Ask Agony Aunt Lisa – Pet Seperation


Rainbow Counsellor Lisa Michelle is here to help with your problems.

Q) My partner left me a week ago. I am okay – things weren’t working out between us anyway – but we have a 3-year-old dog together and he wants to take her with him. I am more heartbroken over losing the dog. How can I win this custody battle?

A) A separation is hard enough on a good day, let alone when there are children or pets involved. I would say the same to you as I would anyone experiencing a custody battle over dependents: you need to do what is right for the dependent. As heart-breaking as that may be, it is the right thing to do. Where is the safest place for the dog? Who is able to spend more time with her? Who can afford the long-term financial commitment of feeding and vet bills? Whoever she ends up with and if your separation has been mutual, perhaps you can negotiate visitation aka walkies.


If you have an issue you would like Lisa to talk about in express, email and let her know at

 Article | Lisa Michelle

Lisa Michelle is a Chaplain and Counsellor for the GLBT Community, working with both Rainbow Youth and OUTLine NZ as an independent consultant and also on the board of OUTLine.