Eastpointe, MI asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan

Q: My dad's partner of 12 Years passed away and was the owner of a mini Goldendoodle 3 years old.

Her daughter of her estate said my dad could keep the dog and if anything happens to my dad to where he can't care for the dog not to give him to anyone else but her we agreed, 2 months later her husband started asking for weekend visitations and my dad did not agree to that. then we get a letter in the mail from the daughters attorney stating the dog was only in my dad's care temporarily and he broke the verbal agreement by denying visitation and claiming ownership when we have two months of conversations and nowhere does she ask for visitation and my dad claiming ownership by registering him according to the rules at his apartment and registering him as an emotional support animal she was sent pictures of the dog in his service vest and said nothing about it and nothing about visitation. The attorney is referring the dog as property of the estate and that we wrongfully took the property . Can she win a lawsuit for the dog to be returned to her?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You might be stuck. Right or wrong, animals are considered property. And in this case, the dog is property of the estate, to which your dad has no claim unless they were married at the time or if a will directs otherwise.

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