The two were in a custody battle for 4-year-old black Labrador named Elario (representational)

Two former neighbours seeking custody of a black Labrador took their dispute to court. But who does the dog belong to? Apparently, to both of them, the judge decided.

A court in Pinellas County, Florida ruled that two sparring neighbours would have to share the custody of Elario, a 4-year-old black Labrador, Tampa Bay Times reported.

Tina Walker and David Somerville used to live right across each other at an apartment complex building. When Ms Walker adopted Elario from a shelter in 2016, it was her neighbour who drove her there.

While Ms Walker worked part-time at a cafe and a restaurant, it was Mr Somerville who watched Elario. The two, he claims, grew close as they spent their days together while Ms Walker was at work.

According to Elario's owner, trouble began when she went on a trip last year and left the pet dog with her neighbour. When she came back, Mr Somerville, she claims, wanted to adopt Elario. She offered to add his name to the dog's microchip, the newspaper reported.

But in December last year, David Somerville sued her claiming to be Elario's sole owner.

In court, David Sommerville said that things became strained when he wanted his name added to the dog's microchip as he was more "financially stable" than her.

The Vietnam war veteran argued in court that Elario helped him while he was recovering from lung cancer. He also informed the court that when the dog suffered from a cyst, it was he who took care of the bills.

The judge after hearing both the neighbours ruled that they must share Elario's custody, like divorced parents.

"Both parties have spent a great deal of time with the dog," the judge ruled.

"Witnesses say he shows great affection to both of his humans."

As for Elario, more hoomans the better, right?

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