An elderly Californian couple is battling for custody of their dog from the family that adopted her.
Sharon Robinson, 71, says her dog of over eight years, Tipsy, went missing Dec. 6 from her home in Stockton, California, while she was visiting her son in Massachusetts, reports KTXL. The Daily Mail says the dog went missing on Dec. 5.
"We looked every day. I even looked when I was sick, and they thought I was coming [down] with pneumonia again,” she said.
“I just want … I want her back,” Robinson added.
She and her husband posted fliers everywhere and stopped everybody they knew to find the dog. Unfortunately they did not know at the time to also call shelters and rescue groups.
“This is a sad situation and one that is heartbreaking,” she said, Daily Mail reports. “While I realize she should have had a microchip in place, our medical bills took precedence as we never thought we would need to deal with a situation like this.”
On Jan. 12, they found out a Bay Area family had adopted the dog, a pedigree Shetland sheepdog.
The Valley Humane Society explained after it found the scared and hungry dog, it found a home for the dog.
The elderly couple is pleading with the dog's new family through the Valley Humane Society of Pleasanton. So far, the family has refused to return the dog.
“They just won’t part with her, and [say] that they love her. Well, I love her, too,” Robinson said. “They’ve loved her for a little over two weeks. I’ve loved her for eight and a half years. I might add we paid for her in the beginning and we had no intention of giving her away.”
While Robinson continues to hope the new owners will change their minds, she says she may hire an attorney and take legal action against Valley Humane Society.
Executive Director Melanie Sadek says the center was “heartbroken” over the situation, yet simply followed standard protocol.
She explained only 26 percent of owners ever reclaim their dogs, and that the organization, which sees 5,000 dogs every year, does not have the resources to hold onto dogs for long.