A man has spoken of his heartbreak after the dog that helped him deal with his brother’s death was rehoused after it was lost.

Walter Bocchetti, an Italian pizza chef who lives in Wood Green, bought Nennella – meaning ‘baby’ in Neapolitan – four years ago.

But the Staffordshire bull terrier cross went missing from his friend’s house in Tottenham, where he left her to attend a job interview, on September 21.

Since then, Mr Bocchetti has been searching for his beloved pet – and a Facebook group campaigning to reunite the pair now has more than 2,500 members.

Mr Bocchetti said: “I am very despairing. This has broken my heart.

“I bought my dog four years ago. I had a big pain in my heart from my brother. She was very welcome in my house – she picked me up. She is very important.

“They told me Nennella jumped the wall and went.

“I put requests everywhere. I went everywhere looking for her – I did not stop for one second. Seven hours a day searching.”

In law, pets are classed as chattel, meaning they are personal property.

Nennella was found and rehoused by Haringey Council after seven days, which it its standard practice when owners cannot be traced. The council also said Nennella was not tagged or microchipped, which would have given it an opportunity to return her to her owner.

Mr Bocchetti said he did not know dogs should be microchipped. He tried calling the council’s dog warden service during the seven-day period but could not get through to anyone.

“I gave my heart to the dog. Seven days is very little time – maybe one or two months,” he added.

Mr Bocchetti said that if the new owner knew how much he cared for Nennella, they might return her to him.

Byph.org, an organisation that helps people in civil matters involving pets, has been supporting Mr Bocchetti.

Patrick Walsh, from byph.org, said: “This is not about blaming anyone – we just want Walter and Nennella to be reunited.”

Cllr Matthew White, Haringey Council’s cabinet member for corporate services, said: “We and our contractor take this matter extremely seriously and understand that this is an emotive issue.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that we respond to reports of stray dogs in the borough, so that we can collect and care for them in the best possible manner. When we are able to locate dog owners, we take active measures to ensure that they are successfully reunited.

“Our options are limited when a dog has no identification, and unfortunately on this occasion there was no tag or microchip that would have given us the opportunity to return the dog to its owner. This is always our aim.

“We can confirm Nennella was rehomed to another family after a period of seven days. Similar to many other councils, this is our usual practice, and we work closely with registered dog charities to ensure that dogs are rehomed safely.

“We sympathise completely and understand the distress this may have caused. We have explored all available avenues, but unfortunately it is not possible to return Nennella to her previous owner.”

More information on the campaign is available here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bringnennellahome

For information on microchipping your dog, visit: https://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped