LITTLE VALLEY, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Pennsylvania couple claims their rare breed dog was illegally taken away in Cattaraugus County and they’ve been trying for months to get him back.

This has been a very emotional situation for a couple in Pennsylvania. They believe there was a violation of state law when their dog was taken away over the summer.

Chad and Tonya Greiner of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania are still searching for their dog Niko a rare breed Sarplaninac that they’ve had for several years.

For the past year, off and on, the Greiner’s say they had Niko staying with a friend in Little Valley, in Cattaraugus County, when all of sudden in July, Niko, they say got out during the night.

“At that point we were putting Facebook advertisements everywhere with rewards, searching the woods, checking with neighbors, nobody gave us information on where he was,” Tonya Greiner said.

The Erie County SPCA confirms that Niko came in contact with the Little Valley Dog Control Office. The Greiner’s say they’ve been trying to get information from the office, but have had no luck.

“My wife, finally, after trying different ways having our kids call and no calls were coming back from the animal control officer my wife finally called from a random number got through to her as soon as she mentioned the dog’s name Niko she hung up the phone,” Chad Greiner said.

News 4 made several attempts to get information from the Little Valley Dog Control Office about this situation. When we called them again Friday, they would not answer our questions and in fact hung up on us.

The Erie County SPCA says in a statement that they legally admitted Niko from Little Valley but can’t talk further because this is a legal matter. The SPCA actually posted on Facebook about Niko a couple months ago, before he was adopted.

The Greiner’s are trying to get Niko back and say Niko is micro-chipped.

State law requires organizations receiving a rescued or captured dog to examine the dog within 24 hours for a microchip, and to make a good effort to contact the owner. The Greiner’s feel this did not happen, they feel their dog was stolen, and have retained a lawyer to look into this situation.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.