What can I do if my boyfriend and I have recently separated and now he will not allow me access to our dog that he got for me as a gift?

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What can I do if my boyfriend and I have recently separated and now he will not allow me access to our dog that he got for me as a gift?

We both paid for him. However, when he did the AKC registration, he put his name as primary (which makes no sense since he was for me) but I am still secondary on the registration. This is causing me extreme emotional distress. I am distraught and feel like I have lost my child. I need to know if there is anything I can do. I tried to compromise with him and he said, “You will never see Clyde (our dog0 again and then blocked my number. I have to have my baby. I have lost my child.

Asked on September 24, 2014 under Business Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if the dog was yours--i.e. it was a gift to you--he cannot take it back. But practically, if he is registered as the primary owner and is prepared to testify that it is his dog, it may be hard to prove that it is yours and not his. Your only recourse to get the dog would be to sue him in court--and not in small claims court, which can only give money damages; you'd have to sue  in regular district or county court--for a court order that he turn the dog over to you. You'd have to prove in court, by testimony and/or evidence, that the dog was a gift and you owned it; he would be able to present his contrary testimony and evidence. It may be an uphill fight, and possibly expensive (you really should get an attorney) to do this.


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