VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - A Vallejo man and his family are heartbroken after their puppy was taken from their home by a stranger and then given up for adoption by the humane society.
The 3-month-old pit-husky mix named Luna belonged to Michael and Kathryn Elledge and their two children. They were devastated to learn their puppy was adopted by someone else.
"It doesn't make any sense. If you're about the animal's welfare, why wouldn't you relinquish this animal," Michael questioned.
It all started on Dec. 20 when the family's surveillance system captured a woman apparently luring Luna to her Subaru. The puppy, which wasn't microchipped, had somehow gotten out of their front yard and away from the family's three other dogs.
"I'm thinking to myself, you see all of my dogs here on the fence line. Why wouldn't you leave a note," Michael said.
He searched high and low for Luna.
"I got on my Harley, rode through every single street and neighborhood over here looking for that car," he said.
He didn't know it at that time, but the woman had turned the dog into the Humane Society of the North Bay in Vallejo.
It wasn't until Christmas Eve, four days later, that the humane society posted photos on Facebook of the dog asking if anyone knows who it belonged to.
There was no doubt it was Luna.
"She has a little line going down the side of her face like she's crying," Michael said.
The family didn't see the post for several days after that. When Michael contacted the organization, he was told it was too late because it had been more than 72 hours.
On Thursday KTVU went with Michael to the humane society to get an explanation.
"Once the release time was up, then we put her up for adoption and she was adopted," said Executive Director Wendy Jones.
Jones said the organization followed state law with respect to stray dogs that aren't microchipped.
"I am heartfelt sorry, but at this moment right now my hands are tied," Jones expressed.
Michael said his only hope now is for the person who adopted Luna, to give the dog back to him.
"If you're watching this, I just hope that you can reach down into your heart and help us be a whole family again," he said.
Luna was at the humane society for nine days before she was adopted. Michael said he didn't immediately check in with the organization because he assumed the woman had stolen the dog.