Aurora, CO asked in Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Colorado

Q: Can you try and win custody over a dog that is obviously not treated right?

It's a room mate's dog and he treats the dog terribly. Leaves the dog locked in a cage that is too small, hardly ever leaves suffifient food or water(you can see the ribs of the animal). And refuses to take the dog to a vet for very simple necessities. I have told him that he needs to feed her properly and make sure she has adequate water supply at all times but he "punishes" the dog for urinating on the carpet by not leaving water for her to drink. The dog is properly trained and now terrified of her owner, I just want to do this legally and do the same for this dog as I would a human child. I want to keep the dog and have offered to pay him for the animal but says he wants to breed her and reap the profits of puppies. I've thought about calling animal control but I'll make sure to leave extra food for her in my room so she isn't getting completely neglected. But when I move out im afraid for the dog's health and wellbeing.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Media, PA
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: You need to call animal control. This sounds like severe neglect. Even then, that does not necessarily mean the dog will be confiscated by animal control - although, if the dog's ribs are showing that is more likely to happen than not. If the dog is confiscated by animal control, after a certain period of time the dog will be up for adoption. You can adopt the dog at that time, but keep in mind that the dog will likely be adopted to whoever comes first.

Otherwise, you can continue to try to offer your roommate money to buy the dog, but unless or until he/she agrees, the dog will remain stuck with her current owner.

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