Lost dog returned after being adopted out while owner helped Hurricane Matthew victims

MIDDLETOWN, Ind -- A local couple from Middletown answered the call to help the survivors of Hurricane Matthew, but when they were gone, they learned their missing dog was in an area shelter and placed up for adoption. Even worse, he had already been claimed by a new family.

Alana and David Clarkson lost Gunner, their 2-year-old Shepard mix, two weeks ago on September 30.

The couple say they searched for Gunner for days, calling local shelters and posting flyers throughout their community. Then David, who is an electrician, was called to South Carolina to help with Hurricane Matthew relief efforts.

“We weren’t sure we’d see him again,” Alana said.

While the couple was in South Carolina, they received a call from someone who saw their flyers and told them that gunner was at the Muncie Animal Shelter. She also told them he was set to be adopted.

"It was so unfair. It was like a kid getting ripped away from you," Clarkson said.

For a while, Clarkson says they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to stop the adoption, but the Muncie Animal Shelter said they’d be willing to reach to the family who adopted the dog, with the hopes of finding a solution. And that’s exactly what happened a few hours later.

The Clarkson’s said Gunner’s would-be adoptive family agreed to let them have Gunner back, just as long as they could prove he was theirs.

The Clarkson’s say Gunner is now in the care of a family member, who will hold him until they get back from South Carolina.

“I  really appreciate you guys going over there and getting involved, because I think that helped," Clarkson told FOX59 over the phone.