The internet is supporting a Reddit user after they took to the site’s popular “Am I The A**hole” forum to share that they refused to take their ex-girlfriend’s purebred dog and it was sent to the pound.
The post, published by u/celebritieseatbread, received more than 9,000 votes and 777 comments since first being posted on Sunday.
“In the final 2 months of our 3 year but quickly dissolving relationship, my ex bought a 2 month old purebred Labrador retriever puppy to the tune of $1200,” the post read.
The Redditor explained that they knew the relationship was in its “end stages” but neither wanted to accept that the relationship was ending.
In the post, the user explained that their partner wanted to adopt a dog but that she would pay for it and everything associated with the pet would be under her name. The Redditor also explained that they adopted three cats from a shelter and paid for everything associated with them.
“The cats were absolutely terrified of the dog which hastened the end of our relationship, the cats came with me and moved out,” the post explained. “Overall amicable separation, but we did not keep in contact. I never asked about the dog, nor did she about my cats.”
But about two years later, the Redditor said their ex got in contact with them and asked them to take in the dog for a little bit of time. The post also explained that the ex-girlfriend was moving in with her current boyfriend, whom she had been seeing prior to the breakup, and his apartment didn’t allow pets.
“She asked that I take care of ‘our dog’ until they bought a house together,” the post said. “I said no.”
When the ex-girlfriend asked why the Redditor just said that they didn’t want to. But the ex tried to say that the dog was part of the family. The Redditor explained that while they liked the dog, they did not want a dog for any amount of time.
For many, the question of who gets custody of a pet after a breakup can be a simple one. But for those who adopted the pet together or equally care for the pet, it can feel as difficult as fighting for custody of children.
According to Ruth Lee Johnson, an attorney in Seattle, Washington, there are many factors that go into determining who gets custody of a pet after a breakup.
For one, pets are considered property in the eyes of the law which means people cannot lawfully get “custody” over a pet but rather be granted rightful ownership.
Johnson explained in Psychology Today that if a couple is breaking up and not going through a legal divorce proceeding, the decision is ultimately up to the couple. But, if an ex takes a pet without permission, one could sue the partner for taking property.
Johnson also said that in these cases, a judge would look at who adopted the pet and who is responsible for caring and paying for the animal. For this Redditor, their ex would be considered the primary owner of the dog and after a breakup, the Redditor would not have to claim responsibility or ownership over the animal if they didn’t want to.
“I have 4 cats now, my own house, an unpredictable work schedule, and no desire for a dog and the increased responsibility that comes with one,” the Redditor said in the post. “I told her to look for long term boarding kennels, she said she would never.”
The post then said that the ex begged the Redditor saying she was looking for a house as soon as possible but that she wasn’t sure if the dog would need to be looked after for a week or a few months.
After saying no a final time, the Redditor said their ex blocked them but that a few days ago she unblocked them and began blaming them for getting the dog taken away from her.
“A few days ago she unblocked me and unleashed a textual barrage to the effect that I had gotten her dog taken away from her and I owed her the price she paid for him,” the post said. “Apparently she surrendered him to the local APL, believing they would just hold him for her.”
According to the post, the dog was adopted out of the shelter quickly which was unsurprising because not many trained and purebred dogs are brought to the local shelter.
“Why she didn’t, you know, board him somewhere is a great question,” the Redditor wrote. “Like I said I suggested it, but I’m also the devil so she disregarded it immediately. Some of my family who knew her while we were together think I’m TA. Am I?”
Many in the comments said the man was not at fault for the dog being taken away and that two years is too long a period of time to ask someone a favor.
“2 years later, wants him to babysit her dog while she and the person she cheated with buy a house? What did she honestly expect?” one user commented. “It tells you everything you need to know that between the ex and her new man the only person they could come up with to take in the dog was OP. These people are awful.”
Another user said that the family members berating the Redditor probably wouldn’t have taken custody of the dog either.
One mentioned the fact that the ex should have known the dog would get adopted out of the shelter quickly and that the situation was her fault.
“It’s a shelter not a pawn shop, you don’t get your dog back from a shelter, that’s common sense,” one user commented. “My dogs are my children, but they are pets and pets are not subject to any kind of joint custody agreement where an ex is obligated to take them. If she couldn’t afford to live in a place that allowed a pet until she could buy a house, that certainly sucks but is not your problem.
Newsweek reached out to the Redditor u/celebritieseatbread for comment.