Owner of missing dog says animal shelter would not give pet back after it was found

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A Chester County family has been searching for their lost dog named Legacy for weeks now. But when they found her at a local animal shelter, they said leaders there would not let the dog go.

Autumn Deas said her family owned the American Bully for nearly five years.

“She’s special to me, my sister, my dad, my little brother,” Deas said. “She tended to my panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and now I come to get her and they say I can’t.”

She said Legacy ran away in late May and that they searched all over until they recently realized she was at the Chester County Animal Shelter. Legacy had been renamed Sarah and at the time, was on staycation with another family.

Deas said the director at the animal shelter would not release the dog to her.

“They said no. They said pictures is not proof,” she said. “I had the AKFC papers and they said it didn’t say her color, her age.”

The shelter’s director told Channel 9′s Tina Terry that a dog picked up by the shelter at-large belongs to the county after five days, and said Deas was unable to provide proof of ownership.

“They were not able to provide proper documentation. The law states receipts of rabies vaccination, that is proof of ownership, a vet bill, or a vet receipt with the name. You could also bring a bill,” Director Kelli Simoneau said.

The family who was thinking about adopting the dog saw Deas’ post on Facebook and brought the dog back to the shelter Wednesday.

The director said the family was later able to produce a bill of sale from the breeder and that they will likely release the dog to its owners Thursday.

The shelter encourages everyone to install a microchip on animals to prevent situations like this in the future.

(WATCH BELOW: New York state trooper crawls into underground pipe to rescue missing dog)