Franklin, IN asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana

Q: If a pet is left with you how long is it before that pet is legally yours?

I was asked to care for a pet temporarily but her place of living won't allow it so I have him. Things went south and I still have him. How long does it take before he's legally mine. Asking because I love this dog and if she's not going to get him back I want to keep him.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch
  • Valparaiso, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: There is no set time limit where an animal becomes your property. The animal can legally become yours if the animal is abandoned. At that point the animal has no owner and anyone can claim it. However, in order for personal property like an animal to be considered abandoned there must be intent on the owner to disclaim ownership. Right now you are still basically holding the animal on behalf of the owner.

If you really want the animal you may wish to offer to buy it from the owner.

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