Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Utah

Q: Can someone legally give away someone else's pet snake?

My cousin was housing her pet snakes at her friends house for a while and now that friend has given her snakes away

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1 Lawyer Answer
Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Pets are property so this question could just as easily be, "my cousin was keeping her bicycle at her friends, and her friend has given it away".

The answer to the question is "no". Someone who does not have ownership can't give it away. If they do, then what they are in effect doing is "stealing" the property and then giving it away. We call that misappropriation. Your cousin could sue her friend for the value of the snake, in addition, she could sue the receiver of the snake for receiving stolen property if the receiver knew.

This is probably just a curiosity request, but I hope this helps.

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