Chef launches legal fight for return of his lost dog that was mistaken for a stray and rehomed

An Italian chef has launched a legal fight for the return of his lost Staffordshire Bull Terrier that was mistaken for a stray and rehomed by a canine charity after her new owners that took her in refused to give her back. 

Nennella, a four-year-old dog whose name means ‘sweet’, jumped over a wall while staying with a friend of owner Walter Bocchetti, 39, in September last year, and was found by a local authority dog warden later that day. 

Mr Bocchetti searched for Nennella for 22 days before discovering that she had been caught and rehomed by canine charity All Dogs Matter because she had no collar or identity chip, and they assumed she was stray. 

He was particularly attached to the terrier, which he called ‘his world’, because she helped comfort him after his brother died, Central London County Court heard.

Mr Bocchetti, who ran an online campaign and spent thousands enlisting top lawyers to force All Dogs Matter to reveal who is keeping Nennella, is now suing the new owners for possession of the terrier.

Nennella, a four-year-old dog whose name means 'sweet', jumped over a wall while staying with a friend of owner Walter Bocchetti, 39, in September last year, and was found by a local authority dog warden later that day

Nennella, a four-year-old dog whose name means 'sweet', jumped over a wall while staying with a friend of owner Walter Bocchetti, 39, in September last year, and was found by a local authority dog warden later that day

Nennella, a four-year-old dog whose name means ‘sweet’, jumped over a wall while staying with a friend of owner Walter Bocchetti, 39, in September last year, and was found by a local authority dog warden later that day

Mr Bocchetti searched for Nennella for 22 days before discovering that she had been caught and rehomed by canine charity All Dogs Matter because she had no collar or identity chip, and they assumed she was stray

Mr Bocchetti searched for Nennella for 22 days before discovering that she had been caught and rehomed by canine charity All Dogs Matter because she had no collar or identity chip, and they assumed she was stray

Mr Bocchetti searched for Nennella for 22 days before discovering that she had been caught and rehomed by canine charity All Dogs Matter because she had no collar or identity chip, and they assumed she was stray

The court heard that Nennella vanished from Enfield, north London, on September 21 last year and was found wandering in Tottenham later the same day.

Local authority dog staff ended up transferring Nennella to All Dogs Matter on September 28, and was then ‘fostered’ for a short time before the charity transferred her to her new owners on October 12.

Mr Bocchetti claims Nennella does not belong to the new owners and claims the London Borough of Haringey jumped the gun and transferred her to the charity before the ‘seven clear days’ they ought to have held on to her were up. 

Cathryn McGahey QC last week asked Judge Marc Dight for a court order requiring All Dogs Matter to disclose the name and address of the dog’s new keepers to enable him to sue them for her return, the court heard.

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

Mr Bocchetti, who ran an online campaign and spent thousands enlisting top lawyers to force All Dogs Matter to reveal who is keeping Nennella, is now suing the new owners for possession of the terrier

Mr Bocchetti, who ran an online campaign and spent thousands enlisting top lawyers to force All Dogs Matter to reveal who is keeping Nennella, is now suing the new owners for possession of the terrier

Mr Bocchetti, who ran an online campaign and spent thousands enlisting top lawyers to force All Dogs Matter to reveal who is keeping Nennella, is now suing the new owners for possession of the terrier

‘It’s respectfully submitted that Mr Bocchetti has a strong case that he is still the owner of Nennella. However, he cannot bring proceedings to recover Nennella without knowing who is currently keeping her.’

Since October or November, the new keepers ‘were on notice that Mr Bocchetti was seeking to recover his dog’, the court heard.

‘Mr Bocchetti asked if the new owners could return the dog to him but they declined,’ the QC continued. 

‘We accept that they took her on with no idea this was coming down the line.’

The Trustees of All Dogs Matter resisted Mr Bocchetti’s bid, claiming that his proposed case against Nennella’s keepers would be ‘unarguable or extremely weak’. They said that if Nennella had been wearing her chip and collar, the row could have been avoided.

After a two-hour hearing Judge Dight ruled that Mr Bocchetti should be given the identity of the dog’s new owners, although he made no findings about the rights and wrongs of the ownership dispute.

It was ‘fair and just’ to make the order, he said.

He directed that the identity of Nennella’s new owners must not be disclosed in any future court case, due to concerns about a hostile social media response.

Link hienalouca.com

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