Understanding Companion Animal Replevin Issues
Although historically, courts have limited their analyses in replevin actions involving pets and companion animals to simplistic economic arguments, such as who paid for the pet, or whether there was a gift or abandonment, modern jurists may find there is no single indicia of ownership. The court may also apply multiple factors, including the best interests of the animal, in the court’s decision-making process.
A replevin action for a pet, known in Minnesota as a claim and delivery action, may be brought when there is a property ownership dispute or pet custody dispute. In this type of action, the plaintiff may seek immediate replevin, meaning return of the companion animal, and pay the requisite bond, or an adjudication replevin. When bringing an adjudication replevin, if the plaintiff prevails, the disputed property, the pet, would be returned to the plaintiff after judgment is entered. There is no requirement of a bond for an adjudication replevin.