Owner, shelter battle over lost dog

May 15, 2013 2:31:51 PM PDT
The fight over a lost dog in Brooklyn has turned into a custody battle.

The dog's owner says she knows where her dog is thanks to a story Eyewitness News did.

But when the woman went to claim her pet, the shelter turned her down.

Everyone hoped for a happy reunion between a wayward pup and his owner, but instead the lab mix is the object of a vicious game of tug of war.

"I want my dog back," said Deeka Norville, the dog's first owner.

Deeka Norville calls him Gucci.

"As a person, I think she's very, very, kind. As a dog owner she's not that responsible," said Robert Misseri, found the dog.

But to Robert Misseri, the dog's name is Midnight. That's the time he was found roaming the streets after Superstorm Sandy.

Misseri rescued him from certain death at a city shelter. And two weeks ago, got to work finding him an adoptive home.

When the story aired on Eyewitness News, Norville's grandmother saw the dog they know as Gucci and the family got in touch.

It was a couple of days before Superstorm Sandy when Norville and her family were clearing debris out of the back of the house but left the gate open, and that's when the dog escaped.

She says she figured he'd make his way back, so she didn't worry that much. She was wrong. He never came home.

Gucci's odyssey spanned miles; from East Flatbush to Bergen Beach, where he somehow survived the storm, only to suffer a nasty bite on his foot.

With no rabies tag or microchip, he sat in a cage under quarantine for six months.

After Norville got in touch, Misseri inspected her home, only two find two unspayed pit bulls and a chain in the back yard.

She even gave him a picture as proof the dog is hers, in which the dog is wearing the chain.

"He wouldn't stay still, so I chained him to take the picture," Norville said.

"I don't believe that," Misseri said.

"If I have to take it to the next step, I'll find a way to take it to the next step," Norville said.

"It's not about me, it's not about her. It's for the safety of this dog. We will fight it vigorously," MIsseri said.

It's a bitter custody battle that may not end anytime soon.

For information on how to adopt Midnight, please visit: www.guardiansofrescue.org.