Barry Mairik barks.
The pest control specialist fights with his former employer, M&M Environmental in Queens, for his loyal partner – a pit bull mix that smells bedbugs named Roxy
“She’s my best friend,” said Mirik, who even has a Roxy tattoo on his leg. “I’ve been engaged to her for a long time and nothing will happen between me and her.”
Mayrik, 37, worked with Roxy for four years inspecting commercial and residential properties before being fired by the company in March.
Although the dog was provided by M&M, which covered her food and veterinary bills, she lived with Myrick and his wife, Joanna, as he took Roxy from a dog training center in Florida. (M&M paid for her training.)
Since then, the couple has been inseparable ̵
But things went awry when, soon after the pandemic began, he chose to be laid off instead of spinning and working for M&M as a COVID cleaner without Roxy. He returned his company car, credit cards, and equipment, but not his puppy’s partner, explaining that his manager had told him, “You’re going to keep Roxy, aren’t you?”
On June 25, M&M sent a letter to Myrick calling the dog a “company property” and demanding that it be returned immediately. When Myrick refused, M&M took legal action, announcing that Roxy had been stolen and leading the Queens County Attorney’s Office to hit Myrick on charges of theft.
Still refusing to give up Roxy, Mayrick surrendered to New York in August. “I spent 15 hours in prison. I would not wish this on my worst enemy, “said Mayrik, who shared a cage with 20 other people. “The stories I heard were unreal – someone beat their father with a baseball bat. I couldn’t tell anyone I was there for a puppy. ”
In a statement, M&M told The Post that the company had always intended to hire Myrick and that managers expected him to return to work by June.
But Mayrick had moved from Brooklyn to Philadelphia in May and said he would not leave town if he believed he would get his job back.
He admitted to The Post that in 2016 he signed a contract stating that “if I have to be terminated or if I no longer work there, I will have to return Roxy.” But he claims that M&M withdrew its claim against her when the company cut it and did not ask for it back.
“When they left the dog with him in March, [M&M] don’t agree … to take the dog or pay for that intermediate time, “said Myrick’s lawyer, William J. Kurz.
For now, a Queens judge, citing previous custody decisions in divorce cases, has allowed Mayrik to detain Roxy until the case is settled. However, M&M said that Roxy is a working dog and this is a case of ownership, not custody.
M&M attorney Gary Port said that under the 2016 contract, the company owns Roxy and noted that training a dog like her could cost $ 15,000. “My client didn’t give this man a $ 15,000 gift.”
Port added that allowing Myrick to keep Roxy would set a dangerous precedent: “Maybe he’s attached to Roxy – maybe he wants to start his own business.”
“That’s the last thing I think about,” said Mirik, who is currently collecting unemployment, adding that he understands the company’s concerns. “My only concern is not being separated from her. I’m not starting a competitive business in a money-free pandemic. “
Myrik insists that Roxy, who comes from a difficult past, will not contact another coach. “She is not a golden retriever who will be happy with everyone,” he said. “She has no eyes for anyone else.”
The loved ones tried to persuade him to leave. “My family told me, ‘Give the dog back, you’ll get something else,'” the provocative Mirik recalled. “But I emptied my bank account, I spent time in prison. . . what else can they throw at me? I will fight this to the end. ”