Jacksonville veteran pleads for return of lost dogs that were adopted

'I just hope and pray that these people have a little bit of understanding and allow me to get my dogs back'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville veteran is pleading to get his dogs back after learning his canine companions, which were missing, had been adopted.

William Ptak said his 5-year-old French poodle named Mignon and his 9-month-old Pitbull mix named Cerbere are his whole world.

“I’m a widower. My wife is deceased. They’re like my children,” Ptak told News4Jax.

On Aug. 7, he got a call while on vacation. His dogsitter told him the dogs were missing after the front gate was left open.

“I was really heartbroken,” Ptak said. “I’m still looking for the dogs.”

Ptak searched local shelters and the Jacksonville Humane Society but was unsuccessful at finding his dogs. A woman responded to his post on Facebook, saying she saw his dogs’ photos on the JHS website. The dogs had new names under their pictures: Champion and Athena. Ptak returned to the Humane Society and learned two different families adopted his dogs.

“It was, like, a brutal blow,” Ptak said.

The Humane Society said it only holds stray animals for seven days. Ptak said the employees reached out to the adoptive families, and one of them agreed to give one of his dogs back.

“About an hour before I actually was getting ready to leave, I got a call from the Humane Society, saying that the people who adopted my dog, one of the dogs, has reneged and wants to keep the dog,” Ptak said.

Ptak said he’s back to square one, heartbroken and living alone without Mignon and Cerbere.

“I just hope and pray that these people have a little bit of understanding and allow me to get my dogs back,” Ptak said.

News4Jax reached out to a local attorney who said there isn’t much Ptak can do legally to get his dogs back. The attorney said the best thing is to try and get ahold of the owners to see whether he can buy back his dogs. Ptak said he’s willing to do whatever he can to bring his dogs back home.

William Ptak's French poodle named Mignon
William Ptak's French poodle named Mignon (Special to WJXT)

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