My ex-girlfriend bought a puppy and gave it to me to raise. I have paid for vet bills, medications, and food for 8 months now. She claims that she bought him for both of us. She lives two hours away. We are broken up now, and she says she's coming to get the dog. Who gets custody of the dog?
When people "share" an animal, ideally they would agree on custody/visitation. When this does not happen and one person sues, the court will consider the evidence and determine rights. I cannot predict how a court will decide any given pet custody case. Courts have considered such things as who adopted/purchased the animal, who has been the animal’s primary caretaker, who has paid for the animal’s needs, such as food and veterinary care, under whose name an animal is registered (e.g., microchip, license, and veterinary records), and whether there is evidence that the animal was gifted, sold, abandoned, or mistreated. Some courts have also considered the well-being of the animal. I hope that you and your ex can more amicably agree on a custody/visitation arrangement that is in the best interests of the dog.
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