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Mastiff Breeder Sues Cops for $2.3M

(CN) - A man who breeds rare mastiffs for police departments says a police chief violated contract and ruined a bloodline by having one of his bitches spayed, costing him as much as $2 million in lost puppies. Ohio-based TNK9 sued The Village of Harwood Heights and Police Chief Martin Podesek in Cook County Court.

Thomas Hockett, one of only a few Cane Corso mastiff breeders in the country, donates the large, intelligent dogs to police departments for use in narcotics investigations. The Cane Corso, which is large even for a mastiff, has an ancient lineage; Romans used them in wars. Hockett says he funds his donations by selling puppies for $2,000 to $3,000 each.

He says that the contract he signed with Harwood Heights clearly prohibited spaying the dog. But he says he saw a surgery scar while visiting the dog and learned that Podosek had had it spayed.

When asked why he had breached the contract, the chief said that "Hockett could take him to court," according to the complaint.

So he did.

Hockett says the dog's bloodline has been destroyed, and he will have to import another bitch from Europe for more than $10,000.

The dog could have had up to five litters in her lifetime - about 50 puppies - of which about 35 would be female. By the third generation, there would be 525 salable puppies, Hockett says.

He demands $2.3 million for breach of contract. He is represented by The Moran Law Group.

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