Woman devastated after lost dog found with stranger who refuses to return animal

(WSVN) - A South Florida woman was overjoyed when she got the call her lost dog was found safe and sound in a shelter, but instead of being reunited with her beloved pet, she is now devastated. The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s 7 Investigates.

Loki is a multi-poo who can pull off several different looks.

No matter if he is shaggy or freshly groomed, he is always loved by Lorna Sylvestre.

Lorna Sylvestre: “I saw the dog and basically just automatically fell in love.”

Lorna adopted Loki a little more than two years ago.

He became family, but he did not always behave.

Lorna Sylvestre: “When the doors open, he tends to run outside.”

Lorna says one day in November 2019, Loki bolted as the garage door opened.

She searched her neighborhood for days but could not find him.

Lorna Sylvestre: “Normally, he doesn’t go too far, and I think what ended up happening is that he ran and someone took him.”

But now, almost a year and a half later, Lorna got the news she has been waiting for.

Lorna Sylvestre: “I get a phone call, and it’s from the Humane Society, and they’re like, ‘Oh, we found Loki!’ I was caught off-guard. I was like, ‘Wait, what?'”

Lorna says this is what someone from the Humane Society of Greater Miami told her over the phone:

Lorna Sylvestre: “‘Someone brought him in to get shots, but something felt a little sketchy, so I scanned him and your information popped up, so I wanted to know did you give him away as a gift?’ And I was like, ‘No, I did not.’ She was like, ‘Oh, my God! I am so happy you answered the phone. Can you come get him?'”

Since Lorna was at work, she sent her mother Viviane to pick up Loki.

Lorna Sylvestre: “I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I am about to get my dog back.'”

Before her mother even arrived, someone with the Humane Society called with devastating news.

Viviane Sylvestre: “She said, ‘Oh, Viviane, I am so sorry. You have to call the police because we have to give the dog back to the person who brought it over.’ I said, ‘Excuse me?'”

Viviane did call North Miami Beach Police.

The responding officer wrote in his report that the woman who has the dog said, “The dog was a gift from her ex-boyfriend,” and “she was going to keep the dog and not return it.”

The director of the Humane Society told her staff to “give the dog back to the unknown female.”

Lorna Sylvestre: “It just changed. Sorry, it just changed so instantly. It’s like why even tell me that if it’s not the case.”

The director of the Humane Society of Greater Miami is Laurie Hoffman.

Laurie Hoffman: “We are not allowed to confiscate. We are not allowed to hold an animal hostage. We are not allowed to hold a customer hostage until an owner comes because even if both people show up at our door, we are still not the authority to say who is the rightful owner.”

She also says her employee did not tell Lorna she could pick up Loki.

Laurie Hoffman: “Maybe she misunderstood. Maybe she heard something different than what was told to her.”

Kevin Ozebek: “So, why did you call Lorna?”

Laurie Hoffman: “Well, we let her know the animal is here, and it is doing well. It’s owned by somebody, and now, she has the information that she needs to call the police.”

But, North Miami Beach Police tell us, “Unfortunately this is not a police matter, rather civil in nature…”

Lorna Sylvestre: “I always felt this is the whole point of having a chip.”

Lorna says she went from overjoyed to hopeless.

Kevin Ozebek: “Are you worried you will never see Loki again now?”

Lorna Sylvestre: “That’s what it feels like.”

She says her next step will be looking into hiring an attorney.

That may be her only option left to be reunited with her little Loki.


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