Ex-girlfriend wants to take custody of dog due to being ESA.

////Ex-girlfriend wants to take custody of dog due to being ESA.


My ex-girlfriend and I got the dog together. I paid the majority portion of her cost, all of her vet bills, and all of her food supplies. I have documentation under my name for the vet bills and registration. Her argument is that we got the dog registered as an ESA under her name. The only reason for this was that we were living in a breed-restricted apartment that did not allow our dog size. She has served me some papers for court in March, and I would like to know how I stand on this?


I cannot predict the outcome of a pet custody case. Given prior decisions of Florida courts, it will likely be difficult to get the court to order shared custody or visitation. While paying for most of an animal’s needs, such as veterinary care and food, can be persuasive evidence of ownership, so is having an animal registered as an emotional support animal. The court may also consider who has been the animal’s primary caretaker, whether the animal was gifted, and if one of the parties to the litigation moved and left the animal behind (and the circumstances behind doing that). I suggest attorney representation.

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By |2024-03-26T09:15:10-04:00January 9th, 2024|