What can I do if I’m currently separated and my husband gave away my dog?

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What can I do if I’m currently separated and my husband gave away my dog?

My husband and I had a verbal agreement that he would keep my dog until I could find a place that accepted pets. I visited my dog when I had time and offered on numerous occasions to either buy him food, medical needs, etc. or compensate whoever did. I have since bought a house and when I tried to get the dog back, his parents informed me that the dog had a new home and if I contacted them or my husband again, they would file harassment charges. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on January 2, 2016 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you bought or adopted the dog jointly (e.g. while you were married), then it was his dog as well, and he could give it away at will.
If if you had the dog before marriage, you may be able to sue the recipients of the dog to get it back IF he just gave it to them and did not sell it to them. However, if he sold it, then unfortunately, you most likely cannot do anything: the law does not generally make someone return property they bought (i.e. paid something for) in good faith without knowing that the person who sold it to them lacked full authority to sell it.


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