How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78650
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

We have an issue regarding co-ownership of our pet, could

This answer was rated:

Hi, we have an issue regarding co-ownership of our pet, could you answer some questions?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Wales UK, thanks
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We have an agreement / contract in place where we keep Coco as our pet but have to supply x3 litters for the previous owner but the previous owner has breached, we have stuck to everything our side, we need to know what our options are as she is threatening to take our pet back. Thanks
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No thanks
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Ok thanks

I understand your query relates to breach of contract by the previous owner of your pet. Please provide some more details of your agreement with them and how exactly they have breached it.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Attached is the original agreement. She has failed to follow this as we have not received payment as detailed. We had to cut our holidays short as she threatened to turn up at our property and take Coco for breading without us present.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
This was the second breeding, we have already given her x1 litter.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
The wording she used when threatening was “she’s my f*cking dog, I’m taking her”. But she has been our pet at our residence for 18 months- vets, insurance, chip, groomers, daily upkeep is all in our name.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hello?

Thank you,  and so that I can best advise, what specifically would you like to ask about this please?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
What are our options regarding cancelling the agreement / keeping Coco. She clearly doesn’t care about the animals but Coco is a family member to us. Thanks

OK I understand and thank you for providing the information requested. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now. I will get back to you with my full reply on here; usually the same day and the system will notify you when this happens.

I should also make you aware that this is not always an instant service, due to various legal engagements I could have and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I will be dealing with your query and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Ok thank you.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

If the other side has breached the agreement in place, you could argue that the whole contract is void, although you have to be careful with that as the usual outcome is that the position reverts to what it was before the contract was entered into, namely that the puppy goes back to the original owner and you get back anything you gave or paid to them at the start.

Saying that, there is nothing stopping you from trying to keep the dog and seeing where the seller will take this.

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.

Therefore the options that are open to the seller are to go to court and get:

- 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.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you