SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — An El Dorado County man found his lost dog at a Sacramento County shelter, but it had already been adopted.

Alec Nygard says his dog should have not been legally adopted, but the Sacramento County Bradshaw Animal Shelter says its mission is to find good homes for strays.

Nygard says his dog Rosemary got out from his home in Cameron Park and he searched for her for days. A friend on social media eventually linked him to a post with a photo of Rosemary at the Sacramento County shelter.

When he went there to get her, he found out he was too late.

Shelter officials say the dog was found running on a road nearby, some 40 miles from Cameron Park with no tags or chip. A driver concerned about her safety brought her in.

When a dog or cat has no identification, the county will hold the animal for 72 hours before it is put up for adoption. County officials say a pet with an ID and microchip can be held for a longer period of time.

“She said there was nothing she could do,” he said. “It was out of my hands. She wasn’t mine anymore. It was up to the new owners.”

That’s because there’s nothing the shelter can do, says David Dickinson, the director of Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation.

“Several days later an owner who claimed to be the owner of the dog came to the shelter saying the dog was his,” he said. “Unfortunately once we adopted her out that’s a legal binding contract between the county and the new adoptee. Legally the owner is the new owner of that animal.”




Nygard offered to repay the family their adoption fee, but the shelter says the family that adopted Rosemary has children who have fallen in love with their new dog.

“We feel sad for him if that was his dog, but this is a lesson for all animal lovers that IDs are critical to have on your dog or cat’s collar,” Dickinson said.