(WSVN) - The dog fight is over for a Dania Beach man whose beloved pooch was adopted out by Broward County Animal Care. The Yorkipoo was supposed to be under protective care while he was in the hospital.

7 Investigates was there for the reunion.

Here’s Karen Hensel.

Timothy Sweat/Bear’s owner: “My baby bear. I know. I miss you so much. Oh my goodness. Daddy’s here.”

Timothy Sweat has spent the last 91 days fighting for this moment.

Timothy Sweat: “My little baby boy. My little baby boy.”

On July 26, someone tried to take his dog Bear while they were on a walk in Dania Beach. Timothy fought the person off but he was severely beaten and rushed to the hospital Police took Bear to animal care for safe keeping but the shelter did not keep the Yorki-poo safe for Timothy.

Timothy Sweat: “The second I got out of the hospital, still bleeding, still had the tags on me, I got to the animal shelter and they just politely walked out and said, ‘He’s gone and we gave him away.'”

Through 7 Investigates, Timothy made a public plea to the woman who adopted Bear, Sharon Barnett

But Barnett refused to take his calls and our calls. She wouldn’t talk to us when we caught up with her at home.

With no other option, Timothy sued her in court.

Barnett told the court she gave Bear to her godson and the dog was in New Jersey.

The court ruled Bear likely belonged to Tim and he was “entitled to take possession” of the dog.

Gregory Elder/Timothy’s attorney: “So, I think she knew there was a process server and that the day of reckoning was coming.”

Attorney Gregory Elder was getting ready to ask the court to order Barnett to bring Bear back to Florida, but the family in New Jersey suddenly said they would give Bear back.

Gregory Elder: “It was a culmination of terrible events happening one after another, you know, and ultimately, of course, the worst part of it is he had to resort to the legal system.”

7 Investigates flew with Timothy to New Jersey for the reunion he feared would never happen. He was nervous until the moment bear ran into his arms.

Timothy Sweat: “My baby. We’re going to go home. Ya, we’re going to go home.”

Timothy flew Bear back here to Fort Lauderdale the same day. He is still considering a lawsuit against animal control for the money he’s spent on lawyers and flights, but for now, is just glad to have Bear back where he belongs.”

Timothy Sweat: “We’re just going to enjoy each other’s company and just get back into our normal routine and start our life again.”

A life filled with the kind of joy a precious pet can bring.

Karen Hensel, 7News.


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