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When Bev Nicholson noticed her eight month-old Shi Tzu, named Doobie, had gone missing on April 7, she began making calls to the local SPCA to let them know that her dog was loose.

Then, on Friday, April 22, Nicholson says her niece let her know she had seen the dog advertised on the SPCA website and that there was a stray hold on the dog. She says she then contacted the North Peace SPCA to let them know she would be in the next day to pick up her dog.

Nicholson says when she went to the SPCA on the Saturday but her dog was not there and staff kept providing alternate explanations as to what had happened to the dog. She says they first told her the dog had been sent to a foster home, then that she had already been adopted, then told her the dog had had never been at the SPCA.

After getting frustrated, she says she tried to involve the RCMP to help her retrieve her dog, but because the dog does not have a tattoo or microchip, she was told it would be difficult to prove conclusively that it was hers.

When asked for a comment, the SPCA offered its own explanation. Although saying she would not comment on a specific case, North Peace SPCA Branch Manager Rosolynn Kalb says any dog that comes in as a stray is automatically examined for a tattoo, microchip or collar.

Kalb says all animals are held for four days, after which time they become the property of the SPCA and are available for adoption. She also says if an animal has been legally adopted before the original owner comes forward to identify it, it is then up to the new owners to decide whether they are willing to give the animal back.

In an effort to get her dog back, Nicholson says she has offered the new owners the choice of a litter of puppies in exchange for her dog back, but has not yet heard from them.

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