Cologne court calls dog as witness

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Cologne court calls dog as witness
Photo: DPA

A Cologne judge called a bulldog to the witness stand in a tenancy dispute, daily Express reported on Wednesday.


The case that began on Tuesday is over a mother and her son who live in two separate apartments on the same floor of an apartment building. Because they moved in at different times, the 71-year-old mother Margarethe Urban’s lease allows pets, but her son Ralf’s does not. Their landlord has demanded that 4-year-old American bulldog Clyde (4) move out because he says he belongs to Ralf, and not his mother.

“Neighbours in the house have complained about the dog and are afraid,” landlord and lawyer Rolf Küssner, said in court. “It is clear that Herr Urban is the owner.”

Ralf Urban, who Küssner is suing, insisted that the dog belonged to his mother, the paper reported. “An old woman’s dog is going to be taken from her, and that is an insult,” his lawyer said, adding that Urban simply walks his mother’s dog for her.

In an attempt to determine the dog’s true owner, the judge asked Margarethe Urban to take the dog to the witness stand. As Clyde faced the court, he became agitated.

"Clyde looked in Herr Urban’s direction," Judge Nadja Günther noted in her court protocol, adding that the dog barked loudly as a guard entered the courtroom. His elderly handler attempted to command the dog, but he only followed her son’s orders.

The court will decide on January 20 if Clyde will have to leave the Zülpicher Straße building.


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