June 18, 2014 -- A soldier deployed in Afghanistan may be getting his dog back because strangers rallied to help him after his ex-girlfriend sold the pooch while he was overseas.
The family that bought the pooch is also a military family, but were reluctant to surrender the dog because their children had become so attached to it.
Robert Gabbert, a soldier based in Fort Carson, Colo., left his 3-year-old Shiba Inu named Baxter with his former girlfriend when he was deployed to Afghanistan in March. Instead of returning the dog to Gabbert's family, the ex-girlfriend sold the dog on Craigslist, supporters of Gabbert's claim said.
When Gabbert, 23, found out that Baxter was gone, he posted a pleading note on Craigslist.
"I am currently deployed and my ex sold my dog," Gabbert's note read. "I just found out and I am trying to find the people (person) who bought him. I will pay anything to get him back. His name is Baxter and he is an Shiba Inu. 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."
The note went viral on social media, and Gabbert's family was able to locate the dog, which was brought by a military family. Gabbert's mother reached out to the new owners, but the family was reluctant to give up Baxter.
“They keep saying they have children that are attached,” Gabbert's mother, Karen Fraley, told KOAA. “Well my child is attached to the dog. Just because he is older doesn’t mean he is not my child.”
The name of the family has not been released, partly to avoid annoying the family and making it harder to get Baxter back.
Supporters set up a Facebook page called “Help Bring Baxter Home.”
“We are not going to stop until we have the dog in our hands,” said Nancy Wallace, a member of the support group. Wallace told ABC News they have raised $1,400 to pay to the new owners in exchange for Baxter.
The pleas have apparently worked. Wallace said that there is an agreement being made between the support group and the new owner to return Baxter to Gabbert.
The Colorado Shiba Inu Rescue, a nonprofit organization, has offered to find a new puppy for Baxter's current owners.
"There are plenty of adoptable Shiba Inus out there," said a representative at the organization. "We are more than willing to find the family a new dog and they can adopt a puppy that needs a home."
Gabbert, who is still deployed in Afghanistan, cannot be reached for comment by ABC News.