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Nebraska high court grants dog custody to man after breakup

June 1, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court routinely weighs in on custody cases — but not very often on battles over who gets the dog.

On Friday, the state’s high court upheld a decision to grant custody of a French bulldog named “Princess Pot Roast” to an Omaha man locked out of a home he had shared with his boyfriend for five years.

A judge last year ruled the dog, nicknamed “Pavlov,” was a gift from Jason Pratte to Peter Zelenka before the couple broke up in 2015. Pratte said he never intended the dog as a gift, but the judge based his finding in part on testimony from the breeder who sold the dog. Pratte appealed.

The high court said Zelenka had met his burden of proving Pavlov was a gift from Pratte.

Zelenka said Friday he’s ready to have the 7-year-old dog back after not seeing her for three years.

“It’s unfortunate that it had to be pushed this far,” Zelenka said. “But he just refused anything and everything. He wouldn’t compromise at all. I finally had to get a lawyer involved.”

Zelenka said he hopes to have custody of Pavlov by next week.

Pratte did not immediately return a phone message left Friday seeking comment.

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