Charges filed in alleged theft of service dog
San Diego Union Tribune
By Teri Figueroa
Feb. 25, 2016
Marine veteran Alexandra Melnick hugs German shepherd Kai in this September 2015 file photo. The pair were reunited that month after Kai was stolen from her Vista home ten months earlier. — Misael VirgenThe ex-husband of a Marine veteran whose service dog went missing in late 2014 — and was found in Texas last summer — has been charged with taking the dog, a case his attorney said Thursday is rooted in an ownership dispute.
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Pablo Cortes was charged last month with stealing Kai, a German shepherd, from ex-wife Alexandra Melnick. He has pleaded not guilty.
A preliminary hearing is set for mid-March in Vista Superior Court, where a judge will determine if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
Cortes’ attorney, Alex Ozols, said his client contends that Melnick — whose search for Kai garnered news coverage — knew Cortes had taken the dog.
“They both loved that dog and they both wanted it,” Ozols said, adding that Cortes has said the dog is legally his.
The attorney also said his client is distraught over the criminal case, which could ruin his 11-year military career.
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Friday, February 26, 2016
Charges and Questions Surface Over PTSD "Service" Dog "Theft"
Considering Melnick "trained Kai to be her service dog" then the title should be simply "dog" unless she is a certified trainer.