After running away while his original owners were out of town, Olympus the labrador retriever was picked up by an animal shelter and adopted by a new family
A family in Southern California is desperately hoping that their dog will be returned after he was unknowingly taken in by an animal shelter and adopted by new owners.
Earlier this month, Josette Psofimis left her dog Olympus with a family member while she went out of town to attend her son’s funeral, KTLA reports. When Psofimis returned home, the pooch had a new family.
The 4-year-old Labrador retriever, whom Psofimis said she owned since he was a puppy, had been taken in by an Orange County animal shelter for several days and when no one claimed him, he was put up for adoption.
The Anaheim native first left Olympus with family on March 5. Before Psofimis had even boarded the plane, her pet had reportedly escaped, Fox 5 said.
“Olympus got loose and ran nine miles to try to find me,” she told the outlet, adding that her family neglected to immediately tell her about Olympus running away for fear that she would be “too emotional” with her son’s funeral.
The dog was quickly discovered and taken in by Orange County Animal Care, but employees at the shelter did not find any identification or microchips on the pup — something they consistently check for with animals they find.
Because there was no proper identification on Olympus indicating that he was already owned by someone, the shelter placed him on a three-day hold in the hopes someone would claim him. If the dog had a microchip, even if no one came, he would have been on a much longer hold.
“As a standard, we always scan for a microchip and identification,” Mike Kaviani, the Orange County Animal Care Director, told Fox 5.
“Olympus is a very friendly, highly-adoptable dog. He’s a young, friendly, yellow Labrador retriever, so it’s uncommon for a dog of that makeup to be an animal shelter for that long,” Kaviani added to the outlet.
When Psofimis returned from the funeral on March 13, she learned that Olympus was gone — and under the ownership of a new family.
Because that family is now technically the new legal guardian of the pup, the shelter said it’s up to them as to whether or not they want to give Olympus back to Psofimis.
“We can all agree how this just tugs at your heart and what both families have experienced and the dog in the middle of it,” Kaviani said to Fox 5.
RELATED VIDEO: Dog Missing For Over Two Weeks Reunites With Owner
Orange County Animal Care did, however, agree to help Psofimis write a letter to Olympus’ new owners in hopes that they will return her beloved pet.
In the meantime, Psofimis and her family, including her granddaughter Olivia Gonzalez, said they won’t stop trying until Olympus is back in their possession.
“He was ours and will always be ours,” Gonzalez told Fox 5. “I’m not going to stop fighting to get him back.”