- Associated Press - Saturday, October 10, 2015

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A central Iowa man who was recently allowed by a judge to keep the dog he adopted from a Clear Lake animal rescue group is now suing the group.

Justin Deppe, of Jewell, filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing Patriots for Pets animal rescue of violating a pet adoption contract by unlawfully taking away his dog, Jade, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1JZr7hO ).

Deppe is seeking attorney fees and an unspecified amount in punitive damages for pain and suffering. He’s also asking the court to consider the adoption contract complete, ending his relationship with the pet rescue.

Debbie Kern, the group’s rescue coordinator, said she will consult the group’s attorney about the lawsuit.

“I really don’t know what we’re going to do until (our) attorney makes the decision on what’s in the best interest of not only Jade, but for Patriots for Pets,” Kern told the Globe Gazette.

Deppe adopted the dog in April, but it was reclaimed in September from his ex-wife by shelter coordinator Deb Kern, who drove the dog back to Clear Lake. Kern accused Deppe of violating his adoption contract by failing to maintain ownership of the dog.

Kern was ordered to return the dog but refused and was briefly jailed for contempt of court.

Kern had said that Jade acts as if she’s been mistreated, but authorities say the dog shows no physical signs of abuse. Deppe vehemently denied mistreating the dog and argued that she was removed from his care without his consent.

On Wednesday, a judge awarded the dog to Deppe and said Kern was likely duped by a text message she received saying the dog was being abused.


Information from: Globe Gazette, https://www.globegazette.com/

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