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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Hi, I made an arrangement with my farther in law a breeder

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Hi, I made an arrangement with my farther in law a breeder for a french bull dog over a year ago. the agreement was I pay $1000.00 and the dog belongs to both of us with the condition that she would be bred we would split the proceeds from the sale of the puppies in half. she had puppies 3 weeks ago, I have incurred all cost, she broke her leg at 2 months old He said he was not responsible for any injuries. I paid for it because I was not going to watch my baby suffer. We had a disagreement over a sick puppy he wanted the puppy to be put down I refuse to do it. He tried to remove the puppies from my home. I physically removed him from my home with out the puppies. I have all the vet bills in my name payed for by me, My dog is registered in my name at my address. Does he have a chance of going to court and taking my dog and her puppies? I don't care about the money. I care about the well being of my dog and her babies. He has not spent a dime since she was 8 weeks old and she has lived with me since she was 8 weeks old.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

This agreement that you had in place, did it discuss expenses for care of the dogs, or was it silent? Did it discuss who would be making decisions for the dogs and when the dogs would be sold?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The agreement was that everything was half ownership, all expenses would be split in half. once she got hurt then he changed it and said he is only responsible for half of the cost for the c-section and the shots of the puppies. Basically he wants to share in the profit but not take any responsibility for the animals needs or the cost of associated with her well being. As far as when the puppies are to be sold, when they are 8 weeks old he will sell them, he orders the paper work from the akc but the new owners will come to my house to get the puppy and we both sign the contract with the new owner. All decisions would be made by both of us. My vet says there is no reason to put the puppy down he will be able to live a normal life just will not be able to be sold. I am taking responsibility for him and even assumed all financial responsibility to make him well again.

Thank you for your follow-up.

This 'expenses in half' condition was in writing, correct?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No every thing was verbal. I do know that in the state of new hampshire a Verbal agreement is binding in the court of law. There are witnesses to the original agreement.


A verbal agreement is binding in every state, that isn't the point. What gets thorny are the conditions and clauses under the agreement. So if there is nothing in writing about the specific terms in terms of who is responsible for what, it still becomes a 'he said/she said' situation where the parties may end up having to litigate and have the judge to pick a side. Having witnesses to the agreement does not always mean that the witness knows all of the details of the agreement. This isn't about the contract being valid which I assume nobody is disputing, it is about what conditions bind you both.

Having said that, if you can prove the details of the agreement, you likely should be able to keep the puppy for sure--he is a non-issue to an agreement if you are dealing with him on your own. The moment he became unsellable, he could either be destroyed or adopted, but in any case he is no longer an asset or a condition to the deal (sorry for speaking so coldly, I am purely speaking from a contractual perspective as I happen to be a dog lover myself, but here a dog is an asset and has value primarily).

The costs that you incurred are typically split in half, so requesting that he cover them, and if you have witnesses are also likely. The same goes for the value of the dogs that you sell. He may have a basis to sue for the value of the dogs if they do not get sold, and essentially demand that you cover his lost profits. In addition he may also be able to demand ownership of the mother--although the judge is unlikely to grant it if the dog is being cared for properly by you.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

By him deciding to change the terms of the agreement after the mother got hurt, doesnt that put him in violation of the agreement and void the "contract"?


By changing the terms it can be considered a 'breach' of contract, but he contract is not voided. The contract instead is still upheld where the breaching party can be held liable for whatever losses or damages the other party had due to their breach of terms. But the agreement is not canceled due to breach.

Good luck.

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