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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73905
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I've been looking after a dog for 5 months and have received

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I've been looking after a dog for 5 months and have received hardly any of the money the original owner said they wwgive me for her care both she and I have grown attached could I legally sue for custody of her
JA: The Lawyer can help you determine if you have a case. Where are you located? These laws vary by location.
Customer: Earl Shilton, Leicestershire.,LE9 7AF
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Before she came to me they left her with the owners grandparents and they kept her in a cage she has turned 1 whilst in my care

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Was there ever an agreement for you to keep the dog? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
No I was asked to look after her for a few weeks and they would pay me 20 pounds per week after 5 months she is still with me
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I can't afford the 44 quid phone call
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
From what I was told when I took her in it would be a matter of meer weeks till they were rehomed and would take her 5 months down the line she is still with me and only occasionally do they give me any money for her food and then I have to repeatedly ask for it
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
All I need to know is based on the facts can I apply for sole custody of her

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. 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 pet, 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 transferred through sale or gift to someone else at any point). I really cannot see anything which suggests the legal owner had agreed to permanently transfer ownership to you and it looks like the agreement was always that you would only look after it temporarily. Not paying you expenses for looking after it does not give you rights of ownership.

If you cannot agree on who owns the dog the matter may have to be taken to court. If it ended up there, the following outcomes are possible:

- A declaration of ownership, and

- An order for the return of the pet, and

- An order for damages for wrongful retention of the pet

Just be aware though that even if the court orders that the pet be returned, no one can physically force the person who has it to do so. In that case, the court may simply decide that an order is made that the pet is sold and the proceeds shared, or just order the party who has it in their possession to compensate the other for their share of ownership.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.