A Masterton family is devastated their beloved rottweiler puppy will not be returned after being mistakenly adopted out to another family.
Despite having reported the missing pet to the pound and SPCA, the dog was adopted by a new family, who do not want to give it up. Kylie Murray said she was "gutted" to find out the puppy, Storm, wouldn't be returned after spending weeks compiling proof of ownership such as vet bills, photos and letters from the breeder.
"They should just have the decency to give him back to his rightful family," she said.
"It's disgusting how this has all worked out ... I just hope it doesn't happen to anyone else."
Miss Murray said she would seek further advice to see if she could get the puppy back.
The family had paid $700 for the pet and her partner, Simon Richardson, had built a kennel.
Miss Murray thought the animal had been stolen when it went missing on July 17 because she didn't think Storm could escape.
She called Wairarapa SPCA and the pound in an effort to find him but had no luck.
Masterton District Council environment and planning manager Sue Southey said they received a call, but closed the file seven days later because no puppy matching the description had been found.
It was found on the eighth day and handed over to the SPCA.
SPCA manager Val Ball said there was no record of Miss Murray's call and the puppy was eventually adopted out.
Storm was four months old, and was not registered or microchipped, as required by law from three months. Miss Murray said she had intended to get the dog microchipped two days before he went missing.
"I'm just kicking myself for not getting him registered earlier," she said.
SPCA dog compound manager Ross Nixon said it was a horrible situation but the organisation had followed procedure. He said Storm was in a good home.
"They said they understood how Kylie felt but it was the same for them," said Mr Nixon.
"Right through the process they were quite adamant they were going to keep the puppy."By Amie Hickland of the Wairarapa Times-Age