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French man wins dog in custody battle with ex-girlfriend

/ 09:34 AM February 16, 2012

MARSEILLE, France—A French man has won custody of a black terrier named Poupette (Dolly) following a legal battle with his ex-girlfriend who asked a court to award her the dog after their break-up.

The man’s lawyer, Isabelle Terrin, said Wednesday that a judge near the southern city of Marseille had ruled that Poupette could be considered property and the man’s previous possession of the dog entitled him to remain her owner.

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The girlfriend, identified by the court as Edith, had given the dog to the man, identified as Jean-Marie, as a puppy during their relationship. When they split up 15 months later she insisted he return the dog and went to court.

Terrin said she had argued that under French property laws Jean-Marie was entitled to keep Poupette since the dog has always stayed with him and he and his girlfriend had never lived together.

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The judge concluded that Jean-Marie “took perfect care of the animal,” Terrin said, adding that her client was “relieved” by the ruling.

“The animal’s best interests were taken into account and that is for the best,” she said.

Edith was also ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend’s court costs.

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TAGS: Animal, court, France, Judiciary (system of justice), Offbeat
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