One dog, two families! Kola’s life could change from one day to another depending on a new court decision. On September 21, 2021, already, the court of Saint-Pierre recognized Evelyne (first name) her right of possession over Kola. Opposite, Vanessa (loan) regrets this decision because the dog lived with her for 5 years. As the de facto owner, it is she who has incurred all the costs inherent in the life of the animal since 2017. Not to mention the link that has been created between the two.
Kola is a royal bourbon female dog born most likely on the street in the south of the island. It was near a bus stop at Etang-Salé les Bains that three little dogs were picked up one fine day in 2017.
The two friends agree to each recover a stray dog
“I went to pick them up in the street, near this bus stop, after their presence was reported on Facebook”begins Vanessa.
Despite the fact that she lives in an apartment, Vanessa welcomes the three dogs of a few months to her home, hoping for better. A house with a garden in particular. Events settle favorably over the weeks. One of the puppies finds a family in Paris, a second, baptized Naïs, is kept by Vanessa. The third will be called Kola and Evelyne will adopt him at the end of December 2017.
The two friends, who are therefore volunteers in animal protection, get along perfectly well to the point that, having a hard time finding accommodation at one point, Evelyne asks Vanessa to help her out. The two friends therefore live under the same roof for a few months, the time for Evelyne to find her own accommodation.
While she adopted her, Evelyne brings Kola back to Vanessa after two months
“I was hosting Evelyne for free at that time because she no longer had a home”explains Vanessa. “She ends up finding her place at the end of February 2018 but she brings Kola back to me at the end of April, telling me that things are not going well and that she cannot keep her, in particular because her dog Bella does not accept her and that she does stupid things”reports Vanessa.
After being briefly placed under the name of an association when she was rescued from the street, the dog was naturally put under the name of Evelyne in December 2017 with ICAD, the organization that manages identifications. This change of owner is a detail at that time but it will take on its full importance thereafter.
“So I get Kola back in April 2018. The deal with Evelyne was to contact the association again so that it can place her in a new adoptive family and that I keep Kola in a foster family while I find another family. “, says Vanessa. But the months pass and not the shadow of an adoptive family on the horizon.
“After a year that Kola is at home, I say to my friend: “Listen, you were supposed to take care of everything financially and after 3, 4 months you stopped paying for his dewormers, his kibbles and his care”, says Vanessa who, suddenly, became attached to Kola to the point of no longer wanting to part with her. Faced with this refusal to return her dog, Evelyne, the real owner with regard to the identification papers, therefore filed a complaint. Faced with this material evidence, Vanessa highlights the costs paid and the attachment that may have been created vis-à-vis this animal. “I took on a dog that wasn’t mine for a year”explains Vanessa, whose arguments did not, however, influence the judgment of last September.
The Saint-Pierre criminal court ruled in favor of… Evelyne, the one who therefore only bore the responsibility and the burden of the animal a few months after her rescue. The story could have ended there since Vanessa was obliged to hand over Kola to her former friend Evelyne, but that was without taking into account the determination of Kola’s mistress. She has decided to appeal the judgment and Kola is currently staying at home in Saint-Leu.
In the camp opposite, Evelyne does not lack arguments either to assert her rights over the animal.
According to her version, her friend, with whom she is angry today, did everything to dissuade her from taking Kola back. All while developing bogus pretexts.
The Court of Appeal to decide between the two mistresses
Her former friend would have advanced various pretexts such as the fact that Kola was sick, that she was in a complicated phase, stressed, or even refused to eat… so as not to give it back to her in recent years. “My client had no reason to be suspicious of her friend”recontextualizes Evelyne’s lawyer in the arguments developed with the judges.
His client thus objects that he wanted to get rid of his dog Kola by leaving her in the care of her friend. Evelyne does not fail to recall that, if she gave temporary custody of the dog to her friend, she regularly came to visit her and go for walks. “My client had made verbal requests to her friend to get the dog back, but she also saw her attachment to Kola. As a result, she didn’t want to rush her, thinking that time would do its work”adds the lawyer in her arguments to explain why her client took a long time to want to recover the animal.
So nothing happened. Instead of amicably agreeing on Kola’s future home, his two mistresses offer a real headache to the Saint-Denis Court of Appeal. This future hearing will (perhaps) put an end to this unusual ping-pong for keeping an animal.