NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Bronx woman whose dog either ran away or was stolen last summer was thrilled to find out recently that her pet had been found.

But the situation is far from resolved because Jeannie Lopez, a 39-year-old lawyer, is having to battle to get her dog, Puchy, back.

“He is family to me,” Lopez told CBS 2’s John Slattery on Thursday. “This dog is my life.”

The dog is a 3 1/2-pound Maltese. Lopez got him four years ago and took him to a vet to have a microchip implanted. It’s not a GPS, but rather just an identity chip the size of a grain of rice.

“If anyone finds the dog and takes the dog to a vet, the vets are supposed to scan the dog,” Lopez added.

Last July, outside of her Bronx home, Lopez lost track of the dog. Seven months later, the monitoring company “HomeAgain” called her.

“I was elated,” Lopez recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I couldn’t believe it.”

She was told that the dog was taken to a mobile ASPCA center to be neutered, but the dog had already been neutered. Lopez then insisted that she wanted her pet back.

“They told me that they couldn’t return the dog because they had a contractual obligation to the people who brought the dog in,” Lopez said.

The attorney went to court and got a decision forcing the ASPCA to turn over the identity of the new owner, but the organization still has two weeks to do it.

“We are not able to comment beyond saying that we will comply with the court’s order,” said ASPCA spokesman Bret Hopman, who added the matter is still pending.

“I feel frustrated,” Lopez exclaimed. “I’m fighting for a dog that’s rightfully mine.”

Lopez also admitted that part of her concern is that the dog suffers from a liver condition that requires medicine every day, and she’s worried that Puchy may not have received it since last July.

The next step is to ask for the dog to be returned. If the new owners refuse, the case will likely go back to court to prove ownership through the chip that was implanted.

Dog owners, can you imagine what this situation must be like for Jeannie? Share your thoughts and comments below…

Watch & Listen LIVE