Former 5-Legged Pup Heads to TV Court

Jeanine Pirro will preside over the civil suit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    "Freaks of Nature" owner John Strong claims he is the rightful owner of the 7-week-old Chihuahua-terrier mix named Lilly and is threatening legal action against the original owner.

    Former prosecutor turned TV judge Jeanine Pirro is about to take a bite out of the media hype surrounding the five-legged pup that was saved from life in a Coney Island freak show.

    The former Westchester County district attorney will preside over a lawsuit against the pup's original owner. Coney Island sideshow operator John Strong is suing the owner for $4,000, alleging he was stiffed when the dog -- a Chihuahua-terrier mix named Lilly -- was sold to a North Carolina woman.

    The pair will tape the program in Chicago this month. It's expected to air on Fox on Sept. 21, the Daily News reported.

    The dog's fifth leg was amputated soon after she was adopted by her new owner.

    The lawsuit doesn't come as a complete surprise. Strong, the owner of "Freaks of Nature," told reporters that he had put down a $1,000 deposit on the dog and planned to pay owner Calvin Ownesby $3,000 total for the pup but was outbid by a kindhearted Southerner who didn't want the young pooch relegated to a life in a sideshow.

    "She's beautiful, she's not a freak," Allyson Siegel told the New York Daily News . "She's a normal little puppy dog and she should be just like all the others." 

    Siegel swooped in and offered $3,000 for the dog and an additional $1,000 for Strong's deposit.

    She has vowed to fight back.

    "I want to throw up," Siegel told the Observer. "I want to say, 'Over my dead body.'"

    Strong, whose show features "amazing animals, oddities and freaks," had previously come to terms with Ownesby's decision to sell the pup to the highest bidder but decided to fight back and prove that his freak show isn't exploitive. 

    "We're good people," he told the paper, "and we take care of our animals."