Our pets are part of our family but sometimes it is hard to prove ownership of them. On the off chance the ownership of your pet is put into question, such as when a neighbour tries to stake claim or the dog walker has brought back the wrong dog, here are some key tips to ensure you have the best documentation to prove ownership.
If your pet is microchipped, the information on the registry is the first way to prove ownership. Ensure that you keep these details updated. Alternately you may need to register your beloved pet with your local council. Please check the requirements in your local area.
2. Veterinary record
All those dreaded trips to the vet may be a saving grace if you can get a copy of the invoices as well as vaccination and treatment records. These will have the details you need, the profile of your pet plus information about the bill payer…and hopefully, that’s you for purposes of proof!
Although tags fade and may fall off, they are still a great identifier and deter any suspicious activities.
4. A recent photo of your pet and yourself.
If your pet is lost or has been picked up and taken to an animal shelter, a photograph of your pet and its specific markings can help identify it as yours, especially if it does not have a tag or microchip. A recent picture can also be used to print posters and help people know the pet is missing and who to return it to, should the animal be found.
5. Adoption or purchase records
Under Australian law, our four-legged loved ones are legally viewed as ‘property’. If they have a substantial value (like a racehorse) or generate income (such as cattle), this makes them ‘assets’. In the case where you and your significant other decide to split, you may need to use this documentation to prove personal ownership of your pet. Even if it is a signed receipt, find something that can be formally used alongside a statutory declaration to state you are the owner of the pet.
6. Consider a pet plan when partnering
A pet plan is a formal agreement between two parties that clarifies the responsibilities of each person towards pet maintenance. It is a helpful reference if there are disputes when a separation occurs.
In the instance that your pet was stolen, and you need to prove ownership, it is important to provide enough evidence to substantiate your claim to the animal.