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STOCKTON - After someone snatched Dexter Vernon's Husky-Malamut mix from his backyard, the pet was found by the Stockton Animal Services seriously hurt. However, Vernon says he can't get his beloved dog back without paying a $800 bill.

Vernon believes someone took his dog on Easter Sunday. He called the Stockton animal shelter every day, posted signs, but had no luck.

Later, he learned through a Facebook post on the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue page that his pet had been seriously hurt. The post indicated the dog may have been burned by acid.

The rescue group received the dog from the city shelter and is trying to raise $10,000 for the dog's treatment and care.

Vernon said when he tried to call the rescue group directly, he got no answer. He said he called the city shelter as well. The Stockton animal shelter that found his dog said he first has to pay up.

"Now, they're telling me I owe $800 if I want my dog back," Vernon said. "That's a lot of money. I don't have that kind of money at this point in my life right now."

According to the shelter, the fee is for one day of lodging, as well as treatment and care of the dog.

Vernon said he's is also getting different answers as to who has custody of the dog right now.

Vernon said he just wants to know how his dog is doing and to get his dog back.

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