Wedding Woes

Another leaving a dog discussion

So this is not quite the same thing, but similar with leaving pets with people. I don't remember who the poster was with the issue before?

Q. My dog: Three years ago, I asked my brother and his girlfriend to take care of my dog while I went away to school. The first year was fine, but midway through the second, my brother broke up with his girlfriend and moved out. I panicked and asked her if she would still take care of my dog (she had a house with a yard while my brother and I lived in apartments). She agreed but told me come pick my dog up in three months. I wasn’t able to meet the deadline and begged her for an extension. Then my dog had to have some expensive surgery (I gave her some cash later on) but since then, she has been later and later in responding to me.

I admit I wasn’t as diligent as I should have been but I had a lot on my plate with my final year of school and two internships. Now she refuses to give back the dog. She finally called me back after I bombarded with texts. She told me I was harassing her, she was going to call the cops, that I had “abandoned” my dog so it was hers now, and she microchipped and registered him as hers. I don’t know what to do. Please how do I get my dog back from her?


Re: Another leaving a dog discussion

  • First of all, at least the dog is being cared for. 

    Secondly, it's been THREE YEARS.  It sounds like LW's brother and his ex were more than accommodating in taking the dog.

    Furthermore, the ex has been a damn saint for breaking up with LW's brother and STILL taking in the LW's dog. 

    LW had more than enough time (3 years + 3 months) to make alternate arrangements and she did nothing. 

    Sorry, but doggo belongs to ex now.  Sounds like LW can't manage a pet anyway. 
    charlotte989875short+sassyVarunaTT
  • First I wonder if bother & exgf knew this would be a 3yr thing ... that makes a huge difference.

    If they did, then I'm torn on my feelings. She knew it'd be long term, I don't really think that's she's allowed to claim abandoned and now the dog is hers.

    If she didn't know it was a 3yr thing, then yep. I agree it's hers now.

    Did LW send money other than for surgery? LW doesn't really mention that.

    Also why couldn't LW's parents watch the dog?

    I feel like there's too much not answered to really state one answer.
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  • This isn't an outfit that you loaned to a friend and they decided to keep - this is a living being. The LW never should have gotten a dog that they couldn't care for - housing is a big part of that. I mean, would you get a dog and then board it at a kennel for 3 years? At this point, the LW needs to stop harassing this woman, and wait until they are in a place to support a living being - at that point, they can get a new dog/pet.

    mrsconn23charlotte989875short+sassySTARMOON44
  • One thing I never understand about these kind of situations is, if a person loves their pet SO much that "how dare that person keep my cat/dog, that's my baby, blah, blah"...then how is it okay to be without it for long periods of time?  In this case, three years without her dog.

    This LW is something else!!!  She should have taken that dog back and figured something out, the minute her brother and his g/f broke up.  The ex g/f was even gracious enough to give her 3 more months to figure it out.  SUPER gracious and generous.  And the LW STILL didn't do that.  OMG, what exactly did the LW expect to have happen?!?!

    People who live in a different reality than me.

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    mrsconn23charlotte989875banana468
  • One thing I never understand about these kind of situations is, if a person loves their pet SO much that "how dare that person keep my cat/dog, that's my baby, blah, blah"...then how is it okay to be without it for long periods of time?  In this case, three years without her dog.


    Right?  I mean, there's a HUGE difference between going to say...Europe for a month and asking someone to take care of your dog and this situation. She left with an open-ended return time and flaked when a hard deadline was set. 

    I also question how often she came back to see the dog. And to @MissKittyDanger's point, did she give them any money to care for the dog all this time? 

    At certain point of absence and lack of responsibility, you've re-homed the dog. 
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • Um, no.  

    I had to give my dogs up in my divorce.  My negotiating tactic was that my parents took ownership/full custody and the exH and I flip weekends.  Basically, I spend my weekend at my parents for a few hours a day so I can see my dogs, I give cash for their medical bills/food needs, and I go over 1-2x/month to bathe them.  I'm leaving work early today to pick up Zelda from surgery and spending the night so that she can cuddle with me afterwards in case she's not super comfortable or anxious.

    I can't just live with my parents, but I couldn't give up my dogs.  THAT'S how you freaking keep your dogs when you have to make long term arrangements for their care that you can't handle at the time.

    This woman no longer has a dog and she just needs to face it.  And the other woman was smart AF and there's no getting the dog back legally, probably.  Let it go.
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • VarunaTT said:
    Um, no.  

    I had to give my dogs up in my divorce.  My negotiating tactic was that my parents took ownership/full custody and the exH and I flip weekends.  Basically, I spend my weekend at my parents for a few hours a day so I can see my dogs, I give cash for their medical bills/food needs, and I go over 1-2x/month to bathe them.  I'm leaving work early today to pick up Zelda from surgery and spending the night so that she can cuddle with me afterwards in case she's not super comfortable or anxious.

    I can't just live with my parents, but I couldn't give up my dogs.  THAT'S how you freaking keep your dogs when you have to make long term arrangements for their care that you can't handle at the time.

    This woman no longer has a dog and she just needs to face it.  And the other woman was smart AF and there's no getting the dog back legally, probably.  Let it go.

    Not a lawyer here, but an avid People's Court watcher :).  In cases like this, at least on PC, Judge Milian always explains that she doesn't have any jurisdiction to actually return an animal...only the monetary value.  She'll offer to drop the case "without prejudice", if the litigant wants to bring the case back up with their local court that does have that power.  Which I'm assuming is a bigger PITA than small claims.

    But her general attitude is, unless it has been a fairly short period of time, the animal should stay with the people who have been taking care of it. 

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  • I have often wondered if bringing the dog with me was the best choice *for him* or not. I made him a promise when I got him that I would have him forever and I intend to keep it but... I left him with my mom while I was on tour for 7 months. He also stayed with my MIL for 90days when we first moved here and were waiting on his titre test but we ALWAYS intended on him being with us. We literally planned our last move (and paid an eye roll amount of money) so the dog would be more be more comfortable. He has gained some weight since last year and I worry about his overall happiness.
    I would consider giving him back to my mom since she has a farm he can run around on and I know he would be loved and well cared for. But if we moved back to the states after 3 years, it would take a lot of balls to ask for him back, even though I would want to.

    I have also had him for 8 years so he would be 11 by then so it might depend on his health and such.
    charlotte989875
  • Ro041Ro041
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    edited January 9
    People's Court isn't actually a court (small claims or otherwise).  It is mediation/arbitration in a room that looks like a courtroom.  The judges aren't judges and are instead attorneys who are mediators/arbitrators.  I assume they don't have the ability to demand specific performance (i.e. the dog) and instead can only assign monetary value to property.

    MyNameIsNot
  • Ro041 said:
    People's Court isn't actually a court (small claims or otherwise).  It is mediation/arbitration in a room that looks like a courtroom.  The judges aren't judges and are instead attorneys who are mediators/arbitrators.  I assume they don't have the ability to demand specific performance (i.e. the dog) and instead can only assign monetary value to property.


    Oh, definitely!  I am aware of that.  But, to even apply to have one's case heard on the show, a small claims filing in a litigant's local jurisdiction has to have already been done.

    Perhaps local small claims courts have such powers to return actual animals, instead of monetary judgments.  But that isn't the impression I've gotten.

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  • Hm, you got a dog when you knew you were going away to school (a multi-year commitment)? Then you asked someone to spend their time and money taking care of the dog - while you didn't even cover costs of needed medical procedures. Consider the dog not yours.
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    charlotte989875sparklepants41MesmrEwe
  • Ro041Ro041
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    @short+sassy - like most other things in the law, it depends on the state.  :)

  • From the ex-g/f's perspective: "you can have the dog back if you pay me for 3 years of boarding at $25/day + all vet expenses."
    charlotte989875sparklepants41southernbelle0915MesmrEwe
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
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    I'm with you guys, but I'm wondering, would it make a difference if LW had paid for all expenses, monthly grooming, food, vet, etc? Or would you still consider that abandonment since it had been three years?


    image
  • levioosa said:
    I'm with you guys, but I'm wondering, would it make a difference if LW had paid for all expenses, monthly grooming, food, vet, etc? Or would you still consider that abandonment since it had been three years?
    I'd possibly consider how active the LW was in the animal's life.   Still, if she financed and had no actual interaction with the animal I'd think she was a shitty pet owner.

    I can send my kids away to boarding school and make sure that all their needs are met financially but if I don't spend time with them for over a decade or more (let's compare dog years to kid years) I'm still a shitty parent. 


  • Ro041 said:
    @short+sassy - like most other things in the law, it depends on the state.  :)

    Good point, though Judge Milian will look up specific state/county laws from where the litigants hail from (where applicable).  Overall, I watch for entertainment.  So I do throw out the caveat of "this is what I've seen on PC/Judge Judy...", as in a tv show and take it with a grain of salt, lol.

    I've really seen that on the real estate investing forum I hang out on.  There are a few good "general" rules in landlord/tenant law that encompass all/most jurisdictions.  But, overall, I am shocked at how huge the differences can be*.  Even within different counties for the same state.

    *ie, I will never be a landlady in CA or NYC (shiver).  Very draconian laws for LLs.

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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
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    banana468 said:
    levioosa said:
    I'm with you guys, but I'm wondering, would it make a difference if LW had paid for all expenses, monthly grooming, food, vet, etc? Or would you still consider that abandonment since it had been three years?
    I'd possibly consider how active the LW was in the animal's life.   Still, if she financed and had no actual interaction with the animal I'd think she was a shitty pet owner.

    I can send my kids away to boarding school and make sure that all their needs are met financially but if I don't spend time with them for over a decade or more (let's compare dog years to kid years) I'm still a shitty parent. 


    Fair point. This post honestly reminds me of SO's sister. I love her, but she is a shitty pet owner. Even when she lived with her parents, she barely walked the dog, she didn't buy the food, she didn't really take him to vet appointments, she didn't train him, and he peed everywhere. When she moved out she couldn't take the dog and left him with her parents. She pays for the occasional grooming and vet appointment now, but IMO it's not enough. The dog essentially belongs to her parents and she's realized that she shouldn't take the dog back even if she can. The dog has a way better life with her parents and gets to walk 5 miles a day now. 


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    MissKittyDangerMesmrEwe
  • levioosa said:
    I'm with you guys, but I'm wondering, would it make a difference if LW had paid for all expenses, monthly grooming, food, vet, etc? Or would you still consider that abandonment since it had been three years?
    I think being a pet owner is more than just the expenses, YKWIM? If LW had been paying for things, keeping in touch with the gf and more importantly the dog, I'd feel differently. Say if LW was visiting a few times a week, paying for everything (not just chipping sending some money after the surgery), talking to the gf regularly,  and then the gf just went out registered the dog and didn't tell LW; then I might think differently.

    But IMO LW wanted someone else to care for the dog while she was in school and then pick it back up when she was ready, and that's not how this works. 
    short+sassy
  • I don't know if you were thinking of me, @lovesclimbing - I had a cat for a year that the owner kept putting off picking up (and then it turns out plans to be gone for another two years).  Sometimes I wonder how the cat is doing ... I never found out who was tasked with watching the cat.

    I left my rabbits with my parents for two years when I went to school overseas. In truth, I felt bad about it (and missed them like crazy and wished I could have taken them with me), but my parents missed me less because they had my rabbits, so they preferred to have the rabbits.  And the rabbits preferred not to be uprooted for only two years ...

    imageimage
    short+sassy
  • Ro041Ro041
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    @kerbohl - your situation with your parents is different, IMO.  They are your PARENTS.  When I couldn't take one of my dogs the first year of college, my mom kept her without a question.  Close blood does that kind of thing.  Not LW's brother's random ex-girlfriend.  She doesn't owe LW sh*t.

  • @Ro041 The situation with close blood is different, but the thing that always worried me was that, if they did have a problem with it, they wouldn't have told me. They don't have their own pets because it ties them down, so in the back of my head I was always worried that having my rabbits was an inconvenience.  I talked to them about it, and they said it never was, but I can see how it could have been annoying for them at times.
    imageimage
  • @kerbohl ; When we've moved, my mum has watched just one of my cats {Angel - since Penny would not be a good idea to mix with my mum's cat} and we provided her with Angel's food since his stomach cannot handle anything except vet food.
    Angel goes horribly with moving, and stress in general, so I get where you're coming from with your rabbits.
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  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    Yes, it was you with the cat, @kerbohl. Not the same thing, but reminded me of it. 

  • @kerbohl ; When we've moved, my mum has watched just one of my cats {Angel - since Penny would not be a good idea to mix with my mum's cat} and we provided her with Angel's food since his stomach cannot handle anything except vet food.
    Angel goes horribly with moving, and stress in general, so I get where you're coming from with your rabbits.


    A bit off topic but, from your posts @MissKittyDanger, I feel like I have a good grasp of your cats' personalities, lol.

    I totally picture Angel as a sweet, but sensitive, soul.  And Penny as, also sweet, but independent and everyone better "clear the aisle" while I prance past.

    All of that said in a complimentary fashion for their own, but different, kitty traits.

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    MissKittyDanger
  • A bit off topic but, from your posts @MissKittyDanger, I feel like I have a good grasp of your cats' personalities, lol.

    I totally picture Angel as a sweet, but sensitive, soul.  And Penny as, also sweet, but independent and everyone better "clear the aisle" while I prance past.

    All of that said in a complimentary fashion for their own, but different, kitty traits.

    Lol!!! Yes, for the most part. Angel can be a raging dick when he wants to. {he's large so can get aggressive but really only when it comes to food}
    He's like a large puff ball and loves to cuddle
    Proof:


    Penny is sassy. For a feral cat, she's very timid. If she likes you, she'll be 100% "move so I can prance around", if she's feeling shy she'll be the cat watching from the distance. So much sweeter than people expect.
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    lovesclimbingshort+sassy
  • I'll give the LW youth stupidity for getting a pet then going off to school, I've just encountered enough Juniors and Seniors who want to get another pet and don't think it through 10-15 years.  The dog should have gone with the brother rather than the ex because there's a reason he was breaking up with her.  And, by the third year most college students are living in an apartment and she should have been able to care for Fido or Fefe again...  

    LW needs to learn the lesson and realize this is the real world, the dog became her brother's ex's Dog in the breakup...  Unless there was a formal written contract for the petsitting, the chances of her being able to get the dog back are slim.  There's reason to be steamed if she paid for medical care for the dog and the ex had no intention of her giving the dog back, but LW needs to accept responsibility for being a lousy pet owner, formally make clear she wants any monies back since the chipping was done (LW won't get it, but it creates a paper trail to say the dog is the ex's if down the road there's vet bills), and let it go.  
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