KGO reports that San Francisco resident, Mary Bollero, got a call from a San Mateo pet clinic on Friday morning saying they had her dog, who had been stolen from her home seven years ago and was identified through a microchip. But when Bollero got to the clinic with all of her dog's paperwork, she was told the dog had been given to the 22-year-old South San Francisco man who had brought her in claiming he found the dog a month ago.
Apparently, the clinic manager had been advised by San Mateo police to give the dog back to the man because supposedly by law, if someone has an animal for more than 30 days, they can keep it. It turns out the San Mateo police had gotten this advice from the Peninsula Humane Society, who said it's just their general rule -- not a law -- that most shelters follow.
The San Mateo city attorney confirmed that there is no such "finders, keepers" law in San Mateo, but that Bollero would have to go through civil courts in order to get her dog back, despite having filed a police report in 2003.
Bollero briefly spoke to the man, who told her, "I found your dog. I love your dog and I'm not giving your dog back."