I am posting this for a friend who has gone through a truley horrible ordeal.
This is their story. I am hoping someone has a clue as to why this happened and if there is anything else they can do to get their beloved family member back home!
Three years ago, we adopted a sweet little dog named Stitch. The woman who owned him told us his sad story. Her teenage daughter had been given the dog as a gift, but the girl was wild and out of control, partying, disappearing for weeks at a time with her adult boyfriend.
Stitch had been locked in the teen’s room for days without sunshine or exercise, having to relieve himself on the carpet. The daughter had taken him to a wild party where he had become so distressed that he jumped through a pane glass window to escape. And eventually, in their care, the dog ended up abandoned in the middle of a highway 10 hours away in Nevada City.
We wanted to give Stitch a stable, happy home. We adopted him, microchipped and licensed him and got his necessary shots. And then we fell completely in love with him.
Soon after, the teenage daughter’s adult boyfriend began calling our home, harassing us, telling us the dog was his and to return Stitch to him. He even filed a police report against us for theft. After much drama – too much to recount here, the boyfriend sued us last year for more than $25,000, accusing us of theft and intentional infliction of emotional distress on HIM.
Although this man has no legal documentation or paperwork of any kind linking him to Stitch, and we have all the legal paperwork and proof, we still have to defend ourselves in court.
UPDATED AFTER TRIAL
The “plaintiff” never proved in court that Stitch ever belonged to him. He presented falsified documents that my lawyer readily struck down. His documents were for the purchase of a French bulldog with an ID number that was not related to Stitch, and didn’t have the guy’s name nor a date anywhere on the paperwork. All his witnesses, (one who sported a bleach blonde four-inch high Mohawk, another that seemed obviously high on the stand, another who came in weak and emaciated with a hospital bracelet on his wrist) lied on the stand and contradicted each other. The original owner of Stitch who “supposedly” gave Stitch to the plaintiff, didn’t come to court because he was just out of rehab.
This is the group of people the judge ordered me to turn our Stitch over to.
When Stitch was found abandoned in the middle of the highway in Nevada City, he had a cigarette burn on his neck. The guy admitted on the stand to losing Stitch as many as five times. He admitted that the last time Stitch went missing he didn’t go looking for him until a couple days later, because he “figured he’d turn up”, and because he lets Stitch run loose on the five acre property where he stays in a guest house. He said Stitch often ran off chasing bears and such. Okay, my dog is a French bulldog, not a hunting dog. They aren’t supposed to be outdoors for long periods because they have breathing problems and can overheat, leading to asphyxiation. Never in our care did Stitch even attempt to run off. In fact, he is such a loyal companion, he follows me from room to room.
The “plaintiff” had never given Stitch his puppy shots, never licensed him, never microchipped him even though he lost him numerous times and went on and on about what an “expensive” dog Stitch is (although he never paid a dime for Stitch or his care).
Meanwhile, everyone said our case was a slam dunk. We adopted Stitch and did all the right things legally. We microchipped and licensed him. We gave him all the proper vaccinations. He received regular vet care. We wipe the folds under his eyes every day with special medicated cloth. We give him oatmeal baths for his sensitive skin. We fed him expensive, organic food for his sensitive digestive system.
The judge based his decision on the “Lost Property Statute” which basically applies to material goods. In other words, as the opposing attorney used in his argument against us, if you leave your bicycle at the beach, and three weeks later you see someone else riding your bicycle, they are obligated to give it back to you. And we said the obvious “Stitch is not a bicycle. He is a living thing who needs love and care, and he was abandoned.”
But the judge ruled as though Stitch were a bicycle.
IS THIS REALLY HOW WE TREAT OUR PETS???
Their young son is about to lose his very best friend....