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Who has rights to the dog I was looking after for 3 weeks?

Q:

I contacted a girl and she said can me and my partner look after her dog for 3 weeks. This was done via email. We said yes. We met her and she said face to face we could have the dog. But now she is saying the 3 weeks are up and she wants her dog back. Who has what rights? And me and my partner had even taken (her dog) to the vets as it needed an operation and was very skinny. We also provided food and spent money on this dog. We have even got it microchipped in my name. What can she do? And can anyone take the dog off us?

A:

If one agrees to care for another person’s dog for a limited amount of time (such as three weeks), the temporary caregiver does not typically gain “ownership” of that animal. When these cases are litigated, courts will review the facts, including, for example, if there were advertisements that stated the arrangement was temporary or permanent, if the animal was left for much longer than originally indicated, and if anything happened after the original agreement was made which demonstrates that the agreement changed. The police will usually not get involved in animal custody disputes unless they believe pet theft is involved (which is more likely when the dispute involves strangers rather than family members, roommates, or couples).


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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