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.
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