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Dog custody battle costs man $60,000

May 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM

NEW YORK, May 14 (UPI) -- A New York man said he is trying to raise funds online after spending more than $60,000 on a legal battle to get his dog back from his ex-girlfriend.

Craig Dershowitz, 34, said in court papers his ex-girlfriend, Sarah Brega, "took unilateral control of Knuckles and kidnapped him" to California after they broke up, the New York Post reported Monday.

Dershowitz said he initially won a default judgment for the return of the puggle, a mix between a pug and a beagle, but Brega has now retained legal council and is fighting him in court, causing him to incur more than $60,000 in legal bills.

"Unfortunately, I don't have the money to keep it going. Not too many attorneys are working pro bono," he said.

Dershowitz said he started a Web site, indiegogo.com/rescueknux, to raise funds for the legal efforts to get his "son" back and artist friends have offered "perks" for contributors including a "Free Knux" T-shirt for $25, a YouTube video and song for $50, a professional portrait of the dog for $200 and $250 for a game of fetch with the dog when he "hopefully" returns to New York.

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