North Reading, MA asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts

Q: Will a surrender agreement hold up in a Massachusetts court?

My ex-husband surrendered his dog to our daughter Dec. 2018. She surrendered the dog to me January 2019. He now wants the dog back. Does he have any legal rights to the dog.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
  • Worcester, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The courts view pets as property, therefore this isn't really a family law issue even though all the parties are (or were) family members. He could file a claim in small claims court or if he has documentation that the dog belongs to him (registration, etc.) he might be able to bring a criminal charge. Based on everything else going on, I wouldn't expect the police to have the resources to pursue it. In my opinion, you shouldn't be too concerned, but an attorney that handles civil claims would be able to give you a more definitive answer.

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