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Tag: precious

TV show judge rules for freak show impresario

jeanine_pirro_2006_1Boo, hiss and three thumbs down to TV Judge Jeanine Pirro.

The one-time real judge, loser in her race for New York attorney general and a regular on the TV talking head circuit has ruled that freak show owner John Strong was wronged when a North Carolina man pulled out of an agreement to sell Strong a five-legged dog.

A contract is a contract, the heartless TV judge ruled.

Fortunately, being a TV judge, her ruling has no real impact — other than provide some network bucks to Strong, whose Coney Island freak show features 27 odd animals, including a two-headed turtle named Pete and Repeat, a six-legged cow and an eight-legged pig.

Calvin Owensby of Gastonia, N.C. had agreed to sell the five-legged puppy formerly known as Precious to Strong on June 29. Strong sent Owensby $1,000, with a promise of $2,000 more when Precious got to New York.

Owensby, an unemployed electrician, researched Strong, and learned he makes his living displaying freaks.  When he received a call from Allyson Siegel of Charlotte, N.C., offering $4,000 in an attempt to save the pup from growing up on public display, he accepted her offer, and returned Strong’s $1,000.

Siegel renamed the dog  Lilly and quickly had the extra leg removed.

Strong sued for breach of contract.

“We’ve got a contract, and the defendant broke it, pure and simple,” Pirro ruled. Strong will receive $4,000 in damages, paid off by the TV show, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Strong said after the taping that he’s thrilled with the decision, and that after the show airs Sept. 8 he plans to sue Siegel to reclaim the dog — even though she only has four legs now. Siegel did not take part in the TV show.

In 1993, Pirro was the first woman elected  district attorney in Westchester County, N.Y., a position she held through 2005. In 1997, the well-coiffed DA was voted one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People.” A Republican, she lost the state attorney general election to Andrew Cuomo in November.

Lilly is a five-legged dog no more

Coney Island sideshow owner John Strong has threatened to file a lawsuit to get the five-legged dog he was promised, but even if he does have a legal leg to stand on it could be a moot point – Lilly’s extra leg was removed today.

The dog’s new owner, Allyson Siegel — who purchased Lilly for $4,000 from Calvin Owensby, outbidding Strong to save the dog from life as a sideshow freak – says the 6-week-old terrier-Chihuahua mix had the surgery at a veterinarian’s office, according to PEOPLE magazine.

“Last night I called the surgeon and said, ‘Will you take a look at her to see if she’s healthy enough, see if you think that she could possibly have the surgery now?’ And he did, and she did,” Siegel said. The operation was successful and the dog is recovering.

Siegel, whose story was originally reported in the New York Daily News, says she will pay for the surgery bill — which could total up to $2,000 — with donations that she’s received from several people who have heard of the dog’s plight.

“In my mind it’s kind of over. Just let it be over,” she says, referring to Strong’s legal threats. “I’m very happy that Lilly is fine and that she’s going to be a normal dog. And get to have a normal life and not be in a cage. I don’t personally have anything against him, Mr. Strong, I don’t know him. This was really always about Lilly.”

Strong told the Charlotte Observer Wednesday that  he was the rightful owner of Lilly because the pup’s original owner, Owensby, of Gastonia, N.C., broke an implied contract to sell him the dog. Strong paid Owensby a $1,000 deposit.  But Owensby decided to sell the pup to a Charlotte woman after media reports of the freak-show deal sparked an outcry from animal advocates.

Upon hearing of his planned legal steps, Siegel expedited the dog’s surgery.

Prior to the surgery, the puppy couldn’t sit, walk or lay properly because of the extra leg (which had six toes and protruded from her stomach). “She’d struggle to run up a hill or walk up a hill because she had to tug that thing behind her,” says Siegel.