Syracuse, NY asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York

Q: I have been watching a dog for a friend for three years. At what point can I keep her?

Honestly thought I was having the dog ditched on me but I have absolutely fallen in love with this animal. I have had her spade and microchipped and have paid for food, treats, baths, etc for the past three years. At what point can I claim this as my dog?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: This is something on which one of the an animal law attorneys could advise best. But you await a response for four weeks. It sounds like a difficult situation. On one hand, it sounds like your position is that you could be seen as the dog's owner, in all but name and legal formality. On the other, the owner could say they never had intentions of abandoning the animal. They simply appreciate your affection for the dog and that's why they leave her with you so much. And that they don't appreciate an inclination to bring things to a head. Or they could say they realize the dog has bonded to you. It's hard to predict; no one could say. One option you have is to reach out to one of the animal/dog law attorneys here, or one you find on your own, who have much more experience in these types of matters. Whatever the outcome, it sounds like you are a devoted and kind pet owner. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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