Issaquah, WA asked in Animal / Dog Law for Washington

Q: My boyfriend and I are breaking up. He is the one who originally purchased the dog. Am I at risk of losing my companion?

We both wanted her and he fronted the money, I've been paying him back for my share of her in monthly installments. However, he threatened to get a lawyer or call the police on me if I took her. I'm the one who primarily cares for her, found her (from the breeder) and picked her out, I'm the one who purchased her license and the one who registered her with the AKC. I'm also the one who walks her and takes lunch breaks at work to come home and take care of her. I am her primary care giver/provider. I've purchased the majority if not all of her food, treats, grooming necessities, and toys. What do I do!?!?!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Marjorie Simmons
Marjorie Simmons
  • Burlington, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: From your description it sounds as if you are the dog's primary provider. Have you tallied what each of you has paid for her acquisition and care, including time spent, to see where the two of you stand with regard to financial outlays on her behalf? The two of you might benefit from a mediation, which is much less formal than a court proceeding, but can help people solve disagreements. Many counties in Washington have mediation providers who charge very small fees or even none at all. For an example, Whatcom county has the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center ( The state mediation association is at

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