Theft of Piglet the dog lands owner and breeder in small claims court | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Theft of Piglet the dog lands owner and breeder in small claims court

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December 29, 2020 - 6:30 AM

A strange and messy dispute over a puppy named ‘Piglet’ has spilled into a small claims court after the breeder stole the puppy back and the rightful owner managed to somehow get it back herself.

Cynthia Wall originally tried to claim for the entire cost of the puppy she bought but has since been awarded a small cash amount for her expenses in retrieving the puppy. 

According to a Dec. 21 Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, Wall purchased Piglet in Kelowna from Rebekka White in March 2020. However, on July 25 White went to Wall's home and stole the dog back from Wall's deck.

White claimed she was justified in taking Piglet back, saying the puppy had no access to shade, food or water, and was covered in her own feces. Wall denied this, and the decision says no evidence was submitted to support the claim Piglet was being mistreated.

Tribunal member Sherelle Goodwin said even if there were evidence submitted that the dog was being neglected it still wouldn't give White the right to take the puppy back.

White also argued Wall had agreed to get Piglet spayed and had failed to do so.

The Tribunal member says there was no written purchase agreement submitted and even if Wall had breached an agreement it still didn't give White the right to take the dog.

"I find Ms. White was not legally entitled to take Piglet from Ms. Wall’s home," the decision says. "I find Ms. White stole Piglet."

Originally, Wall had filed for $1,350 to cover the cost of the dog but withdrew that claim when she got Piglet back.

According to the decision, Wall found out that Piglet was in Edmonton with a member of White’s family, although how Wall found this out, or why the dog was taken from Kelowna to Edmonton is not explained.

Wall travelled from Kelowna to Edmonton and retrieved the puppy before then filing in the small claims court demanding White pay her $595 to cover her travel costs.

While the theft would have been a matter for the police, there is no mention in the decision that the RCMP were involved.

Having decided that Piglet was stolen by White, the Tribunal member said the issue is whether to reimburse Wall for her travel costs and if so, how much.

"I find the expenses are a reasonably foreseeable consequence of Ms. White’s actions," the decision says.

However, proving Piglet was in Edmonton was more complicated.

Wall submitted screenshots of text messages sent by White although the details are somewhat confusing.

"I find they do not prove Piglet was in Edmonton... because there is no geographic information on the messages," the decision says.

However, as Wall also submitted a screenshot confirming a hotel reservation in Edmonton, and combined with the fact that White doesn't contest the fact, the Tribunal was swayed.

"I accept that Piglet ended up in Edmonton," the decision says. "I accept that Ms. Wall travelled from Kelowna to Edmonton to retrieve Piglet."

While Wall had claimed $200 for gas, $125 for food, and $270 for a hotel, the decision says no receipts were submitted.

The tribunal found that clearly she paid some expenses in getting to Edmonton but capped them at $200.

White now has 30 days to pay Wall $200 plus $125 in fees and interest.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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