Commerce City, CO asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado

Q: My dad recently passed away. His gf has his/my dog. Is there a way to get him back?

My dad adopted Sky as a Christmas present for my sister and I when we were younger. Now the dog is with his gf and I fear she won’t agree to give him back in a civil manner.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Sean Maye
Sean Maye
Answered
  • Denver, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: The answer to your question depends on a lot of factors and you will need to consult with an attorney to assess how the specific facts/circumstances may entitle you to return of the dog or not. At first glance, it would probably be best to consult with and retain a lawyer to begin by encouraging the girlfriend to come to a civil arrangement.

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

A: You can sue the girlfriend in replevin if she won't agree to give the dog back; your dad will likely need to be a named plaintiff in the lawsuit. Try calling the police and see if they will help. They usually don't, but they might be able to negotiate the dog's release for you.

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Greenwood Village, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: I'm sorry the loss of your dad. I agree with Mr. Maye that there are too many unanswered questions. Why is the dog with your deceased father's girlfriend? Was your dad taking care of your dog? If so for how long? In my opinion, this is going to have to be resolved in probate. If a probate case has not been filed, you should consult with a probate attorney or go to the state's website. https://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/openestate/

I don't think a replevin action is appropriate unless it's clear the dog is your property https://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/recoverpersonalproperty/

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