There are many instances when you may need to prove legal ownership of your dog.

It is worth noting that Kennel Club registration papers are not proof of ownership.

Many ex show dogs are sold to pet homes without papers, this will ensure the dog/bitch is not used for breeding purposes and the papers are used to register puppies with the Kennel Club.

Or you may get your dog from Breed Rescue who will also keep the registration papers for their own records.

However, there are some cases when you may need to prove legal ownership.

Some of these situations might include:

  • Your dog gets lost and is found by another family who are not so enthusiastic about returning him to you.
  • Your dog gets lost and is found by an animal rescue centre or similar organization.
  • You and your partner decide to part ways and you both want the dog to stay with you
  • and worst case scenario is that someone steals your dog and sells him/her to someone else

How do you go about proving he’s really yours?

What determines ownership of a dog?

Several precedents have been set for determining a dog’s true owner.

In most of these cases, there are a few basic steps you as a dog owner will want to have taken before you and your dog might ever find yourselves in one of these situations, including:

  • Microchipping your pet and and registering in your name, with your contact information,
  • Registering with your vet and keeping copies of vaccination documents.
  • A recent photograph of your dog with you, or in your house and garden
  • Registration with a local dog groomer

Pets are considered property under common law, and you can easily achieve the return of your pet if you can prove original, legal ownership, also called true ownership.

In addition to the above, this can include something as simple as DNA tests from hair found on a grooming brush will provide proof of ownership in court.