DENMARK, Wis. (AP) -

A woman from northeastern Wisconsin is fighting to get her dog back after he ran away and was adopted by another family.

For Susan Heezen, the dog, Bear, is more than a companion. He helps her in her daily life since she's deaf and Bear has learned some basic sign language.

When Bear went missing from his Denmark area home in March, Heezen contacted the Brown County Sheriff's Department and later placed an online ad about his disappearance. Bear ended up at the Lakeshore Humane Society in Manitowoc where he was placed for adoption after an 8-day waiting period.

Heezen eventually found out Bear had been taken to the shelter and was adopted by a family. Press-Gazette Media says Heezen asked the shelter to contact the new family, which rejected her request to give up the dog.