I boarded a cat for 7 months. Who has legal ownership?

////I boarded a cat for 7 months. Who has legal ownership?


I kept a friend's ex's cat for 7 months while they dated and now suddenly she wants it back after they broke up. I like the cat and don't want to give it back. The cat is happy here. Is the cat legally mine after this time period? There was no contract.


Ideally, disputing parties would be able to work out a pet custody arrangement that considers the best interests of the animal. It is difficult to predict the outcome of pet custody cases. When there is no written contract and a case is litigated (the burden to bring such a case normally falls on the person who does not have possession of the animal) courts will consider the terms of a verbal agreement and other evidence to determine ownership rights. Courts may determine that an animal was abandoned or gifted when left for an extended period of time (in which case the person in possession would probably be awarded the animal). Alternatively, a court could decide an animal was boarded, but in making such a determination the court would likely consider whether any boarding fees were paid and if the animal’s “parent” visited with the animal. Some courts have also considered the well-being of the animal.

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By |2019-06-18T13:11:53-04:00June 18th, 2019|