My roommate wants ownership of my dog.

////My roommate wants ownership of my dog.


I own an emotional service dog. However, my old roommate thinks that she's his dog. My roommate was abusive, so I had to go to a shelter. Unfortunately, the shelter is not a good place for my dog or for myself. Right now, I have my dog, but my roommate thinks he can get her back. I told him that since the service dog is in my name, he cannot take her.


When a pet ownership/custody dispute cannot be amicably resolved and a lawsuit is commenced, courts will consider evidence regarding ownership and determine rights. Typically the burden falls on the person not in possession to commence the lawsuit (and many more people threaten to sue than actually do). Some courts have also considered the interests of the animal. Courts may consider such things as who adopted or purchased the animal, who has been paying for the animal’s needs, who is listed as the animal’s owner in veterinary records, under whose name the animal is registered (microchip, license, AKC, etc.). Worth noting is an Arizona law relating to orders of protection. It states, in part, that if a court issues an order of protection, it may “Grant the petitioner the exclusive care, custody or control of any animal that is owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the petitioner, the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of the petitioner or the respondent, and order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, committing an act of cruelty or neglect … or otherwise disposing of the animal.” I hope this all works out in the best interests of the dog.

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By |2019-07-01T13:08:34-04:00July 1st, 2019|