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Q) MY wife and I split up recently and she has taken my dog and won’t let me see her. I found out she had changed the name and address on my dog’s microchip.
I thought ownership details are only allowed to be changed if the owners have given authorisation in the form of signed letters. But I’ve not given any authorisation. What should I do?
A) This is an awful situation. The fact that your estranged wife has changed the name on your dog’s microchip (which she should not have done) makes no difference to whether you are a sole or joint owner of your dog.
I understand how awful this sounds to you but, in law, your beloved pet is considered to be a piece of property (no different from a set of hair straighteners).
There are a number of factors a court will consider before determining who owns your dog (the name on the microchip is just one), but the last thing you want is to end up spending a fortune fighting this out before a judge.
I would strongly urge you to write to your estranged wife, explaining that while you believe the dog is your property, you are prepared to come to an arrangement where you might consider sharing custody.
You should also suggest mediation.
If she refuses to see reason, you may have to take this to the small claims court, which would almost certainly result in the dog being shared by you both in any event.
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