New Yorker Craig Dershowitz refuses to give up the custody battle over his pet “puggle” Knuckles (half pug, half beagle), even though he has already spent upwards of $60,000 in legal fees, reports the New York Post. The controversy began when Dershowitz’s ex-girlfriend took the dog with her when she moved across the country to California following their break up. Dershowitz’s court papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan claim that ex, Sarah Brega, “kidnapped” the dog that he considers to be his “son”. In an ongoing effort to get the dog back through legal channels, Dershowitz laments that he’s already spent almost his entire life savings.
Although Dershowitz initially received a default judgment for the dog’s immediate return, Brega has retained her own attorney and is fighting the judgment in both California and New York courts. Brega argues that Dershowitz “unconditionally gifted” her the dog, and that Knuckles has been happy in California where “he has ample room to play, and lives in close proximity to a beach.” Dershowitz, however, argues that Knuckles hates the water, and is a “tried and true” New Yorker.
Dershowitz contends that Brega’s only strategy is to run up his legal tab – a strategy that is unfortunately succeeding. Says Dershowitz, “I don’t have the money to keep it going. Not too many attorneys are working pro bono.” In order to maintain his custody battle, he’s started an online webpage for donations. Some of Dershowitz’s “artist” friends are providing contributions for those who donate a certain amount of money. For example, for $25 you receive a “Free Knux” t-shirt while a $200 donation gets you a professional portrait of now-infamous Knuckles. For $250, the generous donor will receive a game of fetch with Knuckles himself, “only available (hopefully) in NY”. Currently, the website has raised almost $5,000 for Dershowitz’s legal costs.