N.Y. Man Seeks Donations for $60K Dog Custody Battle

Alexandra Ludka
N.Y. Man Seeks Donations for $60K Dog Custody Battle (ABC News)

Craig Dershowitz says his ex-girlfriend "dognapped" his puggle named Knuckles and he'll do anything to get the pooch back - including going into debt and pleading for donations online to further the effort.

According to the " Rescue Knux" website Dershowitz created as a forum for people to donate to the cause, he claims his ex-girlfriend was taking care of Knuckles while he was looking for a new place to live after their breakup. But when he returned for the pooch, the ex - whom he portrays as Cruella Deville in a video on the site - had left New York and was on her way to California, taking Knuckles with her.

But Dershowitz wouldn't let her get away that easily. He is now taking her to court to battle for custody of the beloved puggle. Dershowitz has already spent almost $60,000 in fees - and the fight isn't over yet. That's why he's enlisting kind souls and fellow pet lovers to help, asking for donations to further his cause.

Dershowitz told ABC News that he had already received two orders in the state of New York giving him custody of Knuckles. But the situation gets sticky because his ex now lives in Los Angeles. A California judge will hear arguments May 16.

"I know it might sound funny and I understand that. If it wasn't so painful, I would be laughing too (I mean, c'mon - dognapp - really?) but this is very serious to me and I miss him a lot. Enough that I have gone into debt to retrieve him and enough that I am on here asking for your help. I need the money to keep fighting the court battle," Dershowitz wrote on the site.

Dershowitz says his ex's strategy is to bring him down financially by "filing motion after frivolous motion just knowing that each time my lawyer responds it takes me one step closer to having nothing at all." But that won't stop him. "This bond is often as strong as between a child and parent. I raised Knux since he was two months old. I trained him, played with him, loved him and felt that he did pretty much the same to me. No, he is not a human being. But, he is a caring, loving being with a soul that I have grabbed and held. He does mean that much to me."

So far, Dershowitz has collected $410 of the $20,000 he's asking for.