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'Knuckles' the dog will stay in LA - for now

May 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday rejected a demand by a New York City man to have a dog he claims was kidnapped by his ex-girlfriend returned to him.

During a hearing in San Pedro, Superior Court Judge Peter J. Mirich said Sarah Brega can temporarily maintain custody of a pug-beagle mix named Knuckles.

Brega and her ex-boyfriend, Craig Dershowitz, are in the middle of a heated custody battle. Brega contends that when she and Dershowitz broke up, he left Knuckles with her in Massachusetts for about a year. But when she moved to California, Dershowitz took legal action.

Dershowitz said Knuckles is like "a son" to him. He said he has spent as much as $60,000 in private investigators and legal fees.

A hearing in New York next month will determine which state has jurisdiction in the cross-country custody battle.

The case is drawing even more attention online, with 34-year-old Dershowitz appealing for donations to help defray legal costs.

"I'm just asking for money to continue the fight," he said.

According to the New York Post, contributors can "play fetch with Knuckles" for a $250 donation. The drive is off to a slow start. Dershowitz raised $85 in the first week.

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