Parlier, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: I have a bully that stays at my house it's not mine it's a friend's but he doesn't come by to see her. Can I get papers?

This friend is my husband's cousin. He asked us to watch her because he moved to an apartment, which they couldn't have pets. He doesn't come to see her at all, doesn't buy her food, doesn't ask how she is doing. I have been buying everything for the dog. It doesn't bother me ,but I think that the dog belongs to me now right? It's been over two years.

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

A: You can't just take somebody else's dog because you don't think he's a good owner. You agreed to watch the dog. You didn't put a time limit on it, or apparently even ask for funds to pay for food, or to pay for kenneling. If you want to change the terms of that deal, you have to tell him. Two years is probably unreasonable, but you are a party to those circumstances. Maybe he should pay some kenneling fees.

You can notify him that you are going to surrender the dog to Animal Control in say 7 days if he doesn't pick up the dog and compensate you for kenneling his dog. There is no magic number of days. If he doesn't pick up the dog and pay, surrender the dog and then adopt it legally if you want to keep it, assuming he doesn't claim it.

Or, offer to buy it. Or, offer to forgive his kenneling fee debt if he transfers ownership of the dog to you. Or, since he apparently isn't taking an interest in the dog, ask him if you can just have it. Or, just remain silent and hope it never comes up. Just getting it tagged and licensed in your name, without his knowledge and consent, is probably the last choice you should make.

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