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Meet Buddy, The Dog Who Became a Witness for a Pet Ownership Case

Oddly enough, in 1921, a judge allowed a dog to testify about to whom he belongs. It might seem bizarre that a court of law would swear in a dog to the witness stand but this might have been a special case.

The case was a pet ownership battle. The plaintiff, Maj. Gen. Eli Helmick, said that the dog was Buddy, purchased in 1920 from Brockway Kennels in Baldwin, Kansas, which had advertised 75 “white, intelligent, shaggy, handsome trick Eskimos.” For almost two years, the family raised the pup, until one day in November 1921 it went missing.
Months later, Florence Helmick visited Keeley Morse’s hat shop, where customers were greeted by a fluffy, friendly white dog that Florence insisted was her Buddy. She demanded Morse hand over the animal. When he refused to surrender the dog, which he called Prince, the Helmicks brought him to court.

Read more about the story by Christopher DeCou on Narratively.

(Image credit: Subin Yang)


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