Some pet law from the BC provincial court in Kamloops: Kitchen v MacDonald, 2012 BCPC 9. Richard Kitchen and Deanna MacDonald were in a relationship, but it was unclear whether they actually lived together or whether he just spent a lot of time at her house. In any event, they were not in a marriage-like relationship when they broke up. After the rupture, Kitchen sought a declaration that he was at least joint owner of Laddie, MacDonald’s border collie. (Stunningly unoriginal name, that.) Kitchen claimed Laddie had been given to them jointly; MacDonald said he was a gift from her father to her alone. There was, however, evidence that MacDonald had sent letters to Kitchen on Laddie’s behalf, in which he was referred to (by the dog) as ‘my daddy’. Kitchen also continued to visit the dog after his break-up with MacDonald.
Cutting through the sentimental twaddle, Frame J noted that all he could do was make an order as to ownership of Laddie; orders for access to dogs as if they were children just aren’t possible. On the facts, it was clear that MacDonald was Laddie’s sole owner; Kitchen’s claim failed entirely.
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