So my ex and I got a dog together and since I have mental illness we got an ESA letter from my psychiatrist. But my ex took her and registered her under her name at city hall. Can I get her back anyway?
People who believe their animal was wrongfully taken or being wrongfully withheld may sue (replevin action) to try to get the animal returned. The court will consider the evidence and determine who should get the animal. Courts may consider such things as who purchased/adopted the animal, who has been the animal’s primary caretaker and paid for the animal’s needs (food, veterinary care, etc.), and under whose name the animal is or was registered. The court may consider whether the animal is actually an emotional support animal as well as the well-being of the animal. Also worth noting is that a law was recently passed in California which provides that “the court, at the request of a party to proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, may assign sole or joint ownership of a pet animal taking into consideration the care of the pet animal.” I hope this all works out for the dog.
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