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Can Pet Sitters Give a Dog Away? Judge Decides April 1st

03-22-2011 05:44 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: MDM Inc

(Sacramento, CA) March 22, 2011. On Friday, April 1st at 1:30 p.m., a Sacramento CA small claims court judge will make a decision that could affect all pet owners who plan on ever using a pet sitter.

“The judge will decide whether or not a person given an animal by a pet sitter is the legal owner of that pet,” said Dr. Donna Schwontkowski (ret.), plaintiff in the case.

The April 1st case was originally filed a few months after Schwontkowski won an arbitration/mediation against the original dog sitter when the judge determined that the dog sitter had stolen the dog.

For three years, the pet sitter claimed she did not know the whereabouts of the dog, and stated that a coyote probably ate her. The dog sitter even assisted Schwontkowski as she posted Missing Dog posters in the neighborhood, without revealing what really happened to the dog.

“After I wrote a book called Finding Miss Tilly & The Golden Thread, the pet sitter finally confessed that Miss Tilly, my Pomeranian and dog mascot of the magazine, Health & Fitness Magazine where I worked, was still alive and well. It came as quite a shock,” Dr. Donna said.

However, the pet sitter would not reveal the contact information of the dog’s whereabouts. Only after a Freedom of Information Act request was granted was Schwontkowski able to find out where the dog was and filed a second suit.

“My case is similar to situations that happen in other people’s lives. Some people seem to think that they can decide what to do with someone else’s pet and ignore the fact that a dog is considered personal property in the state of California just like a car or a house is considered property. I sincerely hope justice is served, not just for me and Miss Tilly, but so that all dog owners never have to go through the same thing,” she said.

For more information, see or call Schwontkowski at MDM, Inc at 916-649-8323. Her email is

MDM Inc is a publisher of books on the topics of dogs, health, memory, nutrition and natural healing.

MDM Inc.
P.O. Box 307
Carmichael CA 95609
Dr. Donna Schwontkowski, press contact

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