My ex-roommate gave me his neglected dog he said because he was going into rehab and he would be better off with me. He is out of rehab and now saying it was supposed to be temporary. The dog has a microchip, can he take him away from me? Can I have my vet change the microchip information without the ex-roommates cooperation? Over time I fell in love and totally consider him my dog. I would be devastated if I had to send him back to that bad situation.
People who give their animal away generally have no further rights to that animal. Ideally when an animal is re-homed, there would be a written agreement that makes it clear that one named person is relinquishing all rights to the animal to the other named person. A description of the animal should be included and the agreement should be signed and dated. When no such written agreement exists (and, oftentimes, there is no written transfer of ownership agreement), it can be helpful to have on hand proof that the animal was gifted or sold, even texts and emails, in the event a lawsuit is commenced for the return of the animal. My understanding is that veterinarians and microchip companies do not typically change a microchip registration without the consent of the person to whom the animal is registered. While a microchip can be used as evidence of ownership, it does not necessarily prove ownership. Courts will consider other evidence, including, for example, whether an animal was gifted, sold, or abandoned.
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