A lost dog may lead to a legal fight after a Carmel Valley family said the San Diego Humane Society approved the adoption of their dog even though the family was told the dog wasn’t in their custody.
A family friend in Escondido was taking care of Prince when he slipped out of his harness and ran away on October 2nd.
A few days later, someone who had found the dog brought him to the Escondido location of the San Diego Humane Society.
However, by the time the family learned their dog was here, it was too late.
Arlene Alvarado drove to Escondido and began searching for the 5-year-old Alaskan Malamute. She went to the San Diego Humane Society and filed a report.
"If I did the Facebook ad, if I did the Craigslist, if I posted missing signs and I filed a report with the Humane Society. What else am I supposed to do,” Alvarado asked.
She started asking herself that question after she saw a lost dog post on a Facebook group for Husky dogs.
She called the San Diego Humane Society to let them know that was her dog, but it was too late.
“They told me that my dog was already put up for adoption," Alvarado said.
Prince, now called Frontier, was found on October 6 and was held until October 11 and was adopted on October 12.
Alvarado said she can prove she called the humane society on October 7 asking if there was any sign of her dog.
Alvarado said she gave photos and a full description of Prince but the humane society did not follow through on their end to find his owner through the missing dog reports.
“They told me that the only thing they can do is reach out to the people who adopted him and if they want to give him back, they can. Other than that there's nothing they can do about it," Alvarado said.
Since the Humane Society's policy withholds adoption information, Alvarado must get a subpoena to get the contact information for the adoptive family.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the San Diego Humane Society says "We're very sorry for this misunderstanding and have offered Ms. Alvarado our deepest regrets and a free adoption. It is extremely important that pet owners have their pets licensed and micro-chipped so animal shelters are able to reunite pets with their owners as quickly as possible."
Alvarado is starting the judicial process to get Prince back. It will be a long and stressful process but she hopes she can soon tell her kids their dog is coming home.
She is hoping they will give her the dog but will fight to get him back if they won't.
To the adoptive parents, she said, "He has a family. We miss him very much and we want him back."