Pet Legal Q&A

///Pet Legal Q&A

Elinor D. Molbegott, is an attorney who maintains a law practice devoted to animal law. Elinor donates her time to answer questions from North Shore Animal League America supporters who would like to learn more about animal law.


Can someone legally keep my dog from me after watching him for 3 months?

I am now in a legal battle with somebody I used to live with who said he would take care of my dog until I became settled in a new place. He will not return my calls/texts and is now saying that I have to pay $6,000 for boarding fees even though he’s been keeping him from me for 3 months by relocating him to his girlfriends house. He is papered in my name, but he wants to keep my dog and is now taking me to court and hiding my dog from me until I pay $6,000 in “boarding fees” although there was no contract. What can I do? Does he have standing to charge me for any boarding fees without an agreement?

By |2019-05-16T13:45:18+00:00April 23rd, 2019|

Can rescue group take back re-homed dog?

I adopted a dog from a man who got her at a rescue. We have a written agreement. The rescue got wind and now wants me to return the dog to them or fill out an application. I don't agree with a couple of their policies so struggle with the app. I am happy to give references, home visit whatever to keep her. The dog is very shy and thriving in her new environment and I don't want her returned to the rescue. All communication has been with the previous owner, who is a really good person. I don't want problems for him. We both want what is best for the dog.

By |2019-04-23T12:48:52+00:00April 23rd, 2019|

My wife adopted out my dog without my permission.

My wife adopted out my dog without my permission. Fill out a form online. Was told I could not back out after she filled out application. She had been told several times the dog was not to be adopted out. Do I have any chance of getting my dog back?

By |2019-04-23T12:49:23+00:00April 23rd, 2019|

How do I keep owner from repeatedly taking/returning dog?

Almost a year ago, I started dogwatching my mom's boss’s dog. This summer will be a year. The son, 14 and mother went on vacation for 2 months. When they came home from vacation they were too busy to get the dog back. They eventually took the dog back for a couple days but then gave him back to us because they didn’t want to deal with his accidents and everything else.

By |2019-04-23T12:54:48+00:00March 29th, 2019|

Found Dog

If I found a puppy and notified the shelter and police immediately can I hold the dog at my home until owner is found? Also, what happens if someone comes forward claiming that the puppy is theirs but has no proof?

By |2019-01-31T13:23:47+00:00January 29th, 2019|