updated 6/28/2006 12:28:57 PM ET 2006-06-28T16:28:57

A New Orleans family that lost its dog in Hurricane Katrina is in a custody battle with the Pennsylvania family that adopted him.

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Sheila Combs lost virtually everything she owned in the hurricane. She wants her ten-year-old son’s chow-Finnish spitz mix, Rocket, returned.

Lynne Welsh took in the now two-year-old dog from a shelter last November. The Welshes have renamed him Rusty.

Welsh says she made attempts to find the dog’s owner last year, calling the phone number on the dog tag, sending letters and putting information on Internet sites.

Welsh said last week she was willing to return the dog to Combs if she was willing to come and get him. Combs, a single working mother, says it would be “unreasonable” to expect her to fly to Pennsylvania.

Welsh says she now plans to keep the dog and has hired an attorney to represent her.

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