updated 03/07/2014 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/07/2014 AT 5:50 PM ET
No doggone excuse is good enough for Alanis Morissette and her husband, Mario “Souleye” Treadway, who is suing a former house manager for the theft of the couple’s dog.
In a lawsuit filed March 5, Treadway alleges that Maria Garcia and another family consultant, Patrick Murch, have refused to give back the couple’s Chihuahua/pug mix after Garcia was relieved of her duties on Jan. 21. Treadway wants the pup, a one-time street dog, returned and is seeking $25,000 in damages and court costs.
According to the suit, Morissette and Treadway found the stray wandering near their L.A. residence in 2011 and they “immediately became attached.” Treadway took the 10-lb. pup, who they named Circus, to the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter to give the dog’s original owners the chance to find him. When no one came forward, Treadway officially adopted the pup on May 4, 2011.
In early 2013, when traveling schedules grew hectic for the couple (who have a 3-year-old son named Ever), the dog was left in the care of Garcia and Murch. The lawsuit alleges that the dog lived with Garcia and Murch with the understanding that the arrangement would only be temporary.
In a January email included in the lawsuit, Garcia asked that she and Murch be given ownership of the dog and wrote, “in the years’ time that [Circus] has lived with us, he and our other dogs have become inseparable.”
Treadway says Garcia and Murch have breached their original agreement by not returning the dog. “Circus is unique,” reads the suit filed in Los Angeles’s Superior Court. “He is loved by [Treadway] and [Treadway’s] family.”
Treadway’s attorney did not return request for comment.