By Tim McNicholas

CHICAGO (CBS) — Symara Moses’ dog ran away and she can’t get him back because another family quickly adopted him — and now, a Chicago alderman is stepping in to try to help.

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) said he saw CBS 2’s coverage of a dog who ran off just a few weeks ago, but already legally belongs to someone else. Lopez said the original dog owners don’t live in his ward, but he’s heard similar stories in the city, and he wants to make it right.

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He invited Moses, the adopted dog’s original owner, to his 15th Ward office.

Moses broke down in tears.

“I have never experienced this in my life,” she said. “This is so hard.”

Her struggles started July 5, when her dog of 10 years, Kobe, got scared of the fireworks and ran off from their Austin neighborhood home.

“He was not micro-chipped or tagged,” she said.

The Moses family didn’t know, but animal care workers found Kobe the next day. He stayed at Chicago Animal Care and Control for three days before the rescue group Fetching Tails Foundation took him in.

The group said they neutered him, micro-chipped him, treated an ear infection and then — after about a week with Fetching Tails — another family legally adopted Kobe. Now, that family won’t give him back.

“That’s a family member,” Ald. Lopez said to Moses. “That they’re holding hostage right now.”

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Moses wants fetching tails to arrange a meeting between the two families, but Fetching Tails stopped responding to her emails Sunday. They don’t list a phone number online so, Wednesday night, she showed up at their fundraiser–where a co-founder would not discuss the matter and declined an interview with CBS 2.

“This is not happening here,” the co-founder said. “This is an event.”

On Thursday, Fetching Tails’ lawyer sent Moses a cease and desist letter that tells her to stop harassing Fetching Tails employees in public spaces. It also tells her not to harass the company via emails or social media.

“For the City of Chicago to do business with partners like that, who don’t want to be questioned for their actions,” Lopez said. “That’s not something I’m comfortable with.”

Fetching Tails’ lawyer, Andre Wrighte, said “the new owners are aware of what’s been going on. But none of that matters. There is a legal contract.”
Wrighte said the adopters are not interested in meeting.

Nonetheless, Lopez said he plans on calling Wrighte himself to try set the meeting up.

“And if they pursue this whole, ‘We’re doing our legal best, don’t bother us anymore,’ I will be happy to tell them I’m not confident in their abilities to be good partners with the residents of the City of Chicago,” Lopez said.

Lopez said he has already shared his concerns with Chicago Animal Care and Control. A CACC spokesperson tells CBS 2 that Fetching Tails is a trustworthy organization that has helped dogs across the city for years.

The alderman plans to introduce an ordinance this fall that would extend the CACC’s stray hold period from 3 days to 7 days.

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But CACC says the ordinance works well as it is and it helps dogs get a better chance of being rescued or adopted.

Tim McNicholas