CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) - A Virginia service dog nonprofit that's being sued by the state must pay a volunteer's dog food, vet bills and legal expenses. But, a judge ruled Wednesday, the Virginia Tech student doesn't get to keep the Labrador retriever named Lesley.
The Roanoke Times reports that student Brianna Burch was sued when she refused to return Lesley to Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, which has been accused of dishonest business practices.
Burch filed a counterclaim to keep the dog and recoup her costs. The judge ruled that SDWR retained ownership of Lesley, but "bamboozled" Burch by refusing to honor the contract provision that covered dog food costs.
Burch's attorney, Chris Tuck, says she'll keep Lesley while she appeals. SDWR's attorney, Mark Paullin, says Tuck conducted a courtroom "smear campaign."