What to do if we just adopted a dog from one of my high school classmates but now they want the dog back?

I was told that the dog was hers but was giving to her sister-in-law and her brother a few years ago because the apartment she was now renting didn’t allow animals. The sister-in-law gave the dog back to the girl I grew up with and said that she needed to find a good home for him because her and her husband was getting a divorce and she found an apartment for herself which didn’t allow dogs. We picked up the dog on the 13th; I then received a call on the 26th from the “sister-in-law” stating they will need the dog back because her husband was claiming the dog under martial property. Do they have the right to do this??

Asked on January 28, 2013 under Family Law, Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unless there was some paper work transferring title to the dog that you adopted by the person that gave the dog to you showing that there was a right to transfer the animal was authorized to you and the person who is now claiming ownership of the dog is its true owner, then under the laws of all states in this country you did not receive good "ownership rights" to the dog and have to return it to the person showing ownership rights to it.

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