Judge orders soccer star to pay promised $30,000 reward for returned dog

Daniel Sturridge Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

A judge in Los Angeles ordered English soccer star Daniel Sturridge to pay a Los Angeles man $30,000 for returning his missing Pomeranian. Sturridge announced after his house was broken into in June 2019 that he would “pay whatever” to get his dog back, offering “20 Gs, 30 Gs, whatever,” The New York Times reports. Foster Washington, 30, found and returned the dog, court records show, and he sued in March after attempts to claim his reward went unanswered.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Curtis Kin agreed that Sturridge had breached his contract and awarded Washington a default judgment for damages.

Washington said he found the Pomeranian, Lucci, on a street corner and took him home to give to a friend’s children. When he found out Sturridge was looking for a similar dog, he got in contact and confirmed that he had found Lucci. They agreed to meet. “I’m like, ‘Hey, dude, what’s up with the reward?'” Washington told the Times on Saturday. “He said, ‘There is no reward.'”

Sturridge, who signed a roughly $20 million contract with Liverpool in 2013 but now plays for an Australian team, tweeted a different story Saturday: “I met a young boy who found my dog and paid him a reward, which he was delighted with as was I to get my dog back because he was stolen.”

Washington, a father of three who earns $14 an hour as a security guard, said he has been called selfish on social media. “I don’t see how I’m a bad guy by expecting him to honor this reward,” he said. “Thirty thousand dollars is a lot of money. For anybody, that’s a life-changing amount of money.” Read more about the case at The New York Times.

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