Cincinnati, OH asked in Animal / Dog Law for Ohio

Q: Why am I being told I can't adopt my boyfriend dog back after the humane office took it

Sent to court and had hearing and a 600 bind was set for the care of him and again my boyfriend is the owner of this dog but he is my ESA dog

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1 Lawyer Answer
Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Greenwood Village, CO

A: You are being told that you cannot adopt the dog because your boyfriend still owns the dog unless he fails to pay that $600 cost of care

bond the court just set. If he fails maintain ownership during the case by missing any payments, typically he forfeits his ownership which then goes to the government agency (probably a humane society) and they can do a number of things to dispose of the dog.

I’ve no idea what the charges are against your boyfriend, if it’s alleged animal cruelty and you live with him that’s a big reason for the humane society to not put the dog back in that situation by adopting it to you. Similarly if the dog was taken due to a dangerous dog attack on another animal or person, the agency won’t want to put it back in the situation without conditions that would satisfy them it’s reasonably safe to do so.

Unfortunately you are in the middle with really not very clearly defined legal rights to the dog. Emotional support animals have protections in no pet housing under the Fair Housing Act but they are not elevated to the status of medical device like the ADA tends to do for disabled people with trained service dog is which would give you better standing to argue you need the dog for medical reasons. For example, based on the scant

information provided, It does not sound like you have a situation where you’re significantly disabled and this dog has specialized, expensive training to do tasks for you that greatly assist you to show you can’t live without him.

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