Man Fighting to Get Beloved Dog Back After Shelter Adopts Her Out to New Family

SACRAMENTO -- A dog is at the center of a two-county custody battle.

The pup went missing in Cameron Park and was found in Sacramento a couple of days later. Now, the dog's original owner is fighting to get her back, waiting for a phone call that may never come.

It's the news no dog owner wants.

Alec Nygard's 4 pound miniature pinscher/chihuahua mix named Rosemarry escaped from his Cameron Park home last week. He scrambled to find her, posted Facebook messages and asked neighbors.

And a few days later, he got the news he thought he was looking for.

"She was there at the shelter," Nygard said.

"Everyone loves Rosemarry. We were all there to hopefully get her back, and in fact saw her, and it was heartbreaking seeing her jump up on the glass again, and again, trying to get to me," he said.

He's talking about the Sacramento County Shelter on Bradshaw Road -- 40 miles from his home.

Nygard said by the time he found out that's where she was, it was too late, she had already been adopted by a brand new family.

"Didn't say sorry about what's going on, nothing. She just said, 'why are you here?' I told you that the new owners would contact you if they wanted to," he said.

FOX40 called the county for an explanation. They said they waited three days, and when Rosemarry's owner did not come forward, they did what they always do. They put her up for adoption.

The same day, another family signed the paperwork, and that binding document means there's nothing else they can do. They can't force the new owners to give Rosemarry back.

FOX40 asked Nygard what he wants to say to the new owners.

"Do I want this dog that much? Because she has a family that loves her very, very dearly. She has friends, animals and human, who miss her very, very much," he said.

"Now all of the sudden my connection with her -- physically, emotionally, everything -- everything that I've put into this dog, the love that I put into this dog, it's all dependent on will someone do the right thing," Nygard said.

The message from those at the shelter is simple -- make sure your dog is microchipped and has tags with your name and contact information. Nygard said when Rosemarry went missing she had tags on her collar, but when she got to the shelter they were gone.