Service Dog Caught in Tug-of-War

An emotional and unusual repossession case has surfaced in Council Bluffs. It involves the living, breathing property of a family with a diabetic child.

Chewy protects five-year-old diabetic Evan Spizzirri with her nose.

“She watches my blood sugars," Evan explained.

But after two years living with Evan and his family, Chewy has been repossessed by the service dog company. Mom Jeana said a sheriff's deputy seized the Labrador on Tuesday.

She said, “She is basically another lifeline for our son and they took that away from us. The way we see it is, yes you can sue us for the money, take us to court, that's fine. We can fight it all we can but don't take my son's dog away from him."

Chewy cost $19,000 and the Spizzirris still owe about $12,000 but stopped making payments to Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers based in Virginia.

Jeana said, “He stopped sending trainers. He stopped communication with us."

But in the repossession filing, the trainer claims he's been denied access to Chewy for a year and that puts the dog in danger. They are allegations mom denies saying it's her son who could be harmed without the dog to sniff blood sugar levels.

The family plans to post a bond next week so Chewy can be returned until the payment dispute goes to trial in July. Five-year-old Evan hopes his friend and lifeline comes home soon.

“I want my Chewy back," he said.

The attorney for Service Dogs by Warren declined to comment on a pending case. Whether the service dog should return to the family or permanently stay with the trainer goes to trial in Council Bluffs on July 22nd.


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