A dog is truly man's best friend, but for one former employee, the pooch that he has been working with for years is so invaluable that he is willing to risk being jailed rather than give her up completely to his former employer in New York City.

Barry Myrick, a pest-control professional in New York City, is in the crosshairs with M&M Environmental in Queens, his former employer, not for any unpaid benefit, but for the custody of Roxy, a loyal pit bull terrier, whom he has been working with to sniff bedbugs.

New York Post reported that Myrick considers Roxy as his best friend and that he "committed" to her long ago. He said that nothing will be coming between them.

Roxy was provided by the company for Myrick and they have been working together for four years. They inspected residential and commercial establishments. The company is the one that paid for the food and veterinary bills of the dog but it was Myrick who picked up Roxy from a training facility in Florida. The training was likewise paid for by the company.

From the time that Roxy was picked up by Myrick, she has been sleeping with Myrick and his wife. Literally, the two have been inseparable.

Due to the pandemic, however, Myrick opted to be laid off from work instead of agreeing to be transferred to another job as a COVID cleaner, but this time around, he would have to do his job without Roxy. When he was laid off, he returned everything to the company, except Roxy.

Soon after, M&M sent a letter to Myrick, noting that Roxy belongs to the company and that she needs to be returned. Myrick refused and ended up facing charges of grand larceny. When he finally surrendered to the NYPD, he experienced 15 hours in jail, where he shared a cell with 20 others.

According to The Post, M&M told them that the company intended to rehire Myrick, except that he has already moved to Philadelphia. Myrick countered this saying that he would not have moved if he believed that he would be able to have his job back.

NYC man chooses jail time over returning dog to company. Photo: Pixabay

"I feel like people understand how much you can really love a dog and how much they can love you too," Myrick told Spectrum News 1 through tears on a Zoom call.

The family of Myrick has encouraged him to return the dog, but the defiant man said that he has already emptied out his bank account and spent jail time for Roxy. He said he will fight till the end.