UPLAND (CBSLA.com) — An Upland family is heartbroken after losing, finding, and then losing their dog all over again.
It's a complicated story that centers around the Upland Animal Shelter and a fast adoption of a dog that was actually not in need of a forever home.
KCAL9's Laurie Perez talked to the family about the lost dog that might not be coming home even though they know where he is.
Sugar Qian has all her dog Birkin's toys ready even though she hasn't seen him in days. At 2 years old, blissfully, she thinks he's on vacation.
" I say Birkin is on travel and that he maybe come back a few days later," says Jingyun Li.
The woman's English might be broken but there is no mistaking her heartache.
"I can't explain to my daughter," says Li.
Ten days ago, the family's beloved French bulldog went missing from their Upland yard. They spent days looking for him -- they put up lost dog posters.
Li says Birkin, who she lovingly describes as lazy, couldn't have gone far.
"He just sleeping," she thought, "yeah so we [also] look around our house,"
Four days after he disappeared, they came to the Upland Animal Shelter - where at first, Li says, workers told her they didn't have a dog matching Birkin's description.
But when the family went in the back, they say, there he was. They even took a picture of him -- wearing the collar they say the shelter gave him.
And that's when things got complicated.
Li says after she confronted workers, they told her that dog had been adopted and the new owner was not willing to stop the adoption.
Li says when she ran in the back to see Birkin again, he was gone.
She told Perez maybe five minutes had transpired.
Li took a screen shot of a message she says the shelter posted this week explaining stray dogs are kept for four days and then put up for adoption.
She was also told the new owners took Birkin to Arizona.
And there's another twist: Li told Perez a shelter worker called her and claims no one came to adopt that dog and there's no record of an adoption.
All of it confusing and heartbreaking to a family desperate to bring their loved one home.
"[My daughter] cried. She say why we leave the shelter? My Birkin in the shelter, we can't leave," Li says.
The entire incident has left Li upset.
Birkin did not come cheap. The family paid $6,000 for him.
Unfortunately, his microchip was not properly registeted.
The Shelter released a statement Saturday evening saying they continue to make efforts, to have the new owner relinquish the dog though they have no authority to require it.
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