Court orders two litigants to jointly own controversial dog by following visitation calendar

53-year-old Tina Marie Walker and 68-year-old David Somerville, 68 have been fighting for the past two years over who rightfully owns Elario, a 4-year-old, 100-pound Labrador.

Per the ruling of the Pinellas County court presided over by Judge Lorraine Kelly, the two former neighbours will henceforth share custody of the dog by following a visitation calendar.

Media reports quoted Judge Lorraine Kelly as saying in her ruling that: "Both parties have spent a great deal of time with the dog. Witnesses say he shows great affection to both of his humans."

According to, Tina Marie Walker adopted the dog from a shelter in Largo, Fla.

However, at a point David Somerville's son asked Tina Marie Walker to check in on his father, who was recovering from lung surgery.

In her absence, David Somerville was caring for Elario and became fond of the dog. But when he enquired from Tina Marie Walker if he could adopt the dog she refused the offer.

David Somerville then went to court to compel Tina Marie Walker to waive her ownership of the dog to him, saying: "Elario and I have a very strong bond/love for each other. He has been with me 24/7 for the last year and a half...I believe that Elario is my dog and should stay with me."

Tina Marie Walker on the other hand said: “I love my dog. It's all I have in my whole life."

The small claims court however thought it fair to grant both litigants joint right of ownership to the dog.


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