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B.C. daughter sues after woman refuses to return dead dad’s dog Cookie

Woman said other family members encouraged her to keep the dog
Dogs are considered property by the courts. (Pexels photo)

A grieving daughter was forced to go to the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal in order to force the return of her deceased father’s dog Cookie.

Brandy Parlett is the executor of the estate of her father, John Michael Parlett.

“Ms. Parlett says that the respondent, Trisha Gatfield, offered to care for her father’s dog, Cookie, while her father was undergoing chemotherapy,” reads the CRT decision. “Ms. Parlett says her father died and Ms. Gatfield refuses to return Cookie to her family. Ms. Parlett asks for an order that Cookie be returned to her and that Ms. Gatfield pay her expenses to retrieve Cookie.”

Gatfield responded that Cookie was given to her by other members of John Parlett’s family.

“Ms. Parlett says that her brother was looking after Cookie while her father was in the hospital receiving chemotherapy,” said the CRT decision. “Cookie kept running away from her brother’s home. She says that Ms. Gatfield offered to take care of Cookie until her father left the hospital. After her father died, Ms. Parlett says Ms. Gatfield refused to return Cookie.”

Gatfield gave testimony that John Parlett’s family encouraged her to keep Cookie.

“Ms. Gatfield says that John Parlett’s family asked her to look after Cookie while he was in the hospital,” said the CRT decision. “She says that after John Parlett died, she and Ms. Parlett discussed returning Cookie. However, she says John Parlett’s other family members told her she should keep Cookie. Ms. Gatfield has provided a letter and text messages from one of John Parlett’s daughters stating that the family has decided that Cookie should live with Ms. Gatfield.”

For the CRT, the issue is that Cookie is property of the estate of John Parlett and whoever is the administrator of the estate is the one who decides who should have Cookie.

The CRT agreed that Brandy is the administrator and so it has ordered that Cookie be returned by Gatfield, but it did not award costs to reimburse the family.

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Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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