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Owner of missing dog 'can’t sleep' 8 months after warrant was issued for woman who took Lemmy

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It's been nearly eight months since a bench warrant was issued for the woman who Greg Marentette believes has possession of his Newfoundland dog — but no arrest has been made and Lemmy still has not been found.

"It's crazy. I'm losing weight. I can't sleep. It's on my mind constantly," said Marentette, who has not seen Lemmy in five years.

Following a years-long custody battle over Lemmy, an arrest warrant was issued for Samantha Roberts after she failed to appear in court in September 2023.

Roberts was hired by Marentette in 2016 to be Lemmy's dog-sitter.

Roberts previously told CTV News she developed an attachment to Lemmy and was under the impression she and Marentette had shared custody of the dog.

Since then, Roberts has repeatedly refused to return the dog to Marentette — despite multiple court rulings in his favour.

She also faces a charge of theft under $5,000.

Lemmy is a pure bred Newfoundland. (Courtesy: Greg Marentette)

According to lawyer and former police officer Dan Scott, people perceive that apprehending someone with a warrant out for their arrest is an easy process.

"They believe it's like a caveman approach. Have a warrant, know which cave they live in, and go get them. But it's much more complicated than that," said Scott.

In a statement, the Windsor Police Service confirmed they are aware of the warrant out for Roberts, and any officer "that would come across her would arrest her on the strength of the warrant."

That warrant, Scott added, likely contains Roberts' name, date of birth, and "last known address."

"If the person has moved from that address and they, for example, haven't updated their driver's license, then where do you look? So it's not just a question of having a warrant," said Scott.

If Roberts has moved out of Windsor into another police jurisdiction, Scott said she would need to be stopped by cops for a separate offence before they are alerted of the warrant against her.

"Say this person has moved to Thunder Bay, as an example. Thunder Bay doesn't know necessarily about the warrant from Windsor, unless that person gets stopped for speeding," said Scott.

Newfoundland dogs typically live approximately 10 years. Lemmy recently turned eight years old.

Samantha Roberts says she depends on Lemmy as her service animal in Windsor, Ont. on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (Michelle Maluske/CTV Windsor)

When asked how this case would be affected if Lemmy were to die before the dog could be reunited with Marentette, lawyer Bobby Russon said that could potentially result in stronger legal action being taken against Roberts.

"The Criminal Code dictates that the impact on the victim is a relevant consideration. There is no question whatsoever the impact on the victim, in this case, has been extraordinary," said Russon. "If Marentette were to not be able to be with his dog for his last moments, I would have to imagine that's exacerbating and could lead to a stiffer penalty."

But considering how difficult it has been for police to locate Roberts, obtaining those costs will be a tall task for Marentette, according to Scott.

"When he learns of the passing of the dog, he's going to be grief stricken. I would have to think it would increase the amount of damages," said Scott. "But how do you collect that? That's the backside of this story."

As for Marentette, who was under the impression that Lemmy would be returned to him quickly when this case went from a civil to a criminal one back in September 2023, he continues to remain frustrated.

"How long does it take for the cops to find your dog? Even going to civil court three times over three years was ridiculous. It took another year to go to criminal court and I won that case," said Marentette. "She's still running around with my dog. Four-and-a-half years later, I'm still in the same spot as when I began all this."

Despite a direct question by CTV News, a police spokesperson did not disclose what actions have been taken over the past eight months to track down Roberts.

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