By Matt Kroschel

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– A bitter battle over where a Siberian husky will live for the rest of her life continues.

A judge in Steamboat Springs ruled last week the dog named Sitka should be returned to her original owner, despite the bond the dog has formed with her new owner in Steamboat Springs.

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Ashlee Anderson walking Sitka (credit: CBS)

Michael Gehrke said the husky, who he named Mya, ran away from his home near Cañon City in September 2013.

dog Dog Remains With Woman Who Found Her Despite Judges Ruling

The dog at the center of the custody battle, Mya, now renamed Sitka (credit: Michael Gehrke)

The dog was soon adopted by Ashlee Anderson and brought to Steamboat where it continues to live despite the judges ruling.

Anderson says efforts to find the original owner were unsuccessful when the dog was found in 2013 in Fremont County so she gave the dog a “good home.”

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Sitka (credit: CBS)

Anderson discovered the dog had a microchip. That microchip alerted Gehrke that his long-lost dog had been found in Steamboat Springs after she was picked up by animal control and scanned.

Despite a judge ruling in favor of Gehrke, both dog parents remain locked in a tense custody dispute over the husky.

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CBS4’s Matt Kroschel interviews Ashlee Anderson (credit: CBS)

Anderson and her attorney plan to fight the ruling. She has started a crowdfunding page raising money for her legal fight.

Anderson also put up a $2,400 bond to keep possession of Sitka, while she appeals the ruling.

Gehrke, who sued Anderson to get the husky back, is being represented by Denver attorney Jay Wayne Swearingen, who specializes in animal law.

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Sitka (credit: CBS)

Swearingen told CBS4 his client is not going to stop fighting until he gets his dog back.

Gehrke had the husky for about three years before she went missing. As the legal battle continues both dog parents are vowing to not back down.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

Comments (6)
  1. She should keep the dog! Why disrupt love and happiness? The original owner would create so much sadness and for what? Self satisfaction?

    1. What a ridiculous notion. Are you implying that the original owner has any less attachment? The dog is his, AND it’s microchipped. It was EXTREMELY irresponsible for anyone to adopt the dog out prior to scanning the dog and contacting the RIGHTFUL owner.

  2. If she adopted it then took it to Steamboat, then the original owner should be having problems with whoever put it up for adoption. I want to know why the original owner didn’t try to find it 4 years ago. Miss Steamboat might be able to ask for payment of 4 years of boarding in my opinion. Still curious who she adopted from.

  3. Jonny Sly says:

    It is his dog. Be the bigger person and return to original owner, it is not right. What would you do if it was your dog? I’m seriously asking?

  4. Why did it take so long to find out that the dog had a chip that told who the owner was?

  5. She says on her gofundme page Canon City doesn’t have an animal shelter. What do you call this???

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