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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Disabled Veteran Fights for His Puppy

FRANKFORT, Ky. (CN) - A disabled veteran claims in court that a nonprofit is trying to take his service dog away because of a bogus, anonymous call claiming he drove drunk with the dog.

Eric Redmon sued Puppies Behind Bars and three of its officers in Franklin County Court.

Puppies Behind Bars trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection dogs for law enforcement, according to its website.

Redmon says he has post-traumatic stress disorder from fighting in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. He says his doctor "prescribed the long-term use of a psychiatric service dog." In June 2012, Redmon says, he was "selected as one out of five applicants to be a part of an elite group of service dog recipients" from Puppy Behind Bars.

They entered into an agreement under which he is "entitled to have the companionship and service" of Eagle for 5 years. Redmon says that taking the dog away will increase his "emotional distress leading to further psychological harm."

Redmon claims that Puppy Behind Bars called him out of the blue on Oct. 11 and said they were taking Eagle back the next day, because of an "alleged violation of an agreement relating to the care and custody of Eagle."

Redmon sought a temporary restraining order the next day.

His attorney, Sheilah Galvez Kurtz, told Courthouse News in an interview that the temporary restraining order was granted but the case is unresolved. A hearing has been set for Friday.

The complaint states: "Despite repeated pleas of the petitioner for time and an opportunity to clear his name of unfounded charges from an alleged anonymous caller, the respondents notified the petitioner that respondent PBB's representatives, Gloria Gilbert Stoga, Peggy Vant and Nora Moran, who are respondents herein, will be flying from New York to Frankfort on October 12, 2012 and remove Eagle from Petitioner at 1:00 p.m."

Stoga is the founder and president of the group, according to its website.

Redmon says in his complaint, "the Court has the unique opportunity to allow a disabled veteran who has faithfully served his nation above all personal interests to continue (and prevent wrongful disruption of) petitioner's post-traumatic stress disorder treatment."

The Friday hearing will be before Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate.

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