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Questions Answered by Kristina M. Bergsten

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: If u own a dog & someone steals it, can u take it back if it end up in your possesion?

A relative stole my dog and I have proof of ownership. Can I take it back if it ends up in my possession without me doing illegal activity or using force?

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 21, 2019

This is a tough question to answer since there aren’t enough details. If the dog wanders back home to you, there is no harm or problem with that.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: friend of mine bought a puppy at 8 weeks old & she handed puppy to me & I've been taking care of the puppy 24/7 for 8 w

visited puppy 4 days 3 nights,1play date for 2 hours took puppy last Friday & still not returned & being very difficult she also made me lose my job from what work says how do I get the puppy back hes my heart

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 14, 2019

Unless this person gave you the puppy in writing or words, the puppy belongs to your friend and she can take it back any time. I would recommend searching for a puppy at a shelter to help ease the pain of your loss.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Are dogs considered personal property?

My mother asked my brother to watch her dogs while she was out of town on a couple business trips. She has been asking for her dogs back since she got back and he is refusing to let her have them back. He is not working so all care related to the dogs while in his care reside with my mother. He... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 2, 2019

Yes dogs are personal property and your mom retained her ownership in them if all she did was ask him to “dog sit” or “watch” the dogs. She can file a theft report, but it is possible the police will not get involved. If they do not, your mom will have to sue your brother in civil court to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: My dog died because the sitter gave it insulin shots meant for my other dog. What recourse can I pursue?

The sitter met and knew the difference between both dogs, she met them in March prior to the date she was supposed to watch them 12-14 April 19. We went over diabetic dog's needs. The day we dropped them off she wasn't home, so her husband took them. We explained to him the dog's needs and he... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 17, 2019

You can sue this person in small claims court for the loss of your dog, the injury o your diabetic dog, and any and all vet bills and other related costs.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Can I legally steal my dog back from my dad because I have proof of ownership? He took my dog

My dad and his husband stole my dog after agreeing to watch him while I went on a trip. I have all the proof hes mine and microchip but they took off his collar and tags without my permission and made my dog theirs. The police were no help

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 12, 2019

No, you cannot “legally steal” your dog back. You can sue your dad in court to get your dog back. The police will generally not get involved in these sorts of matters when there is family/relatives/romantic relationships involved.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Our neighbors dogs keep busting through the fence and entering our backyard. Can we open our gate and let the dogs loose

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 10, 2019

I would highly recommend calling animal control and have them remove the dogs. This will accomplish two things: 1) animal control will safely and effectively remove the dogs and ticket the owners for letting them run loose; and 2) protect you from any lawsuits if you purposely let the dogs outside... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: How can I get my dog back after my friend gave her to his girlfriend even though it was against our agreement?

We moved from Arizona to Colorado and gave our dog of 7 years to a friend with the terms he was to keep her and if he couldn't he would give her back. It was only a verbal agreement. He let her stay at his girlfriend's with her 2 kids because she loves kids (we have 3). His girlfriend decided to... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 7, 2019

Wow! I’m sorry to hear all of this! Unfortunately, the only proper and legal way to get your dog back is to take this woman to court. You could try to reach out to her to negotiate the return of the dog by re-purchasing her from this woman - but that would be the only way to get the dog back.

3 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Colorado on

Q: My ex gave me a dog as a Christmas present. We lived together with the dog for 3 years, He's claiming rights to her now.

After he gave her to me I paid all the vet bills, micro chipping, injuries, dog food etc... She was bought off Craig's list in cash by his mother. I have her in my possession now but I'm scared of what he's capable of doing now. We originally made a verbal agreement to share her but he changed his... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 2, 2019

If he gave her to you, then she’s yours. The only way he can legally get her back and keep her is if he takes you to court and wins. If you have all other documents in your name then you will have a good chance at court if he takes you to court.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Hello, my ex-partner wants to keep my service dog.

His name is on the dog's microchip, but I am her handler and am disabled. The dog has been specially trained to assist me. What rights do each of us have concerning who will keep my service dog/his pet?

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Mar 19, 2019

If you bought the dog and the dog was trained for you and your disability and not your ex, I would say you have a very strong case that the dog belongs to you. I would recommend contacting and animal attorney who specializes in service animal matters to help you go over your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Can I get my dog back if a person isn’t following a verbal agreement?

I let my friend have my dog since at the time I couldn’t take care of her under the conditions that I can still see her, take her to the dog park and just still have her in my life in general. They agreed. Since getting her I haven’t been able to see her at all and I’m in a better position.... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Mar 19, 2019

A verbal agreement, or verbal contract, is enforceable in Colorado. If you gave the dog to this person verbally, then this dog belongs to that person. If you gave the dog away with conditions - and those conditions are not being met and the giving of the dog was contingent on those conditions, you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Can you adopt a pet if the owner goes to jail?

Someone I know went to jail and I currently have his dog. The reason I currently have his dog is because he was my sister-in-laws boyfriend and he beat her. His parents are not interested in taking the dog. I am willing to take ownership of the dog, but I don't want this person part of my life... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Mar 15, 2019

Technically, under these facts, the answer is no. If the dog was taken to a shelter, then ownership would sever after 5 days under Colorado statute. However, for an individual person, the abandoned property kicks in after 5 years. So, technically, unless this guy sells the dog to you or agrees to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: My boyfriend and I each have an esa dog and each have an additional dog. Is this allowed in Denver since half are esa?

Is this allowed since 2 aren’t technically household pets and are esa and the other 2 are household pets?

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Mar 13, 2019

ESAs do not have the same protections as service animals so it depends on what purpose you’re asking this question. For zoning/code reasons or for rental/housing reasons? Generally, ESAs are not considered as “pets” and so wouldn’t count as a dog for purposes of zoning/code regulations.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Colorado on

Q: Can you try and win custody over a dog that is obviously not treated right?

It's a room mate's dog and he treats the dog terribly. Leaves the dog locked in a cage that is too small, hardly ever leaves suffifient food or water(you can see the ribs of the animal). And refuses to take the dog to a vet for very simple necessities. I have told him that he needs to feed her... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 25, 2019

You need to call animal control. This sounds like severe neglect. Even then, that does not necessarily mean the dog will be confiscated by animal control - although, if the dog's ribs are showing that is more likely to happen than not. If the dog is confiscated by animal control, after a certain... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Someones dog jumped into my yard and got my dog pregnant. Can I sue?

My dog stays outside from 830 to 12 and then again from 2pm to 5pm. Sadly on a chain only because she jumps. Food and water included out side. So no neglect from me. But some random dog came into my yard and impregnated her. Now I have 6 puppies pooping and stinking up my home. What can I do... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 22, 2019

You can always sue someone. Whether you will win or not is another question. You could sue for the cost of birthing the puppies and possibly related vet bills and care. Since the weather has been below freezing out for a while, now, i hope your dog also has access to shelter and warmth while being... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: I live in a rural part of Colorado. After 40 years of rescuing Siberian Huskies one of my dogs escaped the yard and

Killed 2 chickens. I am more than willing to pay the fine for dog running at large but the neighbor wants $500.00 per chicken. What is a reasonable price for a chicken? Bear in mind it wasn’t a pet.

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 19, 2019

Your question doesn't have so much to do with animal law as it does with business transactions, but probably the best way to determine a fair price for the chickens is to check your local newspaper or "craigslist" listings for the going price for a chicken. I know off hand they are not $500 piece -... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Are pit bull/husky mix allowed in Costilla county Colorado ?

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 16, 2019

You should call the local animal control to make sure, but the pit bull ban usually depends on whether or not the dog has 51% or more characteristics that resemble a pit bull. So if your dog looks more husky than pit bull, you are more than likely okay

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: My dog is wrongfully accused of attacking a man in the park. On police report.

Can they confiscate my dog? Do they give me notice of intending to do so? By the way, the man pulled a gun on me but not charged with anything!

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 16, 2019

They probably will not take your dog if they haven’t already. I would recommend getting an attorney before your court date though.

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Person found a missing dog, called to relinquish it... but now says his friends don't want to give her back.

Someone found a dog that escaped from a fenced dog run at a motel in Denver. He finally called after having her for almost a week to say they would give her back... and he wanted the reward. The guy who actually found her moves from place to place so he really doesn't have a home and he left her... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 4, 2019

I am a little unclear as to who is who in your narrative but if the owners know who have the dog and can contact them they could ask for the dog back and if the people refuse, they could sue in county court.

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: Took neighbor's hypothermic puppy but left a note. Can they charge me with theft? Dog was returned.

I didn't want to call animal control on them because they typically take good care of their animals. It was a short-haired puppy and the temp was below 20 degrees. It was shaking violently while sitting in the snow. I rung the doorbell and knocked, but no one was home. It was dusk, and about to... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jan 24, 2019

Technically, yes, you could be charged with theft. It would be up to the responding police officer whether to charge you or not. It would most likely be a misdemeanor unless they claim the dog is worth more than a few hundred dollars. I think your statement that you should call animal control next... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on

Q: A friend gave us a dog and now wants her back after 9 months. We have paid all expenses. He changed his mind.

He gave us the dog to but wanted to be able to breed her twice. He got mad at us and says he will come and take her.

Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jan 12, 2019

If he gave you the dog, then it’s yours. He would have to sue you and win to get the dog back. However, because there are clearly some details that you did not post here, it would be best if you met either an attorney to go over all the facts to get your best resolution.

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