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Disabled Central Florida vet still looking for a dog, but needs money back first

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Thomas Broadway didn’t expect to get attached to Zeus, his 100-pound German shepherd, but over the years the two became inseparable.

“He basically ended up becoming my best friend,” Broadway said.

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But Zeus was more than that, he was Broadway’s lifeline.

Broadway is a veteran, who served in Kuwait and now suffers from PTSD.

“I get panic attacks,” he said. “It’s hard and it can be hard on me.”

Read: ‘It’s been a trigger’: Veterans with PTSD say holiday fireworks pose challenge

But three and a half months ago, Zeus died unexpectedly, leaving more than a hole is Broadway’s heart.

“He was basically my security,” he said. “With him around I felt comfortable going out in public. I didn’t realize what all he did for me until he passed away.”

So he started his search for another German shepherd. He bought one from K-9 Candidates in Geneva for $500, but Tom said when he brought Fred, his new pup, home, the dog needed medical attention that cost $600.

Watch: Orange County Fire speaks out on why it fired firefighter with PTSD

But that wasn’t the biggest issue, Broadway said the dog just wasn’t a good fit for him and his PTSD. So after calls to K-9 candidates, he returned the dog and he said the owners agreed to give him another dog from the next litter and that puppies were expected by the end of the year, but he can’t get an answer about a possible new pup, because he said the owners stopped answering his questions about when a new dog may be coming.

Channel 9 went to the location to ask the owners some questions, but there is gate at the end of the driveway with warning signs about security and dogs; preventing entry, so we reached out and this week we did get an email saying, “Upon speaking to Mr. Broadway a couple of weeks ago, it was confirmed that this is an active contract that will be fulfilled upon availability.”

Read: Orange County firefighter with PTSD fighting to get his job back after being terminated twice

Channel 9 asked if a dog would be available by the end of December, but so far there’s been no response.

There were no Better Business Bureau reviews on the site and we could not find a business matching that name on SunBiz.

Meanwhile, Broadway said he has left multiple messages with the business since our interview, asking for a reimbursement of the vet bill. He said he just wants his money back so he can buy another dog.

Read: ‘If they knew what we saw’: What’s being done to reduce number of suicides among firefighters

He filed a complaint with the Department of Agriculture, and we are waiting for a response from the state about that. Florida does have a lemon law for dogs.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

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