Dog fight plays out in Harris Co. courthouse

August 13, 2010 4:00:41 PM PDT
A dog fight headed to civil court Friday. It's a story we first told you about last month regarding two lost German shepherds that were adopted to new families by an animal sanctuary, rather than being returned to the owner. The owner has hired an attorney and filed a temporary restraining order that would reunite her with the dogs. On Friday, both sides squared off in civil court. It was the first legal step in getting the dogs reunited with their original owner.

After three hours of testimony, the dogs are still with the families that adopted them.

Neither the attorney for the Whiskerville Animal Sanctuary nor its owner would talk on camera about the hearing before Judge Patricia Kerrigan because no ruling has been given by the court. But during his opening arguments, attorney Patrick Drake said on July 2, German shepherds Zeus and Nikko were found on the streets by a third party.

Drake said those who found the dogs claimed the dogs had no collars, were infested with fleas and appeared mistreated.

That third party handed the dogs over to Wydell Dixon and her Whiskerville Animal Sanctuary. The dogs were kept in foster homes, but on July 18, owner Daisy Garza found the dogs listed on the Whiskerville web site as ready to be adopted.

Last month, Garza told us she wanted the dogs back.

"I offered to pay the adoption fee, any housing fees, for the vaccinations and what not and she refused," said Garza. "She told us to leave her place."

Garza only applied to adopt Zeus back because she says Nikko would have had to live with another family member and Whiskerville's adoption policy did not allow adopted animals to be given away.

Whiskerville's owner decided to allow other families to have the dogs.

Garza's attorney has filed a temporary injunction asking for the dogs back, but in court, Whiskerville's attorney said they no longer have the animals.

The hearing ended before Whiskerville's owner could take the stand, so for now, the dogs will stay where they are.

"Right now, we are just in the middle of the hearing and we are not finished," said Zandra Anderson, Garza's attorney. "As far as to tell how it will turn out, I have no idea."

The court will resume the hearing on Monday. It did order Whiskerville to turn over the names of the families that have adopted Zeus and Nikko. It is possible those new owners will be called to testify in the case.


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