Neighbor Feud Over Dog Ends With Safe Return Of Animal

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

A neighborly disagreement over a dog has ended in the safe return of the animal in question. KAKE News first brought you the story of Buck the Pit Bull on Tuesday, when Aleta Boller contacted us.

"This is the best thing ever!" exclaimed Boller as she watched her two dogs play in her back yard Thursday.

Boller and her family found the pit bull wandering the neighborhood back in May and took it in as a stray. All the while posting signs across the entire neighborhood and going door-to-door in search of the dog's rightful owner. After two weeks of searching, they decided to integrate the dog into their own family and introduce him to their other dog.

The Boller's vaccinated and neutered Buck and took him to obedience training, among other things. The family estimates they've spent close to $1,000 caring for the animal since it "adopted them."

On Monday, however, a man five doors down from the Boller's took the dog, saying it was his and that he had been looking for it all along. But after four months of being with the Boller's they felt they were now the owners.

The police were called to settle the disagreement, but the Boller's were devastated to learn that the police would decide to return Buck to the man who claimed the animal was his despite providing very little proof of ownership.

Late Wednesday, Aleta Boller says a friend of the family got the two parties together to discuss the issue with a police officer looking on as a neutral third party. It was decided that Buck would be returned to the Boller's after the family filed a lawsuit in small claims court on Wednesday.

"Had we microchipped and registered him when we got him fixed, it wouldn't have been an issue," Boller admitted. "He would have been in our care this whole time. I want to stress everybody needs to have their animals microchipped and registered."

Boller reports that Buck is having a good time with his adopted sister Hulda and she thanks the community for the kind support and well wishes.

Meanwhile, the man who originally owned Buck tells KAKE News he is not happy about the situation.

"As a collection of thoughts from my family and roommate, they told me to let it go," said Dorian Liggins. "I disagree, but I'm doing what the majority of my family wants me to do."

Liggins says the Boller's should have notified the humane society that they had a missing dog. He had been calling the humane society for days after Buck went missing, but was told there wasn't anything matching his description.

Liggins also disputes the allegation that the pit bull puppy was malnourished and being abused.

"When I got him, he was underweight and I had talked with my vet about how we can get his weight back up and he told me how to do it and that's what I was doing," Liggins said. "I'm out here raising two daughters on my own as a single male and I'm made out to look like the bad guy. I don't think that's fair."

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