Judge rules in case of fight over dogs

HOUSTON We first told you about the judge's ruling here on abc13.com.

Now a dog owner who took an animal rescue shelter to court is waiting to be reunited with her two German Shepherds.

Last month, dog owner Daisy Garza told us how she'd been fighting to get her two dogs back. Zeus and Nikko had been under the care of the Whiskerville Animal Sanctuary after escaping from Garza's backyard on July 2.

"I offered to pay the adoption fee, any housing fees for the vaccinations and what not and she refused," Garza said.

She would later learn that Zeus and Nikko had already been adopted by another family. Garza was so outraged, she took Wydell Dixon, the sanctuary's owner, to court.

During the hearing, it was revealed that both dogs are with the same owner in the Dallas area.

On Monday, we asked Whiskerville owner Wydell Dixon and her attorney what would happen if the judge did in fact rule the dogs must be reunited with Garza.

"We don't have the dogs. It's like asking me to give your car to someone," said Dixon's attorney, Patrick Drake. "She can order it, but what can we do?"

"We don't have the dogs, so I guess it will be up to the adopters," Dixon said.

Today, a judge ordered that Zeus and Nikko be returned to Garza.

According to court documents, the judge ruled that "Whiskerville has no legal authority to act as animal control and has no legal authority to impound a dog."

During the hearing, Whiskerville's attorney painted Garza as an unfit owner, claiming the dogs were found in poor condition by a third party and appeared to be mistreated.

Whiskerville has until Thursday to provide the court as to the ownership and whereabouts of both dogs.

KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy said, "The dog facility does a public service if their intentions are honorable and they do not roam the streets kidnapping dogs. This dog had no license, so the owner should not complain about the fees."

The judge ruled the two dogs must be in court on August 26 at 9am to be returned to Garza.

According to the ruling, a failure to comply could result in a $500 fine for each contempt charge and six months in jail per contempt charge.

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