Family desperate to get back lost dog

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PHOENIX -- If you lose a pet and it winds up at one of the county shelters, you have three days to claim it because if you don't, your pet is no longer yours.

It's just not the same for the Potter family anymore since their dog, or as they put it their family member, disappeared recently.

"Since he has been missing already we can't sleep and can't eat," Dale Potter said.

Potter is talking about the family's 1-year-old mastiff they named Drama, a dog that certainly lives up to his name.

But now photos are all the family has left because Drama turned up missing from their backyard.

By the time they found Drama three days later at the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control facility, they were too late.

"They said he had already been up for adoption that morning and that all they could do was contact the new owners," Potter said.

Potter says he and his family were devastated mainly because they found Drama just one day after the three-day time frame before dogs are legally adopted out.

So, the Potters made an emotional proposition to the new owners, saying, "We would be willing to pay for a new puppy for you."

3 On Your Side tracked down Drama's new owners who accepted that offer. As a result, the Potters immediately bought a puppy and gave it to 3 On Your Side to swap out.

After a short drive the second family took in their new puppy, who they say they instantly loved.

3 On Your Side loaded Drama into our vehicle and returned him to his old family. A family that was overwhelmed to get that "drama" back.

The Potter family says they never would have seen their dog again if 3 On Your Side didn't get involved.

"My 200-pound son has come home," Potter said. "I'm so happy. We couldn't have done it without you. 3 On Your Side was really on my side today and I really appreciate that!"

Remember a couple of things. First, make sure your animal is microchipped and registered with the county. If it is microchipped, the shelter will scan it and let you know they have your pet.

Second, remember that after three days your pet can be adopted to someone else even if you do find it.

And No. 3, be careful about naming your dog Drama because you may get more than you bargained for.