Legal Battle over Missing Newfoundland Dog Soars to $45,000 Amid Health Toll.

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Expenditures exceeding $45,000, repeated court appearances, and severe health complications have characterized Greg Marentette’s grueling legal journey, all in a bid to reclaim his missing Newfoundland dog, Lemmy- an effort that, as of yet, continues to prove fruitless.

Subpoenas were issued to both Marentette and the woman caught in the dispute, Samantha Roberts, with an order to appear before the provincial court of Windsor this Tuesday. While Marentette stood present, with both friends and family by his side, Roberts was conspicuously absent.

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The absence marks yet another in a series of bitter disappointments Marentette has encountered in his quest to retrieve Lemmy, an odyssey that he claims induced a severe health crisis: “A few weeks ago, I suffered a heart attack due to escalating blood pressure, landing me in a high-risk zone for a stroke,” Marentette recounted, “My doctor has since advised me to refrain from stress and let the legal procedures unfold naturally.”

In 2016, Marentette recruited Roberts for the role of Lemmy’s caretaker. Over the subsequent years, Roberts developed a profound bond with the dog, beginning to rely on Lemmy as her service animal. Come 2019, she turned to the courts, seeking to legally gain custody of Lemmy. However, her attempts, along with multiple appeals that followed, were met with failure.

Roberts has consistently disregarded several subsequent court orders demanding her to return Lemmy, transforming what was initially a civil dispute into a full-blown criminal case. Currently, she faces charges of theft under $5,000 and disobedience of a court order, and a bench warrant has been issued for her arrest. Marentette believes that “Roberts is intentionally hiding Lemmy somewhere covert and avoiding disclosing the location.”

According to Marentette, the prolonged and frustrating episode can be attributed largely to Ontario’s inadequacy in enforcing civil orders. He argued, “Our civil justice system possesses no real mechanisms to force the execution of its rulings. Despite owning five verdicts in my favor, mandating that Roberts surrender Lemmy to me, the system failed to reinforce their decision. And now, after three and a half years of civil discord, the case has taken a criminal turn.”

In contrast, Windsor attorney and former police officer, Dan Scott, offers a different perspective, suggesting reasons as to why enforcing civil orders might not always be simple or straightforward.

Exemplifying the legal complications further is Bob DiPietro, Roberts’ defense attorney, who admitted to being unaware of his client’s location for the past six months.

Another pressing concern stems from the average life span of a Newfoundland dog like Lemmy, which is generally between eight and ten years. Marentette believes Roberts is heading towards even more serious legal consequences if Lemmy dies in her custody, given the orders she failed to heed.

In terms of legal expenses in his pursuit of Lemmy’s return, Marentette estimates having spent over $45,000. He explained, “The costs aren’t just about the court, they also comprise sheriff expenses, lost wages due to court appearances, and pretty much everything else you can imagine.”