Woman’s ex-boyfriend sues her for keeping their dog after their break up
After a breakup, there are a lot of decisions that couples have to make, including who has to move out and find a new place, how the news should be broken to friends and family, and of course, one of the most significant battles: the question of who is entitled to the pets.
Dog custody is a big issue that couples face at the end of the relationship, and arguments can ensue over whether or not they should split time with the dog, or if one person should be their primary caregiver. It’s strikingly similar to child custody battles between divorced parents.
One woman shared how she was even hit with a lawsuit after a nasty fight with her ex-boyfriend over who should keep their dog, Bella, after they split up. She reveals the entire twisted story in a series of TikTok videos that has many people questioning if they should even get dogs with their partners.
The woman’s ex-boyfriend sued her for $5,000 after she kept their dog after they broke up.
Erin Confortini, a content creator on social media, spilled the details of her dog custody battle with her ex-boyfriend that led to her being served with court papers on her birthday. “If you want to know how my day is going, I just paid my ex-boyfriend $5,000 because he sued me for our dog,” Erin says in a TikTok video that has been viewed nearly 3 million times.
She begins her story by revealing that she and her ex-boyfriend had lived together for a little over a year. Together, they owned a golden retriever dog named Bella. Two weeks prior to their split, Erin claims that they were consistently fighting and both knew the end of their relationship was looming over them. One day while Erin’s ex-boyfriend was at work and she was working from home, he messaged her that they “needed to talk” when he got home.
@itserinconfortini Replying to @courtney kinn ♬ original sound – Erin
Erin was no fool and knew exactly what was about to happen. “I was like, ‘Are you breaking up with me?’ and he was like, ‘Yes,” she shares. Erin’s first concern was what they were going to do with Bella.
“That’s really all I cared about at this point,” she says. Her ex-boyfriend informed her that the two would discuss it when he arrived home.
However, when he did get home, he revealed his plans for Bella that did not involve Erin. “He was like. ‘We’re breaking up, I’m taking Bella, you’re never gonna see her again,’” Erin says. According to her ex-boyfriend, his plan was to have the dog for himself all along, but he kept the news from Erin until he got back so she wouldn’t leave and take Bella with her while she was still at work.
“He was like, ‘Say your goodbyes. I’m taking her to my parent’s house right now until you move out of this house.’”
Erin was left “hysterically crying” upon her ex-boyfriend’s demands. “I think he knew that the only way he could possibly hurt me was to take my dog,” she says. She grabbed Bella by the collar and attempted to take her with her out the back door. However, her ex-boyfriend slammed the door and refused to let her leave. Erin then called the police, who allowed her to take the dog home with her that day.
The police left the ex-couple off with a warning. “They were like, you two need to figure it out on your own. The cops aren’t gonna get involved with who gets to keep the dog,” they informed them.
They suggested that Erin return to the house in a few days to pick up more of her things and bring Bella with her so that they could work out an agreement.
In a follow-up video, Erin explained that while she is the primary caregiver of the dog, she was hoping to work out a joint-custody arrangement with her ex. She believed that it would only be fair to allow him to have the dog for at least some of the week.
“The reason why I was thinking like this was because I knew how much pain I would be in if I never got to see Bella again and I was assuming that he would be in the same type of pain,” she says.
@itserinconfortini Replying to @Erin ♬ original sound – Erin
Erin eventually got in touch with a friend of a friend who was a lawyer to help her draft up an agreement that she and her ex-boyfriend were going to split custody of Bella. She was hoping to later get the agreement notarized. Although when Erin informed her ex of her plans, he refused to sign any agreement. Erin’s friend told her that without a formal written agreement, there was little she could do to get her dog back if she was ever in her ex’s care and he refused to give her back.
“At that point, if he had the dog and refused to give her back the best that I could do is sue him for monetary damages,” Erin says. Funny enough, this is exactly what her ex-boyfriend wound up doing to her. About a month after having Bella to herself after he refused to sign an agreement, Erin received court papers in the mail, discovering that she was being sued by her ex.
According to the papers, her ex accused Erin of taking Bella after she “never paid any compensation for the canine and took the canine with her and refuses to return it to its rightful owner.” He requested that Bella be returned in addition to “three monetary damages money cannot actually replace.”
“In the alternative, the plaintiff would request the amount of $5,000 for both cost and punitive damages against the defendant.”
However, Erin claims that she and her ex split the original $1,200 price of the dog. Additionally, she is the one who has paid every veterinarian fee and all of her pet insurance.
“And since I work from home I’m 100% her primary caregiver. I feed her three times a day, I bathe her, I take her on walks. He basically has done nothing for her and wants $5,000 from me.”
Erin ultimately decided to pay him the money for her own peace of mind that she would keep Bella forever.
In fact, she is not nearly as bitter about the situation as one would expect her to be. “I’m actually just feeling very proud of myself. One for not letting him just walk out if the house that day with my dog without putting up a fight… and two because I’ve positioned myself to be very financially independent and in a position to pay $5,000 for my dog,” she shares. “That’s the price I’m willing to pay for her.”
However, Erin advises her viewers that if they could learn anything from her story, it would be to never get a dog with a bad partner. “I guess my $5,000 can pay for his steroids, or he and his friends can go to the casino,” she says of her ex.