Missing Dog Adopted By New Family Is Reunited With Her Original Owner

A heart-wrenching and eye-opening case involving a lost pooch sparked a viral debate via social media before finally reaching a happy conclusion this weekend.Little Rosemary – a 3.5 pound Chihuahua mix – is back in the loving arms of her original owner after a series of unfortunate events led to her being adopted out to a new family.

Rosemary’s story began on April 4th when she went missing from the Cameron Park, CA home of her owner, Alec Nygard. The little escapee was quickly scooped up and taken to Sacramento County’s Bradshaw Animal Shelter.Rosemary did not have identification tags or a microchip, so as per shelter protocol, she was placed on a 72 hour hold. Had she possessed either form of identification, Rosemary would have been held for 10 days before being put up for adoption.

On April 8th, adorable Rosemary – renamed Nala by shelter staff – was legally adopted by a new family. That very night, Nygard learned that his missing pup was at Bradshaw Animal Shelter. The next day, when he went to pick her up, he was informed that Rosemary, aka Nala’s adoption was legally binding and that she was no longer his “property.”

A heartbreaking cell phone video of Rosemary jumping up and down inside her plexi-glass kennel trying to get to Nygard was captured. Rosemary clearly remembered her original dog dad, but the young man was helpless to reunite with her. The video was posted to social media creating a viral firestorm of varying opinions.

Some users felt that Rosemary’s new adopters should forfeit their rights to the dog and return her to Nygard immediately. Others criticized him for not microchipping her or making sure she wore proper ID tags. Amidst the debate and media attention, Nygard received a call from Rosemary’s new adopter asking him to return to the Bradshaw shelter on Friday afternoon, April 14th.

There, Nygard was reunited with Rosemary after 10 tumultuous days. The tiny pup was spayed and microchipped while in the care of the Bradshaw Animal Shelter.

Although they still recommend proper ID and microchips for all pets, the shelter is moving forward to change their policies in order to prevent similar situations. Bradshaw Animal Shelter director, Dave Dickinson says that adoption fees will now be held as deposits until the pet is actually removed from the shelter by an adopter. Until then they will retain the right to refund the deposit and reunite the pet with its original owner.