NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York man wants his best friend back, and he needs your help.

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Craig Dershowitz has spent more than $60,000 in lawyers’ fees trying to win custody of his dog Knuckles after his ex-girlfriend took the pooch to California.

Dershowitz, 34, said he considers Knuckles to be his son, and that although he’s gone through his life savings, he said it’s worth it.

In papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan state Supreme Court, Dershowitz said ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega “kidnapped” Knuckles after they broke up.

Brega said Dershowitz gave her the puggle pup — half pug, half beagle.

Dershowitz started the website Rescue Knux to raise money for the custody fight. For $250, contributors can play fetch with Knuckles. For $10,000, Legends of Graffiti will do a giant, personalized mural.

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Dershowitz made an emotional video plea and posted the following on his site:

“Knuckles was kidnapped by my ex-girlfriend and the legal fees to retrieve him are going to bankrupt me.

I know it might sound funny and I understand that. If it wasn’t so painful, I would be laughing too (I mean, c’mon – dognapp – really?) but this is very serious to me and I miss him a lot. Enough that I have gone into debt to retrieve him and enough that I am on here asking for your help. I need the money to keep fighting the court battle. She comes from a wealthy family that is backing her. I don’t. She keeps filing crazy, frivolous motions just knowing that I can’t afford to respond even after the judge has ruled in my favor. The courts gave me custody already but, sadly, the system is too complex and expensive to make anything that simple and easy.

I need help bringing my boy home…where he belongs…for good.”

So far Dershowitz raised $410 of his $20,000 goal and has 34 days to go.

How far would you go to gain custody of your pet? Sound off below.

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