Custody battle over dog may now be heading to court

Custody battle over dog may now be heading to court

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland man lost his dog and then more than a year later he found it with a new owner, but the new owner refuses to give it back. Now the dispute could end up in the courtroom.

Sam Hanson-Fleming says he loves his dog Chase and wants him back, but the new owner, Jordan Biggs, a student from Portland and who is studying in Corvallis, says the dog is now hers. She has named the dog Bear and she's filed a lawsuit to keep him.

Hanson-Fleming says Chase jumped the fence in the spring of last year. He tried to find him by putting up fliers and calling shelters over and over again. But he finally concluded his dog was gone for good.

But when he was in a Dutch Brothers drive-thru in May of this year, he happened to glance at the car behind him.

"I look in my rearview mirror, and there's Chase," he said Thursday. "Right between her seats, staring me right in the face – and I’m like 'No, no – you know, in just disbelief."

Biggs' attorney did not return a phone call Thursday. But Biggs' mother spoke about her daughter's love for the dog in a video on Facebook.

"According to her, God intervened when he sent her Bear," she says. "Bear was a stray dog that wandered into Jordan's life and changed it in many ways. Now she's trained Bear as a service dog who helps her in case she has an asthma attack."

Who is the rightful owner? The decision went to the Multnomah County Animal Services director, Mike Oswald. He asked for evidence from both sides. The ruling?

"Based upon all that I had, it appeared that the dog, Chase, is really owned by Mr. Hanson-Fleming," he said.

But Hanson-Fleming says Biggs still won't give him back the dog even after the ruling and says Biggs has filed suit in court, demanding that she keep the dog.