Longmont, CO asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado

Q: How do I take someone to court to get my dog? I was told small claims by the cops.

I have all of my puppy’s paper work and I am microchipped to her- I even still pay her Veterinary insurance. My ex roommate told animal control and the cops that I “adopted shasta for her” when I went to pick her up, I simply left shasta in her care as I moved. There were never any written or verbal agreements made. I was told to take her to small claims court by the cops, but I am reading that here in Colorado the judge can’t order shasta be given back to me- only can order money be given. Is this true? How do I go about this? Shasta is a pure bred Doberman and I’m scared she will be used for breeding. I love her very much and am heartbroken it’s possible I could never see her again!!

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

A: No, the cops don't know the law. They just say whatever they can to get you to leave them alone about stuff like this. If they saw your paperwork, they should have assisted you, but since they won't, you will have to take her to court. You can take her to small claims, but county court is better. If you file a replevin action, you might be able to get a hearing within two weeks (that's the rule) - but with COVID19 causing such a scheduling disaster with the courts right now, it's hard to predict if that would happen. The judge can order the roommate to give you your dog back, not just money for your dog. That said, I would recommend speaking to an animal attorney about your case.

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