Update on the Stitch Case

Written by Hollye Dexter

Many of you have been asking for an update on Stitch, while we have been lying low over here. First let me assure you, Stitch is still happily with us, and is healthy and thriving. He and Evan are growing up strong together.

When this legal battle for Stitch began, I had hoped ours would be the precedent-setting case – the tipping point for overturning the Lost Property Statute in relation to family pets. But it wasn’t. As most of you know, in June of 2011, the judge awarded custody of Stitch to the plaintiff because of Lost Property Statute. (He also slapped the plaintiff with monetary damages, which we never asked for, and never collected). We immediately filed for an appeal. Our appeal was thrown out last July, 2012 (due to budget cuts in California courts). But we never gave Stitch up, and we continue to file motions. At this point, we will file motion after motion until the case burns itself out.

The interesting thing is that, although the plaintiff won custody of Stitch, he never attempted to claim him. He never contacted us, neither after the first or the second trial.

Stitchy on the news!
So Stitch is still with us and the case goes on and on in perpetuity. Limbo was not exactly the happily-ever-after ending I wanted. I wanted to change the law – for Stitch, for you, for all our pets. We didn’t change the law. But, at least we started a national conversation. We were on the news, front page of L.A. Times and many national newspapers, we were even on NPR. We got America buzzing about the issue of pet’s rights, verses “owner’s” rights. We made the point that our pets are loving sentient beings guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs for the sick, companions for our veterans.  I hope America’s eyes have been opened to the fact that pets are not property.

I guess at the end of the day, we do have our own version of a happy ending. The case drags on but we have Stitch and he is happy, healthy and loved. We thank all of you for your ongoing support and kindness through this long three-year battle. We never would have made it this far without you.

For backstory on the Stitch case, read: “Stitchy, the L.A. Times and the Painful Lesson Learned.” 

You May Also Like…

Stitchy, the LA Times and the painful lesson learned.

So the L.A. Times has run an article on our Stitch story, and I have learned a huge lesson. When you open yourself to...

Read More

How To Be Happy (For No Good Reason)

On Thursday, as many of you know, we lost a second round of court battles for custody of our dog Stitch. After three...

Read More

If We Win…

Here we are, at what we believe will be our final ruling in appeals court (but who knows with this case) in our fight...

Read More


  1. Anonymous


    Sometimes the best you can hope for is not ideal. I hope with all my heart that Stitch remains with you for the rest of his life. You are his family, something his previous owner, who just wants to treat him like property, knows nothing about. Keep up the good fight!! We are with you!

    All my best,

  2. GuacamoleGirl

    So much appreciation for your continued efforts Hollye, loving our sweet furry children who are such heros each and everyday… Please give Stitchy a huge hug from me… Xoxo

  3. The Frenchsters

    Keep up the good fight! Stich is, whether he knows it or not (and I think he probably does), is lucky to have you. Your son is, too! Your whole family is an inspiration to many.

  4. fullsoulahead.com

    I admire you so much for fighting for your dog's rights. We have a service dog for one child and our other dog unofficially serves in that capacity for our other child. They are family, not property.

    Stitch is adorable!

  5. Anonymous

    What ever happened to that awful little girl from "The Ring" who abandoned Stitch in the first place? Has she tried to get him back, or was it just her boyfriend?

  6. Hollye Dexter

    I'll give him a million hugs for you. : )

  7. Hollye Dexter

    Thank you Frenchster family!
    And we feel very lucky to have Stitch. He inspires us!

  8. Hollye Dexter

    Thank you Michelle!
    He is adorable- and what would we do without our furry companions? I can't count all the times my dogs or cats have cuddled with me when I was crying or sad. They are angels.

  9. Hollye Dexter

    She has never tried to get him back. Her boyfriend, even though he "won" custody, never tried to get him back either. I feel sorry for those kids. I think they are just very lost and on a bad path. I wish them the best.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *