NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A family was in search of their beloved dog Wednesday night, but the dog did not run away or get stolen.

As CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported, it seems that the father of the family gave the dog away and didn’t tell anyone. He has been left in the doghouse, and his family has been doing everything they can to get their dog home.

Gabe Zaghari, 9, cannot remember life before Cooper.

“We basically grew up together,” Gabe said.

The King Charles spaniel joined the family five years ago as a six-week-old puppy, as big brother Saleh’s seventh birthday present.

“If I had a long day, I would be there to pet Cooper. Cooper would give me comfort,” said Saleh, now 13.

But on one of his longest and saddest days ever, Cooper could not help.

“I returned home to my home, to find out my husband gave away our dog on a Craigslist ad,” said the boys’ mother, Eva Siroki. “Gave it away.”

And Siroki said her husband gave the dog away without even telling anyone.

Last month, the boys’ father met a couple at a dog park at 52nd Street and Eleventh Avenue in Manhattan, and handed the dog over.

‘We all started crying together,” Saleh said. “And it was just like a crazy moment.”

And the situation is legally tricky. Siroki said the dog’s papers are in her name and not her husband’s, but it is a matter of debate whether he had the right to give the dog away himself.

“The dog is marital property,” said attorney Patricia Fersch.

But attorney Alan Goldberg said, “If you’re married, you still have the right to your own individual property.”

So why did dad do it? Siroki said her husband thought he was doing the right thing.

“He thought giving the dog away would lighten our load,” she said.

But now, the family’s load is even heavier, as they tape fliers up and down the West Side of Manhattan.

In all, the family posted nearly 1,400 fliers, and they have gotten calls. Two dozen tipsters have said they’ve spotted Cooper, but no respondents have called to say they have the dog.

“Can you please have a heart and give us back our dog?” Gabe said. “Our family is really sad without him.”

The father of the family declined to discuss the issue on camera.

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