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Little Lola’s free ride

A couple agrees to care for a friend’s Chihuahua for the weekend.

The dog’s owner doesn’t pick her up when the weekend’s over; in fact, she doesn’t try to reclaim the Chihuahua, named Lola,  for 10 months.

What’s the couple who cared for the dog owed?

According to the Nebraska Court of Appeals — the third court to hear the case — absolutely nothing.

The saga of Lola, a four-pound, black-and-tan Chihuahua, began Aug. 22, 2007, when Heather Linville of Lincoln asked her friends Travis Derr and Natasha Combs to care for her dog for the weekend, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Linville’s new apartment complex didn’t allow dogs, and she explained she needed time to make arrangements for her pet.

When, 10 months later, Linville asked to get Lola back, Derr and Combs said they wanted to keep the dog.

Linville summoned police, and the dog was returned to her, but Derr and Combs filed a small-claims court case, asking to be paid $2,700 for boarding the animal for 320 days.

A Lancaster County judge ruled in favor of Derr and Combs, a decision later upheld by a district judge. But the appeals court overturned the $2,700 judgment in a 3-0 ruling — proving, in my view, three heads aren’t better than one. What Lola’s owner did sounds to me like abandonment, pure and simple.

The court said Derr and Combs did not ask for compensation when they agreed to keep the dog for the weekend. They should have notified Linville if they were no longer willing to keep Lola for free, the panel said. The court said the couple was entitled only to reimbursement for a $152.98 veterinarian’s bill.


Comment from Jim Bob Joe Husker
Time December 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm

What happened was after 10 months the girl asked for her dog back, after speaking with them and realizing Lola had become a well behaved trained dog in their care she agreed with them to allow them to keep the dog. The previous owner then went and re-registered Lola, then called the police and said they had her property.

I was their neighbor. I was sitting watching TV in the living room when a police officer came flying up out front. I walked out and an officer was trotting up to my place with his hand on his weapon. I raised my hands and he asked my address. He said thanks and went next door. Another officer immediately assisted. After listening to over an hour of debate with the officers, Lola was reclaimed and I watched a Police officer. Lola’s previous owner works for a law firm, so she dragged this out and played this out as much as possible. The reality is, she abandoned the dog, and reclaimed it into an apartment that didn’t allow dogs.