My neighbor gave me his dog, but now wants her back. What do I do?


Question

I have a neighbor who gave me his dog about 3 years ago. He got angry with me and demands his dog back. I’ve had her spayed, got her shots etc. He called police saying I stole her.

Answer

People who sell or give their animal away generally have no further rights to that animal. People who believe that their animal was stolen may contact the police (as happened in your situation). It can be helpful to have on hand evidence that the dog has been in your possession for three years, proof that the dog was gifted (even texts and emails), and other proof of ownership, such as veterinary records, microchip registration, etc. People who believe that their animal is being wrongfully withheld can also commence a civil lawsuit but that does not mean the case has merit. Also, many more people threaten to sue than sue. Three years is a very long time to leave an animal in another person’s care and expect to get the animal returned, unless there was a boarding agreement, in which case a court would consider the terms of the boarding agreement and whether boarding fees were paid.

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