A bitter custody battle over Golden-doodle Lucy Margaret Healy has instigated a family feud
A bow-wow brouhaha for the custody of a beloved family dog has erupted in the divorce case of the couple who own trendy Greenwich Village restaurant Agave.
In an offshoot to the acrimonious feud between James O'Hanlon and Susan McCarthy, his sister has asked a Brooklyn judge to make her the rightful owner of the disputed goldendoodle - Lucy.
"I became surgically attached to the dog," said O'Hanlon's sister, Margaret Healy of Brooklyn Heights.
She says she has cared for the canine for two years while her brother and soon-to-be ex-sister-in-law have been warring in Nassau County Court.
But Healy's niece, 18-year-old Slaney O'Hanlon, insists she is Lucy's rightful owner and that a chip implanted in the pooch's hide proves it.
Slaney O'Hanlon claims her aunt only got her four-legged friend for safekeeping while she was attending a Baltimore-area boarding school.
She suggested that Healy's court request stems from her father's attempt to drag her into his matrimonial mess.
"It's just my father trying to get me in the middle of his divorce," a tearful Slaney O'Hanlon told The News. "I just want my dog back."
Healy shot back: "They (McCarthy and Slaney O'Hanlon) never came to see the dog or inquired about the dog."
When Healy's brother and McCarthy separated in 2009, their dogs, Lady, 9, and Lucy, who was less than a year old, were handed over to Healy. When the elder dog died last month of a sudden heart failure, things came to a head.
Healy, 68, charges that McCarthy left her a nasty voice message upon learning of Lady's death, blaming her for having "no f---ing heart" and calling her an expletive associated with a female mutt.
She claims McCarthy and her niece tried to dognap Lucy from her Brooklyn Heights building and even chased her in an SUV.
"I couldn't believe she followed me in the car," Healy said, as Lucy chewed a bone-shaped fluffy toy in her crate. "I almost fainted."
The ordeal prompted Healy to file papers in Brooklyn Supreme Court asking to be affirmed as Lucy's sole owner and for a restraining order against her niece and McCarthy.
She's also demanding $500,000 in damages.
Healy said that she initially thought she would only keep Lucy briefly, but as months turned into years, she licensed the dog in her name and formed a strong bond.
Slaney O'Hanlon countered that a chip implanted in Lucy names her as the owner. She argues that she was barred from checking on her pet because Healy's husband represents her dad in the divorce action.
She has until next month to file a counterclaim.
Healy's lawyer, Thomas Chaves, said the dogfight will likely come down to "what the best interest of the dog is."