The York County court battle over Reagan the dog is showing no signs of abating.
The man who has the dog now says the owner abandoned the dog while the original owner wants the dog returned within days.
Reagan, a 6-year-old Goldendoodle described as “the color of cream” in court documents and a former mascot of Pi Kappa Alpha at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, is in the middle of a legal dogfight between former roommates, court documents show.
Now they are foes with lawyers trading words in court filings such as “atrocious” and “exceed all bounds of decency.”
Matthew Snyder, a recent Winthrop graduate who filed the first salvo in court last month, says he left Reagan with Joey Mercurio for months while traveling for work with the expectation to get Reagan back afterward. Now, Snyder wants the dog back, and Mercurio says no. So Snyder sued.
Snyder’s lawyer, Mike Daniel of Elloree, said he will file court documents this week asking for an immediate hearing in front of a judge next week to have the dog seized and returned to Snyder pending the outcome of a jury trial. That trial may not happen for months.
Mercurio’s lawyer, Trevor Threet of Fort Mill, has filed a counterclaim lawsuit, saying Snyder “abandoned” Reagan. Mercurio spent money on the dog and wants compensation, according to court documents.
“Mercurio alleges Plaintiff has lawfully, actually or constructively, abandoned the personal property,” the countersuit states.
Daniel balked, saying Snyder raised Reagan from a puppy, has owned him for six years, and is without a doubt the rightful and legal owner. Any claim Mercurio has is “ludicrous,” Daniel said.
“We don’t just believe Mr. Snyder is the owner of the dog, we know it,” Daniel said. “There is no question about it. I have never seen anything this clear-cut in my life.”
Daniel scoffed at the notion Snyder “abandoned” the dog, saying Snyder repeatedly drove hundreds of miles from his home in Illinois during the months of work travel to see the dog.
“I’ve never heard of anybody abandoning property then driving 900 miles each way several times to see the property,” Daniel said.