Boyfriend told me to give my dog away.

////Boyfriend told me to give my dog away.


My boyfriend and I share a home with our two dogs, Henry and Hannah. He's insisting I rehome Hannah after an accident, and if I don't by Friday, he's threatening to take her to a shelter while I'm at work. I paid for her, covered all vet visits, and we're both on the lease. Does he have the legal right to do this?


I am very sorry to hear about your situation. Pet theft is against the law. However, the police may choose not to press charges when a couple live together and in many respects “share” the surrendered animal. People who know that their animal’s well-being is in jeopardy should take steps to remove the animal (and perhaps themselves too) from the household. If the dog is surrendered and identified (such as with a microchip), it is possible a shelter will contact you. People who suspect that their animal may be surrendered by a person without authority to do so should also contact the shelter to give the shelter a heads-up. However, an animal’s “parent” should not rely on the shelter but should rely on themselves to protect their animal from harm’s way.

PLEASE NOTE: Responses to legal inquiries are not meant to replace seeking legal advice from an attorney in your state. The materials in this website and any responses to questions are for informational purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. This website, the information contained herein, and any responses to questions directed to this column are not intended to create and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon any information provided on this website or in any response to your inquiry without seeking the advice of an attorney in your state regarding the facts of your specific situation.

Send Your Pet Legal Question Now!

Elinor will field as many questions as she can and they will be posted here on this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions are answered. However, many individuals have similar questions. You may find helpful information in the categories listed below.

Ask a Legal Question

By |2023-12-14T11:24:06-04:00November 1st, 2023|