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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71158
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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About 6 weeks ago a friend's son's girlfriend walked out on

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About 6 weeks ago a friend's son's girlfriend walked out on him and their two cats. the son was left to care for them, but couldn't as he had to move back in with his parents and they could not take them. We took them to give them a permanent home. The son gave us paperwork relating to them; this paperwork is in the name of the girlfriend. She is now asking about them. What is our position legally? We took them from the person we understood to have joint ownership and that he had the right to rehome them. Thank you
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are they pedigrees?
Are they worth much?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hello - they are just moggies and have no actual value

Is she likely to sue ?
Does she have a job? Has she a background of paying for things or relying on everybody else to do so?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she is taking the boyfriend to court for assault, which he denies, so I suppose there is a chance she may use this as another form of retribution against him. she has got a job but I understand she had a few issues with her employment record, so there may have been times when the boyfriend was the sole earner

OK. She doesn't sound the type of person who has ever paid for anything in her life.
You haven't stolen this cat. You were given them perfectly lawfully by a joint owner of the cat.
She is a joint owner. She could seek a declaration of ownership at the county court and a consequent possession order. She will not get legal aid for that. It is not actually that expensive to issue but legal fees will be prohibitive. Also, if she does then she will have to prove that she does own these cats. Obviously she did at one point but there is a very strong argument here that she abandoned them. She will be making some ridiculous excuse about domestic abuse. You might want to get the boyfriend along to rebut that. It is the get out of gaol card for women at the moment. If you are losing a case just allege domestic abuse. It makes no difference to whether she abandoned her cat when one thinks about it but she will not think about it. She will just read all the nonsense on the internet on this twaddle and use that as an excuse. Be prepared to challenge that.
Truth is that when animals have been abandoned and rehomed Judges very rarely disturb them. It is different if they have stolen from a loving owner of course. However, I would suggest that loving owners do not leave their animals in the care of somebody they claim is a domestic terrorist.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
If this ever does happen and you do get to court, which I very much doubt, prepare on the basis that she will use domestic abuse as an excuse.
Get her to say how horrible and controlling he was and how terrified she was and how she was the victim of the most appalling abuse and she deserves a medal for leaving. Get her to tell the Judge that she feared for her life and that he is dangerous to everybody about him. Right at the end put to her that she would never leave an animal that she loved in danger. She cannot deny that.
Then comment in closing on the point to the effect that she cannot have cared much about these cats as she left them with a monster.
That will teach this malingerer to pretend to be vulnerable to try to gain advantage.
Make sure you get your costs and interest against her.