Everyone loves Chucky - but that's the problem.
A custody battle over the plucky Chihuahua pup reached its resolution in the Dunedin District Court this week.
After a year away, the 2-year-old dog, worth about $2000, is now back in the family fold with his Dunedin owner, Carrie-Anne Caley, reports Otago Daily Times.
"He's a box of birds now," she said.
"For a Chihuahua, he's absolutely amazing. They're usually quite snappy but he's very licky and very playful.
"He's a beautiful wee man."
Less satisfied with the outcome was 24-year-old Synara-Lee Morris, who walked away from the fiasco with a conviction to her name.
She was originally charged with theft but that was dropped by police.
Morris pleaded guilty to a count of resisting arrest.
She told the Otago Daily Times she knew police were looking for her earlier this year, and she had been on the run with Chucky for nearly a month.
When officers finally arrested Morris on February 22 and had her in the back of a patrol car, she opened the door and ran off.
The escape was short-lived.
Judge Michael Turner imposed a year-long deferred sentence and Morris signed a bond to keep the peace with Ms Caley.
If she breached the agreement within a year, she would have to forfeit $750.
She said having Chucky taken from her was "like losing your baby".
"I don't think about it because it's too sad," she said.
The doggy debacle began when the dog's mother, Tiffany, was on heat.
To keep them apart, Caley gave Chucky to a friend with whom Morris was living.
When the defendant moved out of the house, the third party told her she could take the Chihuahua.
"I formed an attachment with it. I took it everywhere," Morris said.
The arrangement was extended because Tiffany had a litter of puppies.
Everything was civil, Caley said, until she asked for Chucky back and Morris refused, then disappeared.
"I honestly feel like I shouldn't have had that dog taken off me," Morris said after her court appearance.
While she remained aggrieved about the events, Ms Caley said she was grateful for the woman's efforts.
"She treated him absolutely amazing - I'm not doubting that," she said.
"She was really, really good with him, but at the end of the day, she knew all along he was not her dog."