This article is written for the under 16 crowd who suddenly find themselves in a conflict with their parents who are making them get rid of “their” pet.
A kids worst nightmare, the pet they begged for is now one they are told to get rid of. Can parents really make their children get rid of a pet? Well, in most areas children are not legally considered the owner of a pet, so if a child is living at home, and is under the age of 18 (16 in some areas) the parents are the legal owner of the pet and are fully within their rights to get rid of it.
By all means this is not saying they “should” get rid of a pet, but it is their right. To be fair no parent should allow their child to get a pet that they (the parent) are not willing to care for, as it is common knowledge that children do not always keep up with pet care duties. It is unfair for a pet to be disposed of later in life like a forgotten toy. However if the parents were irresponsible and allowed a child to keep a pet and it is not being cared for by either the parent or child, then the only fair thing to do is let somebody else have the pet.
Who Owns the Pet?
In very few situations is the child the true owner of the pet. This would only occur if the child’s name is on the documentation as “owner”. This would be registration papers, or such. This seldom happens because most sellers will not sell pets to anyone under the age of 18.
Some parents put their children’s names on such papers to be “Cute”, but it would be hard for a child to prove ownership of the pet. If the child lives with the parents, they have to abide by the parents rules. If the child has moved out and left the pet with the parents, unless they are paying the parent to “board” the pet, again, the parent is free to dispose of the pet at any time.
If a child “finds” an animal and brings it home, they are not the legal owner of the pet. It must be reported as found. The parents would be wrong to allow the child to keep the pet without doing so, as the pet may have an owner looking for it.
Published in: Pets