Traphill, NC asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina

Q: What are the odds that I can get my dog back?

I recently left my boyfriend of 2.5 years. His mother gave me a puppy a year ago. While packing my things, he told me I could not take her then proceeded to call his mother after I said I was taking her because she is mine. His mother came over and politely walked up and let my dog out of her carrier while I was in another room packing. He told me I couldn't have her because his grandmother, who does not live in the home, likes her. When I was preparing to leave he again told me I couldn't have her; she was a few feet away in his grandparents home by now. I was then threatened by his mother as to what she would do to me if I tried to take my dog. She even said "I gave her to you." I spoke with my local sheriff's dept who referred me to the magistrate. I was told by a magistrate that I will have to file a civil suit. I purchased and have the following:toys, bed, food, bowls, sweater, shot record, rabies receipt, and receipt of spay. What are my odds of getting her if I choose to file???

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1 Lawyer Answer

Melissa Averett

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: You certainly have a valid claim. It would also help, in addition to the receipts you listed, if you paid county taxes for the dog. Even if you decide to represent yourself, you should consult with an attorney in your county before drafting, filing, and serving the necessary complaint and civil summons. No one can guarantee you will win, or give you odds (that would be an ethical violation), but an experienced civil attorney in your district can tell you if they think its worth the time, expense and effort, and how to proceed.

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