Richard Kitchen asked the B.C. Provincial Court to rule on the ownership of a Border collie after the breakup of his relationship. It was a sad affair: a letter on file from the dog to “my daddy” says the dog is unhappy they cannot be a family but that
“I know there is no way mommy would ever keep you from seeing me – that’s just not the kind of mommy she is. She wants us both to be happy.”
It appears the dog’s optimism was sadly misplaced. Judge Frame of the B.C. Provincial Court ruled that he did not have the jurisdiction to grant custody or access orders for pets. Looking at the roles each party played in acquiring and caring for the dog, Judge Frame ruled in favour of the defendant. He decided that Mr. Kitchen’s interest in the dog was merely sentimental and did not give him joint ownership or a right to possession.
Kitchen v. MacDonald, 2012 BCPC 9 (thanks to Rosemarie Boll for this case)