Dave Thomas became a viral celebrity after a woman snapped a picture of him crying over the dog he couldn’t afford to get out of the pound. Now, Thomas is allegedly out to sue that same woman who helped him raise the money to get the dog back.
The story came out last week, when Maria Sanchez took a clandestine photo of Thomas sobbing over his dog, Buzz Lightyear. Thomas had been jailed briefly for failing to appear for traffic violations, and as a result his dog was impounded.
It was going to cost Thomas more than $400 to get the 2-year-old pitbull mix out of the San Bernadino City Animal Shelter, but Thomas didn’t have the money, The Huffington Post reported.
“He was pouring water into his dog’s water bowl, his dog sat there and licked up the water for about a minute, he sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez told KABC.
As soon as her picture went up on Facebook, strangers started coming forward to help reunite Dave Thomas and the dog he loved — raising even more than the impound fees. When Sanchez couldn’t locate Thomas, she took it a step further, making phone calls and driving around town posting flyers to find him.
Then KABC stepped in to help, and Sanchez was able to tell Thomas that she had the money for him to keep the dog. Thomas reportedly thanked her.
But that may have changed. A video posted to YouTube by user Maria Sanchez played a voicemail, reportedly from Dave Thomas, threatening to sue her for keeping the money raised to save Buzz Lightyear.
Though the voicemail is not verified, the user posted an account of what happened after she connected with Thomas.
“After I hung up with KTLA channel 5, I tried to call Dave,” Maria Sanchez wrote. H”is wife would not let me speak to him. She screamed at me that I was stealing their dog’s money. She said they have called the news stations and that if I did not give them their money, they were going to call the police.”
The user went on to post that Dave Thomas will not receive the extra funds raised after being reunited with his dog, not “after the stunt he pulled.”