Judge extends ban on Las Vegas puppy raffle

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Judge extends ban on Las Vegas puppy raffle

By Jacqui Heinrich. CREATED Mar 11, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A Nevada judge is extending a temporary ban on a plan to raffle 27 puppies rescued from a Las Vegas pet shop fire, at least until he hears testimony from a man who claims store ownership and property rights.

"They're our property, and under the constitution we have a right to our property," said Attorney Jacob Hafter.

But first, the judge wants proof from Hafter that his client, Donald Thompson, is indeed the rightful owner of the 27 puppies saved from the fire. Otherwise, The Animal Foundation may move forward with the planned raffle to find the dogs adoptive homes.

Thompson has been pushing for the dogs to be handed over to A Home 4 Spot, an organization that cares for abandoned dogs, rather than let The Animal Foundation raffle off the puppies they've been caring for since they were rescued.

"I don't understand why the county or The Animal Foundation is doing it, except for their own pride and their desire to make money off the raffle from the puppies," said Hafter.

"In fact, this is not any kind of money-grabbing exercise at all, it is an exercise to find 27 dogs good homes," said Christine Robinson with the foundation.

Right now, the judge said there's not enough proof Thompson has any right to the puppies, since the county alleges he didn't step forward and claim them in time. All this after Thompson's estranged ex-wife, Gloria Lee, allegedly set their store on fire with boyfriend Kirk Bills.

Both parties said they're open to negotiations.

"We've always had an open invitation to try and settle this case," said Hafter.

"I'd like to spend some time talking with the other parties, you bet," said Robinson.

But for now, the puppies will remain in limbo.

Thompson has to pay an $8,000 bond while The Animal Foundation continues to hold the puppies, as both parties await a decision from the court.

Jacqui Heinrich

Jacqui Heinrich

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Jacqui Heinrich is currently an Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter for Action News.