Dragon drama: dispute over reptile ends up in court

Posted at 12:31 AM, Sep 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-28 00:31:44-04

MUSKEGON, Mich–  The dispute over a family’s missing bearded dragon made an appearance in a Muskegon County Courtroom Thursday.

We first told you about the situation involving the reptile named Jill in August.

Sarah Richards told FOX 17 the bearded dragon escaped from her home and ended up with another woman who claimed she took care of it for a few days before giving to another man.

At the time, that other woman named Cindy Parrish, spoke to FOX 17 on the phone, and said she wouldn’t give the lizard back until she got an apology from Sarah on social media, saying she had been rude online.

“I’m not going to try and do anything for this woman unless she makes a huge, huge confession to me first because she doesn’t have any idea what I went through to try and get this thing to the correct owner,” Parrish told FOX 17 in August. “She should just be happy that it has a home period and it’s not dead like she thought it was.”

Another sticking point of the case: disputes over whether the bearded dragon Cindy had in her possession before giving it to another party was actually Sarah’s. Sarah said she showed numerous pictures to Cindy and said her lizard is missing a nail on the same toe as the one that’s found.

Police were called but said because it’s a civil matter, it needed to go to court.

On Thursday, both Sarah and Cindy, along with the man who originally found the lizard before giving to Cindy were all in district court. They were then told this is not a small claims court situation and that the matter will need to be handled in civil court.

Sarah is now working on the paperwork for that to happen and says her family just wants their pet of four years back.

“It’s really frustrating being this long I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal for her to keep my dragon,” said Sarah. “Everyone who’s ever been a pet owner understands accidents happen. Sometimes an animal gets out of the house and the brush behind my house is so thick -we tried to find her- we couldn’t find her. I don’t think that gives anyone the right to keep her.”

A future court date has not been scheduled.

Cindy did not wish to comment to FOX 17 following Thursday’s court appearance.