The heartwarming tale of a man being reunited with his dog thanks to the kindness of strangers has apparently turned sour.
Dave Thomas, who was pictured tearfully comforting his pit bull through the bars of an animal shelter, is now apparently threatening to sue the woman who engineered the reunion.
Thomas had lost ownership of the dog, named Buzz Lightyear, after being briefly jailed for failure to appear in court for traffic offences.
Dave Thomas weeps as he tries to comfort pit bull Buzz Lightyear
Photographer Maria Sanchez captured the moment prompting an outpouring of generosity which saw the $400 ($260) needed for shelter fees, and more, raised.
The social media campaign to track down Thomas and Sanchez’s own efforts which saw her driving around San Bernardino City trying to find him eventually saw owner and pet reunited and the shelter fees paid off in full.
However, on Thursday Sanchez posted a link to an audio clip, which she claims is Thomas threatening to sue her for not handing over the remaining cash.
The Facebook post, which states Sanchez has transferred $842.07 into her own account to cover the fees she covered herself for Buzz’s shelter fees, neutering and PetSmart shopping spree, can be read in full here.
It states she was notified of Thomas’s threat to sue her via news station KTLA Channel 5.
"I had a discussion regarding the remainder of the donations and how he would like to spend them. I said it would be a good idea to pay off any outstanding tickets so that he will not be taken to jail in the future for having a warrant for unpaid traffic tickets. I asked if he had any bills that were due at the time. I told him that every dime that was donated would go to him and Buzz, but that I would not be giving him the cash. I explained to him that the money that was donated was a blessing for him, I wanted to be sure that we respected that and used the donations responsibly. He sat next to me and nodded his head, Not one response, question or concern."
The voicemail Sanchez links to features a man’s voice saying: “You are dead wrong and I will be getting in touch with the lawyer and if you do anything with my money that is slander one, embezzlement two…what’s the other one? Oh grand larceny because it’s over $1,000.
“I am clean that’s why the cops let me go.”
Sanchez adds she will not be giving Thomas or his wife “One single penny.
“What I will do is refund the money that was donated to Dave.”
She adds: “So to sum this up, I have been reimbursed for all expense to rescue Buzz from the high kill San Bernardino City Shelter and reunite him with his owner Dave Thomas. There are donations leftover. The donations will NOT go to Dave after the stunt he has pulled. If you still want Dave to have your donation, I will have to ask you to send it to him personally. I do not have an email for him, maybe he will post it.
“No good deed goes unpunished, right?”
ANIMALS IN THE NEWS: