Three years ago, I found a stray dog which I took to the vet for a complete physical, shots and grooming. My friend, Carol, who was living with her elderly mother at the time, kept the dog as I already had a dog who would not have tolerated another interloper in her home. When Carol moved here to her own apartment, she asked her mother if she would like to keep "Muffin" for company and her mom said yes. Carol stipulated that if Muffin were not taken care of properly we would take her back. Recently we saw that she had not been take care of so we took her back. Her teeth and gums were in such bad condition that the vet said one fell out while she was removing another and she could tell that the dog had not had any care for the past three years. Carol and I told her mom that we were not returning the dog to her and the vet agreed that returning the dog would be cruel treatment. Now her mom keeps agitating for the dog's return as does her granddaughter. We would like a legal opinion regarding our refusal to return the dog to someone who refuses to spend the money (which she can well afford) for decent care.
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): California
We gave the dog all of the vet treatment that she needed and she is still under medical care and will be for an indefinite period of time. We told her mom and granddaughter that we refused to return the dog to an uncaring situation.
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Good afternoon. You have absolutely no legal obligation to return the dog. You made a conditional gift and her mother did not comply with the terms of the conditions. Thus, you had the right to revoke your gift of the dog and take the dog back. She has no right to any claim to the dog.
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