Oakland, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: My boyfriends sister abandoned her dog for a year and me and him want to take it

My boyfriends sister abandoned her dog for a year and we began taking care of her and buying her leash and tag. We were given her microchip forms by the sister and now she is saying she wants the dog back. She said she has the forms such as shots and adoption, but the dog has been out of her care for a year almost. We are going to pay a family member a pet rent for the pup until we get into a new pet friendly place but we want to wait until we are sure that we can keep this pup.

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1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's unclear if she demonstrated an intent to no longer own the dog, or just left it with relative with the unspoken assumption that they would take care of it until she returned.

If she disputes ownership, you can't be "sure" that you can keep the pup until you are sued in Small Claims by her for damages and/or return of the dog, and successfully prove that she abandoned the dog, and that you assumed ownership.

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