From Stitch’s Adoptive Family’s Website::
Three years ago, we adopted a sweet little dog named Stitch. The woman who owned him told us his sad story. Stitch had been passed around to several people in his first year of life – a group of young kids who were part of the Hollywood club scene. The woman’s teenage daughter had ended up with Stitch, 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. With a cigarette burn on his neck.
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.
…. In June of last year, the unthinkable happened. WE LOST THE TRIAL. THE JUDGE RULED BASED ON LOST PROPERTY STATUTE, equating Stitch to a bicycle. It doesn’t matter if an owner neglects or abandons an animal. It states that no matter how the owner treated the “property”, it has to be returned to the original owner.
WE IMMEDIATELY APPEALED. We also filed a petition for Stitch to stay with us during the appeals process.
Our appeals hearing is set for JUNE 7th,2012 1:00pm, in downtown Los Angeles appeals court. This is our opportunity to show the courts that we are invested in OVERTURNING this law which considers our pets nothing more than property- like a bicycle or a stereo, with no regard for safety and wellbeing. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD in all your animal communities. If tons of people show up to this hearing, and we get media attention, the court will see that this is a matter of public concern. HELP US SAVE OUR STITCH- and in return, the law may save your pets one day.
This is a scary and very relative story for ANYONE who has ever rescued a dog (or cat, or horse, or guinea pig!) How would you feel if you adopted a pet with a terrible, heart breaking past. You worked your butt off for years to show that little creature that not all humans are bad. To show them love, warmth and tenderness. To gain their trust. And then one day, the old owners returned demanding their “property” back. And not just that– but suing YOU for emotional damages done unto them!
This is completely not okay. Please rally to support Stitch and his loving, adoptive family.
Please rally to keep Stitch in his happy, safe home.
Please rally to show law-makers that owning a living, breathing, feeling pet is NOT the same as owning a bicycle.
Or! Show up to the appeals court in downtown L.A. (111 Hill Street) at 1 pm on JUNE 7th. It’s important that the court sees how appalling this property law is to pet owners, and that we’re not going to stand for it!