Spring Hill, KS asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri

Q: I am the co-owner of a dog and the other owner will not allow me access to her. What are my rights?

I co-own a dog with a girl but am listed as primary owner on the AKC registration. She has had this dog for 3 years and will not allow me access to her. What are my rights as the primary co-owner? Can I go to her home and simply retrieve the dog or do I need a court order? Are canines considered personal property? If so, is it legal for her to withhold personal property?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth J. Geniuk
Kenneth J. Geniuk
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Animals are considered personal property. Unless you have been given unrestricted access to the other person's home, I would not recommend going into the home and retrieving the dog, as your entry into the home could be considered trespassing, which might get you in legal trouble. If you HAVE been given unrestricted access, then you would probably be okay retrieving the dog, as you can not be charged with stealing your own property. In any respect, I would not do anything until you discuss the details more thoroughly with an attorney. Property law is heavily fact-driven, and you need to discuss those facts in order to get the best legal advice.

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