April 2, 2013, - 12:01 pm

PETA Won: The Dumbest Custody Fight Ever

By Debbie Schlussel

The animal rights nuts have won. As I’ve been saying on this site for years, they won long ago.

They won because Americans spend billions on organic animal treats, pet resorts, Bark Mitzvah gear, and pet aromatherapy, spa treatments, and massage. They won because far too many Americans refer to pets as their “kids” and treat them far better than they would their kids. They won because being a vegan is no longer a freakish condition, but a mainstream attribute, complete with vegan restaurants and the like. So while you and I think that PETA a/k/a PUTAh (People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals and humans) is a crazy terrorist organization that euthanizes dogs and supports organizations that blow up university buildings and ruing college medical research experiments, they’ve won. Maybe not as fast or as noticeably as the gay marriage advocates. But they’ve won and they’re continuing to change American attitudes to the point that you and I might be what’s for dinner and eating steak will be a criminal offense.


Custody Fight Over Dennis Hopper

And the latest example that they’ve won is the Michael Fossett/Lindsay Conte custody fight.

They only had a dog together for about 18 months, but their legal fight over who should get to keep Dennis Hopper after they split has lasted at least twice that long. Michael Fossett and Lindsay Conte first squared off over custody of the miniature brown and white dachshund in Justice of the Peace Court in 2011, then took it to the Court of Common Pleas in 2012 and most recently to Delaware Superior Court.

Last week, in an opinion that has gone viral in the legal community, Judge Jan R. Jurden ruled that Conte has the best claim. “For many ‘happiness is a warm puppy’” she wrote, but under Delaware law, a dog has “the same legal status as a piece of furniture.” Jurden concluded the dog was a gift from Fossett to Conte and following their break-up he cannot reclaim it. . . .

I’m glad the courts still see it that way, but, unfortunately, things are trending toward giving animals–particularly dogs and cats who are domesticated pets–some sort of legal status beyond that. And that’s where the collective American psyche is headed.

The trouble started a little over a year later in June 2010, when the couple split and feuded over custody of the dog. Conte claimed it was a gift to her and she had provided most of its care while Fossett noted that he had paid for the dog and most of its expenses and Dennis Hopper had spent nearly all its life in his apartment.

The argument ended when Conte left with the dog and Fossett walked away saying, “whatever.” The two later “agreed to a fluid shared custody” arrangement, according to court papers, where the dog spent some time with Fossett and some time with Conte. But that unwritten deal soon fell apart. Conte claimed in court that Fossett had made things “awkward” by having women at his apartment when she dropped off Dennis for visits and further charged Fossett left the dog alone in the apartment “to go out drinking with his friends.”

Fossett claimed Conte only became furious after meeting his new girlfriend in September 2010 and stormed out with the dog screaming, “You’re never going to see Dennis again!” In May 2011, Fossett went to Justice of the Peace Court to get the dog back, but lost. On appeal to the Court of Common Pleas, the judge ruled in his favor in February 2012 following a bench trial.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph F. Flickinger III ruled the dog was not a gift to Conte but a gift “from Fossett to himself and Conte as a couple.” The judge also ruled that Fossett’s statement of “whatever” did not amount to terminating their joint agreement. Jurden, in her ruling, disagreed writing that “Despite angelic tendencies, the law views a dog as property,” and that the dog was a gift that could not be reclaimed.

The sanity of these idiots who spend gazillions going to court over a dog cannot be reclaimed, either. Sadly, there are plenty of other Americans like these two, and they, too, go to court over and over again over the custody of pets. Can you imagine if these people had a kid together? I doubt they’d fight as hard for custody. Not even close.

While a dog may be a man’s best friend, this isn’t man’s best moment.

Like I said, the PETA/PUTAh crowd has won.

Methinks the real Dennis Hopper is turning over in his grave.


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25 Responses

LOL Debbie, seems that our continual Progressive thinking of “meat is murder” is finally taken over. I as an owner of a dog and several dogs in the past, I would not go to these extremes to spend on a dog. Seems priorities nowadays are now skewed as to what matters. I would do anything to take care of my dog but if my wife and children will always come first before any animal. Seems the New Age thinking of pets as companions have blinded people. I must admit those commercials by the SPCA showing abused animals get people hearts, like mine, but I know thats propaganda to advance that animals are our furry citizens that have their rights. I am not for abusing animals or killing animals indiscriminately and call it hunting. Yet I know that an animal is an animal that can provide us food and/or companionship but thats about it. Though i admit there are animals that walk on two legs that are beyond despicable and I would prefer the companionship of our four legged friends over these cretins anytime.

Mario on April 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Spot on, Mario. I hate to watch those SPCA commercials but I am privy to the propaganda. If they were not so heartbreaking to an animal lover like me I’d laugh because I know how rotten the SPCA is. I wouldn’t give those charlatans 1 cent.

    I love animals but it’s the people I truly hate. We are in such a mess in 2013 because of retardo people like this moronic couple. Dumbed-down, undignified and just sullying up the planet from top to bottom. It’s getting so gross!

    Skunky on April 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      THE SPCA has killed healthy pill bulls for nothing other than their perceived appearance.

      BSL = Breed Specific Legislation bans dogs because their breed appears dangerous. It doesn’t take into account the temperament of the individual dog or its behavior and it punishes responsible dog owners while it doesn’t hold accountable those who abuse and neglect their pets.

      Every breed of dog can bite and kill and here so-called humanitarians want to kill innocent dogs for something they have no control over. We talk a lot about man’s best friend but we are not willing to be his best friend when it doesn’t suit our interests.

      NormanF on April 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm


ebayer on April 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hey you think that’s bad? Wait until the gays start getting divorced (and let’s face it….THAT’S why the ABA supports gay marriage: more divorces). There will be armageddon when the two guys are fightig over Little Mittens and Mr Wigglesworth!

Sean M on April 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

“The law goes to the dogs.”

No truer words have ever been spoken.

NormanF on April 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

LOL, another reason why shacking up and not knowing *REALLY* who you are shacking up with is a bad idea. Too bad this fight couldn’t go on forever like “Alien vs Predator”.

It’s funny that the “man” in this relationship would NEVER fight as hard for a female…it’s easy to see he doesn’t have a lot of respect for females (but he chooses lousy, too…) but that just means he has chaotic relationships with CrAzY women he doesn’t commit to. LOL. Couldn’t happen to a better a**hole.

I hate both of these bogans. Acting like they are grown up but they are anything but. Sure, blame the dopey guy but the dumb broad PICKED HIM. They were a match for a reason. Latrine slime meeting up with scummy mildew.

People ruin EVERYTHING.

Skunky on April 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

That is a pretty cute little dog, though.

DS_ROCKS! on April 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm

If your going to name a dog Dennis Hopper (or better yet, Dennis Hophead), at least make it a pit bull or a rotweiller.This dog looks more like a Herbie, a Willie or a Sam…

Not Ovenready on April 3, 2013 at 12:28 am

    .This dog looks more like a Herbie, a Willie or a Sam…

    Not Ovenready on April 3, 2013 at 12:28 am

    How about an ‘Enery?

    I don’t think this is REALLY about a dog or about a PETA backed movement to turn animals into little furry people. This is about a couple splitting up and being petty and trying to make trouble for each other.

    Miranda Rose Smith on April 3, 2013 at 6:08 am

I cannot believe any judge would allow a stupid battle like this to happen in his/her courtroom. It’s a DOG, people. I know divorced parents who battle over the kids and the judge FORCES mediation and tells them to settle it there. Throw this thing out of court.

Actually, most divorce lawyers will tell you that this battle has nothing to do with the DOG. When a couple who are splitting up fight on and on – over the kids, over a painting, over a beloved souvenir baseball, blah, blah, blah – it’s not about the object. It’s about the couple wanting to keep each other in their lives. This woman is angry and hurt because the man has moved on, and keeping him in court keeps him in her life and keeps his attention focused on her – even if it’s in a bad way. Same thing for the guy. IT’S A DOG!!! If he didn’t want her to remain in his life, on some level, he’d tell her to take a damn dog and get out of his life. But he doesn’t. He continues to battle in court.

I have friends who are divorced and have two kids. They have been battling in court about the kids for five YEARS! The guy has remarried and lives on the other side of the country, but STILL drags her into court on a regular basis. She can’t even hold a job because he – an abuser – would call her all day long to scream at her, would require mediation sessions during the work day, would get the kids so upset on his weekends with them that the school would call her on Monday and tell her to take them home. They have spent a fortune on lawyers, and still the battle goes on. It’s the only way this divorced man has to continue to control and abuse his ex-wife, and for some reason the court doesn’t tell him to back off.

DG in GA on April 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Bravo, DG. That is why I focused on the dopey couple and not the dog. The poor pooch is a victim of circumstance to these two bloody morons.

    Your second paragraph nailed it.

    Pick wisely, treat kindly…and don’t shack up with a fool you don’t know. As we can see, each of these idiots mental problems/deficiencies are all over this.

    It should be a honking red flag to any potential suitors but in in 2013, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

    Skunky on April 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Solomon was right.

Slice the dog and split it.

I_AM_ME on April 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Kinda like this guy: http://youtu.be/mkrTWcGZ-tM

Alan on April 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm

What does this court case have to do with the PETA people? The people who have these types of custody battles are usually meat eaters. Some vegans don’t even believe in pets because they see it as another form of enslavement. Also, a true vegan would let the other person have the pet so they can adopt another pet from the shelter. I agree that these types of custody battles are silly, but it’s irrelevant to PETA. You have no understanding the vegan mindset. Not even close.

Zsuzsi on April 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Yes, fighting in court over a dog is ridiculous.

But what vegans have to do with it?
vegan is not a “freakish condition” as you say, its a way of life. If there is something that is radically different from your beliefs and you don’t fully understand it, it doesn’t mean that its ‘bad’, it’s just different. and what’s wrong with vegan restaurants?? there are plenty of steak houses, is that so bad to have a vegan one?

I became vegan 2 years ago, was a full blown meat eater before. I did it from health reasons. I’m not a PeTA activist, I do not burn labs and protest in front of butcher shops. I do not force my life choices on anyone. Don’t care what the next person eats or wears. Yes, there are vegans like that as well, no need to generalize and put us all under the same “crazy” roof.

I choose to eat this way because I do not want to get a heart attack at 50 or diabetes or hypertension or high blood pressure or be overweight as 2/3 of the Americans are (ever wonder why?). Conditions that can be fully treated and reversed with plant based diet instead of 20 different pills. Will be cheaper for the health care system as well. Also, I do not want my daughter to go it to puberty at 9 because of the hormones in the milk (from a lactating cow) that we pump in to kids like it’s some sort of magical syrup. Why do you think LA endorsed the movement to reduce meat consumption for health and environmental reasons? Read about it….

Karen on April 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Karen, right on! If you people who read this blog are true conservatives you would let people who decide to be vegan to follow the lifestyle they want. This vegan bashing is totally unnecessary, and like I said, has nothing to do with this case. Let me just say this as a vegan, I find PETA to be an embarrassment and they certainly do not represent my beliefs nor the beliefs of any of the vegans I know. They are useful because they have a list of companies that have vegan products and that’s as far as it goes for me.

You should keep in mind that not all vegans are liberals. This is a big mistake as you are going to turn off any vegans who are conservative.

Zsuzsi on April 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Susie, who bashed vegans? I liked the point made that there are steak houses so there can be vegan restaurants.

    When I work in Cambridge (the most opinionated zip code in the USA!) I PREFER to eat at a vegan/vegetarian place called “Life Alive”. The food isn’t offensive (or yucky!) but most of the Libtards who work (but I must say they are preternaturally sweet and kind!!) or eat there sure are!!

    I think that the issue is not so much the food source (DS does keep Kosher and that can’t be simple…I only say that as I have been a pseudo-vegetarian at times in my life and boy, it can be difficult to eat W/ease…) BUT the peeps who indulge.

    I cringe when I reminisce about my pseudo-vegetarian days. It was political and judgmental (I am not against judgement but the type I dished out was self-focused and unnecessary) when it didn’t have to be.

    I admire Vegans for their discipline and creativity. I will have to admit that the food is NOT as tasty as animal based food. That’s just a fact. Plus, I once frequented a local (now defunct) vegan/raw (LOL, raw food is as hardcore Vegan as one can get!) and although the food was WAY tastier than I anticipated, the cost was astronomical ($18. for a small, leafy salad, a deck of cards size “warm lasagna” and a bottle of Kumbucha Juice (sp?).

    I love the food and variety (however, I admit the food is not as tasty as “regular” food on a whole…) but I disdain the political Libtards who indulge. It comes with the territory and I just either have fun with the annoyance or focus on the food.

    But I think the issue was the peeps who indulge, not the practice itself. I aspire to be a vegan but I don’t think it’s gonna happen…

    A local “Vegan Pizza” place just bit the dust. I was sorry to see it go because it was on a block that has a Vegetarian Asian Food Restaurant and a Vegan Frozen Yogurt cafe! I never tried any but I liked the fact that 3 (now 2) were options in the area.

    Skunky on April 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Skunky, that’s great! And it’s exactly what I mean! Here you are, someone very conservative and trying to be vegan!

You asked who bashed vegans? Debbie did!
– The very title of the article, “PETA Won”, implies that it was vegans vs. the meat eaters. Not the case at all! It was probably 2 meat eaters foolishly fighting over a dog to get back at each other. For all we know they were conservative as well. Talk about making assumptions!!
– But, this is the line really bashes vegans: “They won because being a vegan is no longer a freakish condition, but a mainstream attribute, complete with vegan restaurants and the like”.
She’s basically saying that vegans should be considered to be the freaks that they are (really? based on what?), it should never be mainstream (really? because a true conservative would let people make their own choices), and that there is somehow something wrong with having vegan restaurants. Maybe Debbie should try being vegan for a few days so she can see how frustrating it is to try to eat out when just about every food out there has animal products in them. Seriously, if there is a market for vegan restaurants what is wrong with having them? Limiting what restaurants can be made available and telling people what they should eat is something LIBERALS do. Debbie is at the height of hypocrisy here. Sorry, my opinion.

I do know what you mean about some of the vegans out there. Trust me, I’ve had my run ins with them. I had a huge argument with some vegans the other day over the pro-life issue. I asserted that all vegans, if they were consistent, should be pro-life because they should care about all life and speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Boy did I get bashed!

I am aware that there are vegans that think and say that everyone should be vegan. But, they are saying that because of their liberal values, not their vegan values. You will never catch a conservative vegan saying something like that. So, all I’m asking for is to separate out the vegan from the liberal. Don’t bash vegans because the vocal, vegan liberals have given all vegans a bad name. It’s a low blow and it will turn people away from conservatism.

Zsuzsi on April 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I dunno…I USED to like PETA (I stopped in 1992 when I realized they were using supermodels who didn’t give an eff about wearing fur for their anti-fur campaigns…I don’t like fakery on either side) and they are vegans so I can see why DS conflates them. It’s apt, I think.

    And you nicely described why vegans are uber-hypocrites. If anything your example proved to me that DS is even more correct to use the two together. Your example of vegan hypocrisy is EXACTLY how I FINALLY was able to switch from pro-abortion (didn’t think too deeply about the heinous murder) to pro-life. I realized how disgusting it was for me to be so into animals and against animal cruelty but NOT for humans. Babies are just as helpless and innocent as animals. If I would not put up with animal cruelty WHY would I put up with baby cruelty? I changed liked THAT when I thought of it that way.

    Plus DS was never dumb enough to be a Liberal. She has had Conservative views her whole life. I’ve been on both sides. I lived the embarrassing ways of the Libtards. Nothing like 1st hand knowledge.

    I have a sense of humour about it. The last two days I re-tweet 2 funny vegan tweets…

    1) “I’d rather cook for a serial killer than a vegan”

    2) “I realized I am not a vegan because I haven’t told enough people that I am a vegan”.

    I have the desire but not the will to be a vegan. Who knows? If I did I would keep it quiet ONLY because I don’t want to be annoying.

    But I like that you pointed out even Conservatives love animals. I do and since I have embraced Conservatism, I am less hostile and very accepting to enthusiastic carnivores!

    I don’t think you can ever un-fuse the Libtards from veganism. They really ruined it. I look at it comically (when I eat with them) and point and laugh at them (in my mind) while I enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal. 😀

    Skunky on April 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm

BTW, I do think it’s awesome you are aspiring toward veganism. I don’t think going 100% vegan is for everyone, but I think it makes a big difference even when people try to cut back on animal products. If you ever want some tips on how to be vegan on a budget, let me know.

Let’s face it, no one wants to see animals suffer. Not conservatives, not liberals. Whether people admit/believe it or not, it is a reality that there is a lot of animal suffering at our hands. And, yes, that includes kosher meat. They have to do many of the same things as factory farms to stay competitive.

p.s. the vegan frozen yogurt place sounds amazing. Wish they had that here!

Zsuzsi on April 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Skunky, I think we can separate the vegan from the liberal, and we should. By the same argument, should we never try to separate Jews from liberals? The majority of Jews in the US are liberal. Absolutely, we should separate them out! Conservative Jews would not like being lumped with the liberal ones!

“And you nicely described why vegans are uber-hypocrites.”
No, I actually described why LIBERAL/pro-choice vegans are uber-hypocrites. However, I’ve noticed hypocrites on both sides.

I have to point out though, that even the liberal vegans tend to say things like “people should not use abortion for birth control and/or it should only be done within the first 2 weeks or so of conception.” They clearly do care more than the average liberal.

We should be more careful in promoting ideas which cause divisiveness. This is a major liberal technique which Nobama uses all the time, and majorly used for the 2012 elections. Veganism is something that anybody can embrace, liberals or conservatives.

Zsuzsi on April 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I admire your optimism but the ratio of Libtard/Vegan to Conservative/Vegan is too overwhelming to separate the two.

    When I go to “Life Alive” I know I *may* be the only Conservative in the place. I accept it for what it is.

    There is a great macrobiotic restaurant I used to live near you’d prolly love. The BBQ Tofu is one of my all-time favourite dishes in the WORLD. I gotta go back and have some. When vegan food is done correctly it’s my favourite!

    Skunky on April 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Maybe you need to join a conservative, vegan support group. LOL. I belong to such a group on Facebook. Some very interesting conversations go on there. I’ve been on both sides of the fence too. I don’t judge people that harshly.

The BBQ tofu does sound good 😉

Zsuzsi on April 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Here’s the URL for the conservative vegans and vegetarians group. If anybody is interested, it’s private so you need to ask to be let in.

Zsuzsi on April 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm

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