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Yuck: Man Threatens to Sue the Shelter Worker Who Raised Money to Save His Dog

Here's a sad twist to the story that touched the Internet last week and went viral.

 |  Feb 26th 2013  |   94 Contributions


Last week, the story about Dave Thomas, the San Bernardino man who was unable to bail his dog Buzz Lightyear out of the pound, and Maria Sanchez, the kind shelter worker who raised the money to get Buzz Lightyear out of the pound, went viral.  

It went viral because Sanchez has a wry shutter finger. She took this heartbreaking picture of Thomas visiting his impounded dog: 

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After posting it on her Facebook page with a call for donations, the photo and story went viral. Sanchez, by the way, takes photos of almost all the dogs at the San Bernardino City Shelter, to give the dogs a better chance of being adopted. 

The Facebook post worked, raising a lot of money, and Thomas was soon back with his dog.

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And then the whole thing went kablooey. 

Suddenly, Dave Thomas threatened to sue Maria Sanchez. Why? Well, all that money that was donated? It was a lot more than the $400 it took to free the dog, and also for the trip to the vet (which included neuter surgery) and the shopping spree at PetSmart. Sanchez, to her credit, wanted Thomas to use the remainder of the money wisely, paying down parking tickets and the like, so Thomas wouldn't get another warrant and Buzz Lightyear wouldn't end up in the shelter again. 

Thomas, however, just wanted the cash. Thomas suddenly got paranoid that Sanchez was going to keep the money from him. 

He left her a voicemail, which she posted to YouTube: 

Choice quote: "You are dead wrong and I will be getting in touch with the lawyer and if you do anything with my money that is slander one, embezzlement two ... what’s the other one? Oh grand larceny because it’s over $1,000."

Sanchez is having none of it. She is done with Dave and is returning the extra money to the people who donated. She explains herself in long message attached to the posting:

"I had a discussion regarding the remainder of the donations and how he would like to spend them. I said it would be a good idea to pay off any outstanding tickets so that he will not be taken to jail in the future for having a warrant for unpaid traffic tickets. I asked if he had any bills that were due at the time. I told him that every dime that was donated would go to him and Buzz, but that I would not be giving him the cash."

"I am exhausted from this entire experience. This is the last thing I needed or expected. I will not be giving Dave or his wife one single penny, what I will do is refund the money that was donated to Dave. I have had my life and the lives of my children devastated by drug addiction. I will play no part in supporting anyone's habit. I just can't."

"The donations will NOT go to Dave after the stunt he has pulled. If you still want Dave to have your donation, I will have to ask you to send it to him personally. ... No good deed goes unpunished, right?"

Obviously, people who donate money through Facebook campaigns to benefit dogs expect their money to be used to benefit dogs. But if a story goes viral, quite often the amounts raised will exceed all expectations. What to do with the remainder? It seems Sanchez had the right idea: She wanted to make sure the dog didn't get stuck back in a shelter, in case Thomas ran afoul of authorities again.

Thomas, however, saw the money as a windfall. Hopefully he treats Buzz Lightyear better than he is treating this Good Samaritan.  

Via the Daily Mail

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