The man who made national headlines after a photographer snapped him weeping over his impounded dog has turned on his saviors.
Dave Thomas, who was reunited with his pit bull mix, Buzz, earlier this week thanks to the kindhearted strangers who paid for the shelter fees, is threatening to sue the woman who helped organize the rescue.
According to a statement on Maria Sanchez's Facebook page, Thomas is threatening to sue her for withholding the money raised for Buzz's release.
Sanchez said that she would happily hand over all of the donations raised, but would be paying all bills directly rather than handing over the cash to ensure that Thomas used it responsibly.
"I explained to him that the money that was donated was a blessing for him, I wanted to be sure that we respected that and used the donations responsibly," she wrote on her Facebook page.
"Buzz has everything he needs," she told Right This Minute.
"He's got a new bed, toys...as far as Dave... my hands are being washed of him. I'm really disappointed actually."
Mr. Thomas had been unable to afford the fees needed to release two-year-old pit bull mix Buzz from the San Bernardino shelter, and was devastated at the thought of losing his pet.
Police called animal control to take Buzz to the local shelter after Thomas was arrested for failing to appear in court for traffic violations.
When Thomas was released from prison he was told that he needed to pay more than $400 in shelter fees. He had $6 in his pocket.
Fortunately for Mr. Thomas, photographer and animal lover Maria Sanchez was at the shelter at the same time.
She surreptitiously snapped a picture of the man stroking the dog's paw through the metal bars and feeding him Cheetos.
She told ABC: '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.'
Posting the photo to her Facebook page, Ms. Sanchez was inundated with offers from complete strangers who wanted to help Mr. Thomas get his dog back.
Having raised the funds needed, she then had to take to the streets to track down Mr. Thomas, even receiving a parking ticket for her trouble.
The dog's owner was eventually found on Monday night by a local news station and the pair were put in touch.
“God bless you darling”, an emotional Thomas told Sanchez via telephone, before the pair met again at the shelter.
However, the good will was short lived. Thomas later called KTLA channel 5 accusing Sanchez of pocketing the donations.
Sanchez, who paid for Buzz's expenses using her personal credit card, has said that she is worn out by the emotionally draining experience.
"I am exhausted from this entire experience," she wrote on her Facebook page.
"This is the last thing I needed or expected. I will not be giving Dave or his wife one single penny, what I will do is refund the money that was donated to Dave."