Man Threatens to Sue Photog Whose Viral Pic Got Him His Dog Back

Dave Thomas Dog

A heartwarming story about a dog owner reuniting with his impounded dog has now turned into a cautionary tale about doing good deeds and getting sued for them.

Dave Thomas, a resident of San Bernardino, California, tugged on the heartstrings of America after a picture of him and his impounded dog circulated on Facebook. The dog, named Buzz Lightyear, was impounded while Thomas was put in jail on February 13 for prior traffic violations.

After being released from prison, Thomas, 36, paid a visit to his loyal pet. However, he was unable to pay the $400 fees needed to free his 2-year-old mixed pit breed from the shelter. The woman who captured the pair’s emotional moment, Maria Sanchez, used the picture to help raise funds for the pair so the dog could eventually be released.

Dave Thomas Picture

Dave Thomas with his dog Buzz Lightyear during the dog’s impounded status.

Sanchez helped get even more attention for Thomas and his sad situation by posting flyers all over the local area and making her cause known online. Her picture ended up nabbing the $400 needed to free Buzz Lightyear. Even better, $1600 extra were raised for Thomas and his now free pet.

Dave Thomas Pic

Ms. Sanchez and Dave Thomas sharing a moment after Buzz Lightyear was freed.

Dave Thomas and his dog were eventually reunited earlier this week. This sweet ending should have been the finale to this wonderful story. However, things didn’t end so well.

Thomas left Sanchez a threatening message, where he tells her he wants to sue her for not giving him the extra cash left over from the donations. The charges for the lawsuit are embezzlement, slander and grand larceny.

The voicemail audio can be heard below:

Sanchez posted a note in which she defended herself against Thomas’ lawsuit allegations:

Dave has called to inform them that I am keeping the money raised for his dog. I have transferred $842.07 into my bank to reimburse myself for the shelter fees, vet and PetSmart shopping spree that I put onto my personal credit card. I had a discussion regarding the remainder of the donations and how he would like to spend them. 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 explained to him that the money that was donated was a blessing for him, I wanted to be sure that we respected that and used the donations responsibly. He sat next to me and nodded his head, Not one response, question or concern. She then revealed she was going to return the money to those who donated or else give it to an animal shelter. I have been reimbursed for all expense to rescue Buzz from the high kill San Bernardino City Shelter and reunite him with his owner Dave Thomas,’ she added. There are donations leftover. 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?

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