Family searches for missing emotional support dog — are devastated to learn he’s been adopted by another family

It’s always heartbreaking when a dog runs away, but you hold out hope that your pet will turn up at a shelter somewhere and return to you.

But after one family’s dog ran away, they discovered that he was picked up by a shelter — and then adopted out to another family. Devastated, the family is now trying to bring their dog home.

A family from Raleigh, North Carolina adopted a dog named Jack from the Wake County Animal Center in January 2023, WRAL reported. It was a birthday gift for their son Elijah, who doctors say could benefit from an emotional support dog

Jack was a welcome addition to the family and a great companion for Elijah, helping him with his anxiety.

“I started to go out more, I started to get more active, my grades started to improve because I was just overall a lot happier,” Elijah told WRAL. “Jack made my life completely 100% better.”

But the family was devastated in September when Jack went missing. The dog was microchipped, so the family held out hope that he would be picked up by a shelter and returned to them safe and sound.

Months later, they did hear news about Jack — but with a devastating twist. The microchip company called them to let them know that someone was trying to change the information on Jack’s microchip. It was a sign that the lost dog was alive, but they also learned that someone else had adopted him.

The family learned that Jack had been found by the Wake County Animal Center under the name “Mr. Magguu,” then pulled by the Arcadia Animal Rescue who adopted him out.

While the family had checked with Wake County Animal Center to see if Jack was there, Jack’s microchip was missed twice and shelter directors said that “Mr. Magguu” looked different enough from Jack that they didn’t make the connection they were the same dog.

“Wake County was completely in the wrong,” Elijah’s mother Lisa Bostick told WRAL. “Listening to the fact that I have low vision, I am legally blind. I’m in need of help. They assured me that you pulled the picture of Jack and scanned it against every dog.”

The shelter said they were unable to help, because after a five-day stray hold Jack belonged to the shelter and was legally adopted out to another family.

But the family said they are not giving up the fight to bring Jack to his rightful home.

“I just want my dog back. I don’t have any type of malice towards them,” Elijah said of the family who adopted Jack. “I don’t have any type of hurt or harmful things to say against them. It’s not their fault. They just wanted a dog and I can see why they chose Jack.”

The story has provoked a strong reaction online, with people saying that the shelter is responsible for missing the microchip that would’ve proved the family’s ownership of Jack, and hoping that Jack’s second family has the heart to make things right.

We can’t imagine how devastating it must be to lose a pet, only to find out he’s been adopted by another family and there’s nothing you can do. We hope Elijah and his family are able to figure something out to get justice in this situation.

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