A dog who was the subject of a faked death and a two-year long court battle and is back with his adopted family in Missouri.
Jamie Patterson and her seven children adopted, Mack, the cantankerous boxer-mastiff mix in 2015 from Rough Road Rescue in Perryville, MO.
They soon found out that Mack was and excellent the escape artist.
He escaped one to many times. The last time he wandered off, both Patterson and Rough Road offered a reward to anyone who found the dog. When a Perry County man tried to contact both parties, Svehla was the first one to answer.
Rough Road paid the $500 reward, claimed the dog and declined to return him to Patterson, claiming she had violated the adoption contract and wasn’t caring for the dog properly. Accusing Patterson of neglect, the director decided to keep him Mack.
After a two-year court battle, the courts sided with Patterson.
A Missouri appellate court ruled in Patterson’s favor, upholding the decision of Perry County Associate Circuit Court judge Craig D. Brewer that the adoption contract between Patterson and Rough Road had been fulfilled and that the rescue had no claim on the dog.
But instead of handing over Max, Svehla gave Patterson a box of ashes, saying the dog died. He spun a story detailing Mack’s death from a bacterial infection, the result of a tick infestation he suffered from when he was first found by Rough Road.
Svehla maintained the falsehood through several interviews with the media and, reportedly, a phone conversation with the sheriff’s department.
He eventually fessed up to the lie, and gave up the dog.
“I lied to everybody,” Svehla said in a phone interview Tuesday. “That was to protect this animal. Had to do what I had to do to protect this dog. I played my cards and that’s the way it is.
“I was trying to hide this dog to keep them from getting it back. That’s the truth. Everything I did was for this dog. [Patterson] should never have any animal.”
Svehla is charged with theft for failing to turn over Mack immediately after the case ended.
Crazy man should not be allowed around animals. Yes, this crazy man says that family up there should not have animals….
As for Rough Road Rescue, Svehla said he plans to surrender his rescue license once he can adopt out all the dogs currently in his care, a move that will leave the county with no animal control aside from Perryville’s animal control officer, who doesn’t operate outside the city limits.
“As soon as I get these dogs adopted out, I’m done,” Svehla said.