Two former neighbors in Florida have found themselves in a bitter custody war over a dog. Tina Marie Walker adopted her black Labrador, Elario in 2016, but for the last five weeks she’s been sharing custody of her pup with her former next-door neighbor Vietnam vet, David Somerville.
“I don't understand it because in the state of Florida, a dog is property," Walker says. "He's licensed to me. I paid for the dog." Somerville had other ideas about the situation. He claims he should have sole custody of the dog because he’s been Elario’s main caretaker and pays for the dog’s food, vet bills and toys.
As for what caused the trouble, Somerville and Walker had a falling out when Walker micro chipped Elario and put the registration in her name. Either way. Pinellas County Small Claims Court Judge Lorraine Kelly has worked out an agreement for the two ruling that she says is best for both owners. Walker is appealing Kelly’s ruling, but for now Elario stays with Somerville every other weekend.
“Both parties have health considerations that quality time with Elario makes better. Both parties have spent a great deal of time with the dog and witnesses say he shows great affection for both of his humans.”