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My son's ex won't give his dog back

Q:

My son rescued a dog last year, he and his girlfriend lived together until June. They each moved back in with their parents to save money. The dog was going to be shared, but staying with her. The dog is chipped in my sons name and they since broke up and he wants the dog to live with him/us. He paid for the dogs rescue and all vet/groomer bills. He trained the dog and honestly needs it for his emotional well being. What legal rights does he have? She won't give the dog back. We have filed a replevin and want to know if we should retain a lawyer to help us get the dog back.

A:

It is generally advisable to retain an attorney for legal actions (including replevin actions for the return of an animal). Given that there was an agreement that the dog would be staying with the ex-girlfriend, the emotional support argument will probably be a difficult one for the ex-boyfriend. Courts have been reluctant to order or enforce shared custody agreements (although they have in a few instances). Often companion animals live longer than relationships and that ought to be recognized at the outset. People should consider a “pre-pup” or “post-pup” agreement.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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