AP NEWS

Rescue dog at center of three-state legal battle

February 19, 2019

BRIDGEPORT - Lambsy, a small, brown-haired rescued dog, has become the center of a three-state tug-of-war.

Saved from certain death in Cyprus by a New York-based rescue group, Lambsy was the subject of a search by police in Darien and Cheshire before being located in New Hampshire where former Darien resident Cheryl Baity, who initially fostered the dog, is refusing to give her up.

Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Recue Inc., of Bayside, N.Y., is now suing Baity to force her to return Lambsy.

“I regret that emotions are overruling common sense and I hope on reflection the defendant would concur that her heart and her money should be spent in some other cause,” said Kenneth Bernhard, who is representing the rescue organization.

Baity and her lawyer, Philip Russell, declined comment. They have asked a judge to throw out the rescue organization’s lawsuit because the dog is now in New Hampshire.

“The defendant took Lambsy to New Hampshire because of threats to her own safety such as unknown individuals trespassing on her property in Darien to look for Lambsy,” Russell claims in court documents.

In October, Baity, who was then living in Darien, submitted an online application to Abandoned Angels to adopt Lambsy, according to court documents. In her application, Baity stated that she had previously owned three dogs, each which she said had died of old age.

Based on her application, a telephone interview, a veterinary reference and a video of her home, Baity was approved to foster the dog pending further approval for adoption.

Baity was instructed to keep Lambsy away from public places for two weeks while the dog settled to a new place and not to take the dog to a groomer during that time.

However, the lawsuit claims, less than 48 hours later the rescue organization learned that Baity had disregarded their instructions by not only having a groomer shave down the dog but taking her to various stores.

Then, less than a week after taking Lambsy, Baity notified the organization that she had lost the dog two days earlier while taking her for a walk, the suit states.

The suit continues that the organization tried to investigate Baity’s story on the loss of the dog but Baity became hostile and erratic and blocked calls from the organization’s volunteers.

The organization later learned from Baity’s father that Baity had lied about the deaths of her previous dogs, the suit states. Baity ran over one dog and another dog died from renal failure because Baity refused to treat the dog with antibiotics for an infection.

The rescue organization then contacted Darien police in an effort to get Lambsy back. Cheshire police were later contacted when the organization learned Baity had taken the dog to an animal hospital in Cheshire for a massive tick infestation, the suit states.

But before volunteers could get to Cheshire, Baity and the dog were off again.

This time, the organization learned that Baity had taken the dog to New London, N.H.

“Abandoned Angels contacted New Hampshire police to request assistance but other than confirming Lambsy was alive, they were unable to help secure Lambsy’s return,” the suit states.