By BEA LEWIS, for The Laconia Daily Sun
LACONIA — It is said that possession is nine-tenths of the law, meaning that ownership is easier to maintain if one has possession of something, or difficult to enforce if one does not.
A Barnstead woman is being forced to put that axiom to the test, when she is scheduled to appear in court to answer her ex-boyfriend's claims that she won't give his dog back to him.
Trevor Smith of Alton filed a petition in Belknap County Superior Court on Jan. 26, asking a judge to grant him possession of a German shepherd that is now in the care of his ex-girlfriend, Calyn Drew.
In asking the court to order Drew to return the dog, Smith wrote that "all ownership, registration papers and vet bills are in my name."
He further claims that Drew is keeping the dog from him, despite his requests to return it, and that both Drew and her mother, have told him they planned to take legal action to keep the dog.
Judge Tina Nadeau denied Smith's emergency request to be granted ownership of the dog without allowing Drew to tell her side of the dispute, but scheduled a hearing for Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m.
In court filings, Smith claims he purchased the dog as a puppy in December 2015 when he was in a relationship with Drew. Since they separated, Smith said, he was still allowing her to care for the dog at her home, when he had to work late hours or several days in a row.
"In no way was the dog portrayed as a gift and has remained primarily in my care," he wrote. Drew most recently began caring for the dog in early January, according to Smith, who said, he had phoned and texted asking for the dog's return, but has been rebuffed.
"She now states the dog is hers and I cannot come and get him," Smith wrote.
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