LOS ANGELES (CBS) — “Knuckles was kidnapped by my ex-girlfriend and the legal fees to retrieve him are going to bankrupt me.”

That’s the dramatic opening statement from a New York blogger who claims his puppy Knuckles was stolen by a former girlfriend when she moved to Los Angeles.

In a Manhattan state Supreme Court filing, Craig Dershowitz claimed ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega wrongfully took Knuckles after the couple ended their relationship — a claim which Brega has denied.

Dershowitz, 34, claims the bi-coastal custody battle has cost him as much as $60,000, and now he’s asking the public to help fund his legal efforts.

“I had to hire two private investigators to find [his ex-girlfriend],” said Dershowitz in a video posted online. “I know it sounds cool to be working with PIs, but it is not, and it’s incredibly costly.”

Dershowitz has even begun selling t-shirts, puppy kisses, and even a professional portrait inspired by Knuckles — which he describes as a half-pug, half-beagle mixed-breed — in order to reach his $20,000 fundraising goal.

As of Tuesday, 77 donors had pledged nearly $2,980 with just under a month before Dershowitz’s self-imposed June 16 deadline.

According to Dershowitz, a judge has already ruled that Knuckles should be in his custody.

But despite an uphill battle that has cost him his life savings, a visibly emotional Dershowitz vowed to see the campaign through to the end.

“All I want is to bring Knuckles back home to me,” said Dershowitz. “He really is my son.”


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