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My son was in a 4.5 year relationship that ended on January 31st of this year. He asked his gf to move out after she had left the week earlier to give them some space. I think he / they hoped they would be able to work things out but that's not happening. During their relationship they adopted a puppy who is now 4 years old. My son paid the adoption fees and the adoption papers have his name on them only. Matter of fact, the contract states that if anything happens and he does not have full custody of the dog the dog must be returned to PawSafe. Not sure how legal that is but it's written on the contract. They both love their dog, that's not in question. During the move out process it was verbally agreed that they would share the dog; one week with my son and the next week with the ex. The ex moved an hour away, first living with her father then she moved into an apt where dogs are not allowed but an exception was made. However, the dog had to be crated when she was at work (she works 40+ hrs per week) and must be leashed during outside time. My son owns his home and the dog has use of the entire house while he is at work and he has a beautiful yard and lives on a culdesac where she knows all the neighbors. It's the only home she has really known. Anyway, my son and his ex were meeting every Sunday afternoon to exchange the dog and would have the dog until the following Sunday afternoon. The exchange would monopolize almost 3 hours each Sunday between half hour drive each way, prepping the dog to leave, etc. This makes family time on Sundays difficult. 2 weeks ago my son had enough. He found out the week earlier his ex had announced on FB that she was in a new relationship so the hopes of their relationship being repaired seems impossible and he had enough of sharing his dog. She texted him asking him where he was at their normal meeting time when she had changed the time a few days prior to much later due to her 2nd job. He told her he wasn't there nor was he enroute b/c she changed the time and then he sent a text that he is no longer willing to share his dog and go through the process of this 3 hour meet up to exchange. The ex sent a letter that was received today, Wednesday, stating that she has obtained legal counsel and my son has until this coming Monday to respond and agree to meet over a written agreement on shared custody supposedly written by her counsel. He is now seeking counsel. He has offered her $2500 repeatedly to end the relationship and the vertbal agreement to share the dog and in the ex's letter she is claiming she has offered him half of the adoption fee (which she claims she paid half of but has no proof and he states only he paid the fee since day one). but she claims she's made this offer to him over the past 6 months.
Had anyone here had any legal proceedings with sharing custody of a dog? What are his options, what is your advice? They both love the dog, not in question, but she states in her letter she wants what is best for their dog and my son does not understand how being crated for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and only on a leash unless at her mother's huse is what is best for the dog when she has free roaming rights to his house and his yard. Please advise and be nice. He is 29 and she is 25. They really thought they would get married
 

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I'm in the UK but if it happened here, the position would be quite clear - the dog would have to be returned to the shelter as per the contract. Your son could, however, apply to re-adopt her himself and depending on his circumstances - if they meet the shelter's adoption criteria and he would be a fitting candidate - they would likely be in agreement.
 

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Here the position is clear The dog belongs to the person whos name is on the contract. to remove any item of property which is clearly the property of one person (proved by means of contract or receipt,) by another person then said Item must be returned or it is theft.

As dogs are considered property they are included in this arrangement.

I would advise not to call a lawer but to contact law enforcement and the shelter to inform them that the dog has been stolen
 

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Here the position is clear The dog belongs to the person whos name is on the contract. to remove any item of property which is clearly the property of one person (proved by means of contract or receipt,) by another person then said Item must be returned or it is theft.

As dogs are considered property they are included in this arrangement.

I would advise not to call a lawer but to contact law enforcement and the shelter to inform them that the dog has been stolen
But what about the contract?
 

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But what about the contract?
The OP says his name is on the paperwork therefore the dig is his. The gf has removed the dog from him but not returned it to the shelter breaking the contract but in essence stealing the dog... because he still wants the dog and is able to care for it..
 

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The OP says his name is on the paperwork therefore the dig is his. The gf has removed the dog from him but not returned it to the shelter breaking the contract but in essence stealing the dog... because he still wants the dog and is able to care for it..
Good point.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here the position is clear The dog belongs to the person whos name is on the contract. to remove any item of property which is clearly the property of one person (proved by means of contract or receipt,) by another person then said Item must be returned or it is theft.

As dogs are considered property they are included in this arrangement.

I would advise not to call a lawer but to contact law enforcement and the shelter to inform them that the dog has been stolen
His dog has been in his possession for the past 2 weeks. She is threatening to take him to court so she can have joint custody. He doesn't want that. It's his name on the paperwork. I relayed the comments to my son and he is very appreciative. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UPDATE: My son consulted with several attorneys to be certain but the counsel he retained said this...The contract is in his name only. The dog is his. The dog is in his custody. There really isn't a case. And due to covid and court cases being pushed back the case would not see a judge for at least a year if pursued. Just wanted to update for anyone else that may ever find themselves in this predicament. Please also know this. I know his ex loves the dog very, very much and I really feel badly for her about this. I really do. I loved this girl like a daughter. But the stress of the weekly sharing was just too much on my son and on the dog. Thank you all who gave insight.
 
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