05/19/12, 12:12 pm
My ex boyfriend and I found a dog about two years ago and decided to keep her when nobody claimed her. I had a microchip put in my name inserted in her. I was the only one who took her to the vet when she was sick, so all doctor bills are in my name. My boyfriend and I broke up about a month ago. We decided to stay on good terms and I took the dog with me and had her added to my lease. I let him take the dog overnight on Tuesdays and he was to give her back on Wednesdays. This week, he refused to give her back because I had told him I was dating someone else. He told me the only way I could ever see the dog again is if I give him $5000 and agree to get back together with him. My brother texted him and my ex replied (over text message) that he would have the dog put to sleep (this dog is 2 years old) so I can't get her. Then last night, he tells me he left the dog in a trailer that he owns overnight and I can go get her if I want, but if she is gone in the morning, he will have me arrested for breaking and entering. I went to the police, but they told me they couldn't do anything because we both found her and neither of us purchased her, even though she is in my name. This puppy is my life and I love her more than anything in the world. I'm scared for her safety, as he has already threatened her. Can somebody please help me on what to do to get her back asap?
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United States   |   Missouri  |  Family Law Divorce Child Custody and Adoption
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Nicholas Lindley Says:

May 21,2012 8:30 AM

I'm sorry to hear this. You'd be surprised how often this issue comes up - a couple gets a dog, they both fall in love with it, then they break up. If your ex is being this stubborn, and the police decline to intervene, you unfortunately only have only one remedy: the courts. A dog is considered "property" by the courts, and the only issue is who is the rightful owner. You appear to have quite a bit of evidence indicating that you have contributed more to this dog (microchip, vet bills, etc.) and a court would likely find in your favor. Probably not the "ASAP" answer you were looking for. I would advise hiring an attorney to write a sternly worded demand letter to your ex. A letter with an attorney's letterhead and case law supporting your position may convince him to just give up the dog rather than go to court and have to hire his own attorney, etc. Also, informing him that his $5000 demand is illegal wouldn't hurt. I've handled a case similar to this before. Sorry to hear about your little pup, good luck!

Nicholas Lindley
The Law Office of Nicholas Lindley
111 Westport Plaza,Maryland Heights, MO 63146

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