"She was the runt of the litter. Nobody wanted her."
"Precious" is not a word you would think would come out of Michael Takacs’ mouth.
But "Precious" is his dog's name.
"The dog means a lot to me-- more than anybody really understands. I would not be going through all this struggle trying to get her back," he said.
Takacs served six years in the U.S. Army and was deployed multiple times overseas.
The veteran now works in Kuwait as a military contractor.
"My Mom passing while I was deployed, and the dog was a huge help. Huge help. It stopped me from zoning out. It stopped my anxiety almost completely,” he said.
Takacs got "Precious" as a puppy in 2015 and they bonded quickly.
But when he left for Kuwait in December, he says a close friend agreed to keep her until he got back.
Instead, he says, the friend's girlfriend dropped "Precious" off at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as a "stray" on December 11th.
The Humane Society confirms a woman dropped the dog off as a "stray" but won't release her information. They also can't release the name of the family who adopted her not knowing "Precious" had an owner.
"If his beautiful dog had been microchipped and we could have immediately contacted the rightful owner, the original owner and made a reunion happen,” said Pam Backer with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
Instead, a Tampa family adopted "Precious" and took her home.
When the Humane Society let them know what happened, they decided to keep her anyway.
"I'm trying hard right now as we speak not to tear up and to hold it together and it's difficult,” he said.
Takacs is offering the family a thousand dollars and to pay the cost for another adoption.
"I would ask them to please consider my offer. Christmas isn't here yet. You still have a chance to use the money to buy some gifts to compensate for what happened,” he said. "I still have hope. I'm very determined to get her back home."