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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 66805
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Hope this message finds you well. I would like to enquire if

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Hi, hope this message finds you well. I would like to enquire if it’s possible to get my dog back from a friend of friends. I gave her my pet the 22nd March, 3 days before the lockdown. However, we did not exchange anything for the pet. I kept the his documentation, his microchip is still under my name, so is the vet (I kept paying the vet subscription) and his insurance. Because of the lockdown I haven’t been able to pay him any visits and I’ve decided I want him back. She doesn’t want to give him back. Please could you advise me and feel free to ask me for more details. I am very desperate as I find this unsettling
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: No I haven’t, I live in the UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I’ve sent the lady a text asking for my pet back but she refuses
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: She is saying I used her and now that I want my pet back, I was fraudulent.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

So did you give your pet away or was this a temporary arrangement?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
There was no definite arrangement, when I gave him it was rushed because of the lockdown taking place soon and I would check up on my pet via message but when she started asking me for his documents I laid back because I understood when I gave her she would become his owner
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Every time I spoke to them, they would regard him still as my pet. In fact, she wanted to keep him in the same vet (which I was paying) and his insurance
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I feel like they have taken advantage of my age and my situation at the moment, to take in my pet ( a Frenchie which also cost £1500)

So why did you give him to your friend in the first place?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I was coming back from university in London due to the Corina outbreak, I didn’t have a home where I could keep him

Thank you. Under law, pets are treated as ‘chattels’, which just means an item that is owned. They will not be seen as a living thing and will be treated in the same way as inanimate objects, like a car.

If there is a dispute as to who should take possession of a dog, the first thing the courts would look at is who the legal owner is. Initially, that would be the person(s) who bought it, with any subsequent transfers of ownership dependent on the actual circumstances (e.g. was ownership gifted to someone at any point).

If the person who is the legal owner has had the dog taken away by someone else, they have the following options:

{C}1. The easiest one is to try and locate the dog and where it is being walked and once it is on public property, beckon it to come to you and if it comes, you can take it as it is legally yours.

{C}2. If that does not work or is not a viable option, the matter may have to be taken to court. If it ended up there, the following outcomes are possible:

{C}· A declaration of ownership, and

{C}· An order for the return of the dog, and

{C}· An order for damages for wrongful retention of the dog

Just be aware though that even if the court orders that the dog be returned, no one can physically force the person who has it to do so. In that case, the court may order that the dog be sold and the proceeds given to you, or just order the party who has it to compensate the other for their share of ownership.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
because no Document had been transferred to her, therefore he is still legally mine, I can take him with option one ?

If you can do that peacefully then yes that is indeed an option. Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
thank you so much for your help! Really appreciate it

All the best

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