Off Air Judge Judy Dog Fight
The dogfight involves Kari Whitman -- who runs the Ace of Hearts pet adoption agency in L.A. The other woman is Teresa Gardenhire ... a former doggy foster parent.
The two squared off on an episode of "Judy" that was taped May 23 -- after Gardenhire claimed Whitman owed her money for taking care of an Ace of Hearts dog while the org. searched for a permanent owner.
Judy ruled for Ace of Hearts ... but after the show, Whitman claims Gardenhire began a campaign of harassment ... and even made violent threats.
According to legal docs obtained by TMZ, Whitman claims Gardenhire warned her, "Watch your back bitch" and threatened to steal Whitman's dogs in retaliation.
Whitman was so frightened, she filed a request for a restraining order -- claiming "[I am] afraid the threats will become real actions."
Gardenhire tells TMZ she's the real victim -- claiming she thought she had adopted the dog she had been fostering ... and claims Ace of Hearts stole it. Gardenhire even filed a police report.
A hearing on the restraining order is set for June 28. As for the dog in question, we're told it has already been adopted by another family. more on this story
TMZ submitted this story.