Anyone who has ever been in a custody battle can probably attest to how difficult, and expensive, the proceedings can be.
One N.Y. man is going through a costly battle in court. He's fighting to regain custody of his dog.
Craig Dershowitz, 34, had split with his ex. Purportedly, he asked her to take care of the "Knuckles" while he looked for a new place. He alleges his ex-girlfriend was supposed to return the dog, but instead she kept him, and subsequently took off for California, reported the New York Post.
Sarah Brega is living with Knuckles in California, and seemingly has no intention on giving up the dog.
Legal papers were filed in Feb. 2012 and, at the time of filing, Dershowitz said he intended to fight.
"You say it is an extraordinary step but I think most pet owners would agree with me. Knuckles is my son, my heart—you would fight just as hard to protect your own children," he said when the custody papers were filed.
The custody case is being battled in both New York and California courts. Dershowitz believes Bregna is fighting him until he runs out of money, and that it's working. After spending approximately $60,000 in legal fees, he's now turned to the web in the hopes of raising money to help fight his custody case in the hopes of getting Knuckles back, as he considers the pup his son. He has started a website to raise legal funding.
“I’ve pretty much gone through my life savings,” Dershowitz told the Post, but noted, “It’s worth it.”
Brega denies the dog belongs to Dershowitz and says Knuckles was "unconditionally gifted" to her. Dershowitz says he is the registered owner and had been paying the vet, food and other bills related to the dog, who he nicknamed "Knux."
“Knuckles lives a happy and healthy life in California with me, where he has ample room to play, and lives in close proximity to a beach for off-leash dog-park outings,” Brega said in court papers.
This case is not the only battle in court over custody of a dog. Currently, in California two business women are fighting over a Pomeranian, in which one took the dog from its owner alleging mistreatment, and is keeping the 8-year-old dog in a "safe house." That case is currently in small claims court.