El Cajon, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: spouse left me left three dogs also what do I do?

My now x left me and left the dogs because she has no place for them. I originally said fine they can finish out the lease because I thought this was temporary she keeps saying they will stay here because she is on the lease things have gotten ugly between us I don’t want here dogs here I want to move on with my life and taking care of theee dogs one being a puppy is hard alone and I’m never home. She refuses and just keeps saying I’m on the lease I will get them before November. What do I do?

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2 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Tell her to pick up the dogs within a reasonable, defined time. Let her know that if she does not do so, you will surrender the dogs to a shelter the following day.

Andy Chen
Andy Chen
Answered
  • Modesto, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I concur with Mr. Light that you need to inform her she needs to get the dogs within a specified time period. You should not just suddenly get rid of them without giving her the opportunity to reclaim. That just gives her too much of an excuse to cause you further trouble.

Two things that come to mind: (1) instead of taking them to a shelter, find rescue groups in your area to take them. The rescue generally will not euthanize them whereas a city or county-run shelter might just due to space. I don't know El Cajon's shelters, of course. Rescue groups are usually 501c3 non-profits. (2) Are you going to break your lease and move somewhere or just stay where you are? If you're going to break your lease, you may owe your landlord additional rent, depending on whether you have a lease for a time (e.g. if you're 5 months in to a 12 month lease). If you're going to stay and she remains on the lease, she might have some ability to have the dogs stay there, but she would need to pay for half the rent, half the utilities, etc in addition to paying for all expenses (e.g. food) for the dogs. Most people in this situation don't want to do that and just want to stash their dogs someplace for free.

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