Can my friend take back the cat that she gave me?

////Can my friend take back the cat that she gave me?

Question

I was gifted a cat when a friend moved into a new apartment with an allergic roommate. Now after 408 days in my care, my friend is claiming that I was only fostering the cat and she wants the cat back. She says she has paperwork from the shelter to prove that the cat is hers, and she’ll do whatever is legal to take her back. She has lived in over 7 apartments in less than a year and the cat has thrived in my care. Does she have any legal standing? How can this be fair?

Answer

Generally when a person gives away his/her animal, such person has no further rights to that animal. Although adoption papers can help to demonstrate ownership, they don’t always prove ownership. If pet custody is litigated, courts will also consider what transpired after adoption, including, for example, whether the animal was given away, sold, or abandoned. Certainly 408 days is a very long time to claim an animal was boarded/fostered. If boarding/fostering is alleged, courts may consider whether boarding fees were paid and what interaction the original owner had with the animal a during the alleged boarding/fostering time. Some courts also consider the animal’s interests. I hope this all works out for the cat.

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By |2019-06-17T13:14:54+00:00June 17th, 2019|