Dave Thomas has allegedly threatened to sue the stranger who collected donations so he could get his dog out of a shelter. Thomas reportedly believed that Maria Sanchez withheld donations meant for him and his pet.
A man reunited with his dog thanks to the kindness of a stranger is now allegedly threatening to sue her, Los Angeles' KTLA and other media reported.
The woman known as Maria Sanchez on Facebook said she collected donations to get Dave Thomas' dog out of a shelter.
According to KABC, Thomas was arrested Friday for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations. The police had animal control take his 2-year-old pit bull mix, Buzz, to the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
KABC reported that Thomas needed to pay more than $400 to get his dog back, but had only $6.
Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, posted a picture of Thomas and his dog at the shelter on her Facebook account. The image, which shows Thomas sitting on the concrete floor while Buzz reaches a paw out from under a cage, quickly went viral and donations poured in.
But now Thomas supposedly aims to sue Sanchez, according to the LA news station, she said in an interview with MSN News.
Sanchez confirmed that the Facebook account is hers and that she helped raise donations to get the dog out of the shelter. She said she got a call from KTLA Channel 5 telling her Thomas wanted to sue her.
"KTLA received a call from Thomas claiming that Sanchez was withholding the money raised for Buzz. KTLA then contacted Sanchez about the matter," the report reads.
At the same time, the news channel's initial broadcast of the story Tuesday reported Sanchez as saying the money would go toward helping care for the pet and the owner.
On Facebook, Sanchez said she transferred $842.07 into her bank account to reimburse herself for shelter fees, vet fees and supplies from PetSmart that'd she'd put on her personal credit card. According to KTLA, the donations far exceeded the $400 shelter fee.
She said she hasn't spoken to Thomas since the incident. "His wife wouldn't let me talk to him," she said. She said he tried calling her back, but she hung up and does not plan to speak with him in the future.
"He got what we raised the money for and the rest is going to be donated to the other animals in the shelter or refunded" to donors, she said. "He's not going to get another dime."
Sanchez doubts Thomas will follow through with the threatened lawsuit. "He couldn't even get his dog out of the shelter," she said. "How is he going to sue me?"
Sanchez confirmed that a YouTube video of a voicemail purported to be Thomas threatening to sue her was posted by her. Earlier in the week, the same YouTube account also posted a video of Thomas and Buzz being reunited.
She called the entire situation "really unfortunate. You couldn't even imagine this was going to happen."
She said when she drove Thomas and his dog back to their home she told him that the remaining donations would be used for other dogs in the shelter.
"He just sat there nodding like this sounds like a good plan," Sanchez said.
She said in the days since the incident she's gotten a flood of emails supporting her and asking about other dogs she's posted about on her Facebook page.
"I just want everyone to switch their focus away from him," Sanchez said. "I just want to go back to doing what I was doing when I saw him there, which was taking pictures to share on Facebook of the dogs that are homeless."
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