September 22, 2009

Judge orders joint custody for dog

A New Jersey judge ended a three-year custody battle over a family dog by ordering the former couple to share ownership.

Superior Court Judge John Tomasello ordered Eric Ware and Doreen Houseman, who were together for 13 years before they split in 2006, to share custody of Dexter the pug on a 5-week cycle, The Gloucester County (N.J.) Times reported Tuesday.

Houseman, who said she hasn't seen Dexter in more than 2 1/2 years, is to begin her first cycle of custody Friday.

I just can't wait to have him in my hands on Friday, she said, predicting the reunion would involve a lot of hugs and kisses.

Dare, a Salem police officer, said he paid $1,500 to purchase Dexter from a breeder in 2003 and may appeal the ruling to regain sole custody of the dog.

I've had him ever since I got him, he said. I never thought it was going to come to this ... . I'll miss the dog.