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Chef Sues Family After They Unknowingly Adopted His Lost Dog

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on July 19, 2021

Nenella the Staffordshire Bull Terrier means the world to a chef named Walter Bocchetti. She’s been there for him through many ups and downs in life, including when his brother passed away. So, when she disappeared, he was heartbroken. He searched for 22 days, only to find out that she’d been found and rehomed to a new family.

Bocchetti refused to let it end there. Now, he’s suing the new family for refusing to return his lost dog. After almost a year, Nenella has become a part of their family too. So, who deserves to keep the lovable canine? More importantly, where will Nenella be happiest?

Pit Bull kissing human
Image: Patrick Walsh Facebook

Nenella’s New Life

Four-year-old Nenella ran off after she jumped over a wall at a friend’s house. She went missing on September 21st, 2020 in Enfield, London. Bocchetti desperately searched for 22 days with no success. But then, he discovered that she had been found a while ago, and he was too late.

According to authorities, someone found Nenella on a train platform the same day she was lost. She had no collar and no microchip, so officials assumed she was a stray. She was eventually transferred to the organization All Dogs Matter on September 28th.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier running
Image: Patrick Walsh Facebook

Yet, Bocchetti claims he contacted authorities before and was told they didn’t have a dog matching her description. Bocchetti also claims that the dog was transferred to the rescue before waiting the required seven days.

On October 12th, a family adopted Nenella. The pup has been with them for about 10 months now, so they’ve grown very attached. The rescue refuses to give Bocchetti the family’s personal information, and the family isn’t willing to return Nenella. So, Bocchetti felt as if he was left with no choice but to sue the family.

Man and Pit Bull cuddling
Image: Patrick Walsh Facebook

“Mr. Bocchetti maintains that he still has title to Nennella, and he is desperate for the return of his dog,” said Cathryn McGahey QC. “All Dogs Matter has refused without a court order to disclose the identity or address of the new keeper.”

The Future is Uncertain

After a two-hour hearing, the judge remained impartial but said that Bocchetti’s legal team should receive the contact information for the new family. However, that information will not be posted publicly to avoid any hateful messages from individuals. When looking at all the information, the best result in this case isn’t necessarily as obvious as it seems.

Pit Bull wearing sweater
Image: Patrick Walsh Facebook

“She was not microchipped, as required by law, or wearing a collar and a tag to be able to identify her. Nennella was kept at the dog pound and then transferred in good faith to our charity, All Dogs Matter, for rehoming,” said Ira Moss, the general manager of All Dogs Matter. “We then placed her in a foster home, as she was distressed in kennels, before formally rehoming her to a safe new home nearly a month later. It’s a regrettable situation for everyone involved and we sympathize with all parties.”

Of course, Bocchetti should’ve taken more precautions to keep Nennella safe and her new family should at least consider returning her. However, no one should be blamed for this situation, especially since we don’t know everything about it. Everyone involved clearly loves this dog very much, so at least she’s in a safe, comfortable home no matter what. Both parties will likely continue fighting for her, so it’s unclear at this time what the outcome will be.

Bring Nenella home
Image: Patrick Walsh Facebook

Featured Image: Patrick Walsh Facebook

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