San Diego families whose dogs disappeared want new owners to return them

Posted at 4:53 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 21:29:20-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- Two San Diego families were devastated when their dogs disappeared. After days of searching, they found out their dogs were adopted by other families at local shelters. 

“I would give anything to have him back,” says Valeria Megaña. The Spring Valley family’s poodle mix, Cookie, has been missing since Halloween. “It’s been really hard. Life is not the same without him.”

After searching day and night, the family got word Cookie was placed at the El Cajon Animal Shelter. When Megaña checked, she was told Cookie had already been adopted. 

A similar situation happened to a family in City Heights. Nora Avila says she was out of town when her dog Mocha, who was staying with a neighbor, got out. By the time she made it to the San Diego Humane Society, he had already been adopted. 

“We pleaded with them to let the family know… that we loved him. He was never abandoned,” says Avila. 

The El Cajon Animal Shelter and the San Diego Humane Society have holding periods of four days for animals with no identification. Cookie and Mocha were not microchipped. 

“One in three pets in their lifetime is missing at some point. That’s why for us again, it is so important that people microchip their pets,” says Jennifer Brehler, with the San Diego Humane Society. 

Both shelters told 10News they notified the adopters but the new families have decided to not return the animals. The dogs’ original families are hoping they will have a change of heart. 

If you are the adopted owners of Cookie or Mocha and would like to return the animals, we can put you in contact with the families. Contact Reporter Natay Holmes at 619-237-6383 or