• Kristina Bergsten

Get your Animal Gifts in Writing!

Did your girlfriend or boyfriend give you a dog or other pet as a present? You had better get that gift commitment in writing! Better yet, if you know in advance you are getting the pet as a gift, make sure YOU are the one who signs the adoption or purchase paperwork. If you do not do this, and you and your partner later break up: be very prepared that you will be fighting in court later over whether or not Spot was actually a gift. If your partner signs the ownership paperwork and only verbally acknowledges the gift to you, the Court will rule in favor of your partner as the owner and you will lose your dog or pet forever.

In order to protect your interest, make sure you ask your partner to write down that the pet was a gift; take pictures that show that the pet was given as part of a celebration for you (birthday hats, Christmas tree, graduation hat, etc). If you fail to collect this bare minimum of evidence, I can assure you that the current love-of-your-life will lie in Court and say he/she never gave you the pet as a gift and that it was always his/her dog.

"But what about perjury?" You ask. You have to PROVE that the other person is lying! And without any of the above evidence, you will not be able to do that and the judge will simply rule in favor of whoever's name is on the purchase/adoption paperwork.

I know it seems silly or petty to do this, but you have to if you want to keep your pet. Relationships that end mean no guarantees for you and your gifted pet.