Q: A girl bought a puppy and wasn't able to care for it. It's been living with me for 4 years. Now she wants her back.
This was my landlord's daughter who has never been a responsible pet owner. In those 4 years, she would occasionally ask if the dog could stay overnight with her and I would allow that but my place is her home. All expenses have been paid by me, including years of dog classes such as Nose Work, Rally, Lure Coursing, Dock Diving, CGC. She has several titles in these Performance events. Granted, the girl had no interest in any kind of training, I did this because the dog needs to be kept busy and she enjoys it. A few months ago, this girls father died and now feels that she needs the dog to fill an emotional hole or something. She wants the dog back now that all of the years of training have been done where the dog is very well behaved. As far as I am concerned, this dog is mine and it would be detrimental to the dog to let this girl have it. What does the law think?
A: Initially, as they say, possession is 9/10th of the law. So there's that.
I believe no court would award possession of the dog to this girl. She gave you the dog, and you've done everything to care for it. Unless the girl has some sort of writing that specifies that she never intended to relinquish ownership of the dog to you, it's yours.
I think you can be pretty confident in telling her to pound sand, her grief notwithstanding. Best of luck to you.
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