Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado

Q: How long before you can keep a dog your watching?

An old friend of ours asked us to watch there dog for a couple of weeks. Since then they have not called or visit to ask or see how the dog is doing. Since then thw dog has ran out of food and we had to go buy more for him. And his behavior is a lot better since we have gotten him. They use to keep him in a kennel all day long. Is there anyway that the dog could be considered ours legally ?

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

A: Dogs are property under Colorado law. Under Colorado property law, property is not considered abandoned until 5 years have passed. So, until 5 years passes with no contact from the owners - or until they gift or sell the dog to you, the dog belongs to the original owners. You could reach out to the owners and see if they give or sell the dog to you so you don’t have to wait 5 years. If you have incurred expenses not anticipated under the original agreement, you can ask to be reimbursed. Under either wither scenario, you will want an attorney to help you draw up an agreement of gift or sale, or have to ask for reimbursement.

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