Bethesda, MD asked in Animal / Dog Law for Maryland

Q: My ex kept and will not give my dog back. The dog is chipped under my name and vet is under my name.

While moving out took the dogs paperwork. I have paid most of dogs bills and have been primary caregiver.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: How was the dog acquired, who was present when it was acquired, was there a contract/adoption agreement, whose name in on the paperwork, did money exchange hands, who paid, were the two of you already living together at the time or if not with whom did the dog reside before you two began living together, was there a mutual agreement/decision made about getting the dog in the first place, etc. Perhaps one, or perhaps both of you, own the dog, depending on the answers to the foregoing questions. You may need to work out a shared schedule for care and custody if both own the dog. If you believe you are the sole owner, you can file a civil action called "replevin" and seek to prove to a judge's satisfaction that the dog is yours, and obtain an order directing the dog be returned to you.

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