A Perth woman has discovered that the best way to prove
ownership of your dog and avoid costly legal disputes is to keep
Fido's registration up to date.
The State Administrative Tribunal recently decided on the case
involving 'Goldy', a white-gold cavoodle or spoodle, who
found himself in the Wanneroo pound with two owners claiming
ownership over him.
Goldy was originally owned by a Mrs Jeffrey before being given
to a person known as 'Donna'.
Donna microchipped Goldy in 2010, but later returned him to Mrs
Jeffrey for personal reasons.
Mrs Jeffrey then gave Goldy to Ms Stevens, the applicant in the
case. Ms Stevens registered Goldy in late 2012.
After having her second child, Ms Stevens gave Goldy to her
friends, Mr and Mrs Palmer. Mr and Mrs Palmer did not know that
they had to re-register Goldy after the registration expired in
In mid-2014, the unregistered Goldy managed to escape, but was
impounded by the City of Wanneroo.
Mr Palmer found Goldy on the pound's website and was told to
collect the dog after 4pm that day.
However, by the time Mr Palmer went to collect Goldy, the dog
had already been collected by the person named on the microchip
– that is, Donna.
Claiming ownership of Goldy, Ms Stevens applied to the Tribunal
to overturn the City of Wanneroo's decision to release Goldy to
Under the Dog Act 1976, a dog is presumed to be owned
by the person named on a microchip. However, it is possible for a
subsequent owner of the dog to rebut this presumption by having the
As Goldy's registration had expired, the Tribunal held that
the correct decision was to give Goldy to Donna.
The Tribunal acknowledged that its decision may have been
different if Goldy had been registered.
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