A B.C. tribunal has ordered a mother to give her daughter back her chihuahua, Gucci.
The decision released by the Civil Resolution Tribunal on Dec. 4 states the dispute was over who owns Gucci.
April Louise Brown claimed her mother Janie Larsen “refuses to return her dog” to her, but Larsen claimed Gucci was given to her as a “gift."
"Miss Brown seeks Gucci’s return, which she values at $650. She also claims $2,000 for the mental and emotional trauma she says she and her young child suffered due to Mrs. Larsen’s actions,” states the decision.
Both parties were self-represented.
"Mrs. Larsen counterclaims for $3,831.13 for veterinarian expenses and $1,168.87 for extreme mental and emotional trauma, for a total of $5,000,” states the decision.
Gucci was purchased by Brown from her aunt in December 2014.
The tribunal said Gucci would sometimes stay at Larsen’s home for extended periods of time but would be returned home to her daughter.
Brown has a history of giving pets away and then asking for them back, according to the tribunal.
“What Miss Brown did previously does not necessarily prove she did the same thing this time,” said tribunal member Megan Stewart in her decision.
Stewart explained how the law generally considers a pet personal property.
"Under the law of gifts, the person who received the alleged gift must establish a) it was intended to be a gift, b) they accepted the gift, and c) there was a sufficient act of delivery,” she said.
The claims by Larsen for veterinary expenses were rejected as she did not have any legal right to have the dog treated without its owner's permission.
"I find she is not entitled to reimbursement of the claimed expenses. I dismiss Mrs. Larsen’s claim for paid veterinarian bills,” said Stewart.
Both claims of emotional trauma and reimbursement were also dismissed.
The tribunal ruled Brown is Gucci’s owner and that she is entitled to the dog's return.
Larsen was ordered to return the chihuahua within 30 days of the decision at her daughter’s home or at a mutually agreed upon place and time within at least three days' written notice.