitchell served in the Iraq conflicts and the War on Terror and faces problems with PTSD. Maximus was more than a dog; he is in training to be a therapy animal.

"Let you know if you're having a seizure, preventing you from falling into objects which may harm you," Mitchell said.

Maximus is microchipped and databases will show that he is stolen. It's small comfort for Mitchell, who wants his small partner back.

"I don't want to cause trouble for anyone," he said.