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Two Battle Over Custody of Dog

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CORVALLIS, Ore. — A dog’s custody is the center of a legal battle. Both a Portland man and OSU student are claiming ownership of the same dog.

Sam Hanson-Fleming says his dog Chase vanished about a year ago after he jumped a fence in his Portland backyard.

Hanson-Fleming searched but never found him.

“He’s my dog. He’s my kid. That’s really what it is. He’s my kid,” said Sam Hanson-Fleming.

OSU student Jordan Biggs found and adopted the dog, not knowing his past, and even trained the dog she named Bear to be a service dog.

Sometime later, Sam spotted Chase with Biggs and asked to have him back, but Biggs refused.

Hanson-Fleming took it to animal services, which declared him the owner.

“He always came with me everywhere, rafting, snowboarding, trips out to the woods. We used to go run the railroad tracks and take photos of everything,” Hanson-Fleming said.

Some of Biggs’ neighbors say she’s also really bonded with the dog.

“They definitely seem inseparable and incredibly well-trained dog. I’ve never seen a dog in public that well-trained,” said Alex Grimsley.

“Just because it was his dog, should he be able to get it back? Or just because she’s put all this time and effort into it, does that make it her dog now? It’s really a conflict of interest,” said Patrick Wulfe.

Biggs has since filed a lawsuit for ownership.

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