Battle over pet custody stems from divorce

With divorce there is always the possibility of a bitter battle over property division and who owns what. However, in a recent rather bizarre divorce turned family law story, it turns out that an ex-wife and her former sister-in-law are going to court over who the rightful owner of a 3-year-old dog named Lucy is.

The case actually stems back to two years ago, when a husband and wife divorced. After the separation, the wife and the couple’s daughter moved out of the family home, and left the ex-husband with two dogs.

Unable to care for the two dogs on his own, the man asked his sister if she could look after them, which she reportedly did by providing them with daily care and regular veterinarian check-ups. She even got licensees for the two dogs.

Since then one of the dogs has passed away, after being diagnosed with cancer, but the now 3-year-old goldendoodle Lucy is still living with the sister-in-law.

However, now the claim is that the now 18-year-old daughter is really the owner, and the dog should be given back to her. Her claim is that she had gone to boarding school, and the arrangement for her aunt to be taking care of Lucy was only supposed to be a temporary situation, not permanent.

The ex-wife claims that this will be proven in court based on the fact that Lucy has been micro-chipped, with her daughter listed as the dog’s owner.

At one point the argument between the ex-wife, the 18-year-old and the sister-in-law got so heated that the police became involved. The sister claims that she was threatened and chased on her way to the police station by the two women.

So what do you think? Should the dog go back to live with the 18-year-old daughter, or is the sister-in-law now the rightful owner? In divorce, who should get custody of the animals?

Source: ABC News, “Bitter Feud Over Family Dog Heads to N.Y. Court,” Colleen Curry, Oct. 6, 2011

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