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How can I custody of my dog back from this couple?

Q:

I recently placed my dog with a couple who agreed to care for him while I was away in treatment for 4 months. It has now been 4 months and I am no longer in treatment or in need for a caregiver for him. Unfortunately they are now claiming that they never agreed to only taking him temporarily, but if that were true then I wouldn't have done it at all. I've had him literally since he was born, my ex's dog had puppies and my dog was part of her litter. My ex never had papers for her. My dog does have shot records that my family and I paid for but as far as I know I do now have anything in writing stating that I am his legal owner. He will be 2 in December and I have been his main provider all but 4 months of that time. Can this couple legally keep him from me? What is the step that I should do in order to obtain his custody back?

A:

If one believes an animal is being wrongfully withheld, one can sue for the return of the animal. It will be up to the court to determine who ‘owns’ the animal. Courts on occasion consider the best interests of the animal. Courts may consider, among the other evidence presented, who paid for the animal’s care during the four month period to determine what the actual arrangement was—temporary boarding or a sale/adoption of the animal.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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