World's Largest NO-KILL
Animal Rescue
and Adoption Organization
 
 

 

Members get our updates on rescue alerts, league events, special offers and more.

sign up!

animal

Facebook YouTube Twitter
    

Like us on Facebook  
Like us on Facebook  
| Share share | email | print | A A

Search Advice

Search for:
Hint: Use * for wildcard, e.g. “adopt*” will return results matching both “adoption” and “adopting”

All Q&As
by
Elinor molbegott

Great tips and advice from the Animal League Experts.

Below are Q&As on all topics that relate to cats or dogs. Not what you're looking for? Use the form below to change your criteria, or submit your question to one of our experts.

animal
Categories
experts
 
How do I get my dog back?
Q:

My husband gave away my 7 month old puppy Dexter without my consent to a friend of a coworker. I called this coworker within 2 hours of finding out that my puppy was gone. She gave me the phone number of her friend, but the friend won't answer my calls. The dog is microchipped in my name and I have all the records for his shots plus neuter surgery and herniated belly button surgery. My husband also loves our pet. I was just complaining about the excess fur so he thought I would be happy if he found Dex a new home. This all happened less than 24 hours ago. How do I get Dexter back?

A:

If the person who has the dog refuses to return the dog, your option would be to sue. It will then be up to the court to decide who “owns” the dog. While a court will likely consider that the dog is microchipped in your name and that the dog’s veterinary records are in your name, that evidence alone does not guarantee a win. A court may still determine that you subsequently agreed to give away the dog. Please keep the dog’s best interests in mind as you decide how to proceed. The dog will still have "excess" fur when he returns, although grooming can help.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I take my puppy back that I sold?
Q:

I recently sold a 12 week old puppy about a week ago to a person that responded to a flyer I had posted. I was never able to see his living environment or anything & the man is a little mentally slow. I have just been told by a friend that she had seen the man with the puppy & that she suspects neglect & that he isn't mentally capable to properly take care of the puppy. Do I have the right to take back the puppy if I return the money that he had paid to me?

A:

A seller of an animal does not have the right to take the animal back from the purchaser unless there was a provision in the sales agreement providing for the right of the seller to reclaim the animal. Of course, you can ask the purchaser if he will sell the animal to you. You do have the right to report suspected animal abuse or neglect to law enforcement authorities. Also, there is a serious overpopulation problem of dogs and cats. I suggest that you get your pets spayed/neutered. If you still have puppies to sell, I suggest that you make an effort to determine whether the purchaser can provide a humane home for the animal before you sell the dog.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can a shelter demand a dog be returned since it was not spayed?
Q:

I'm a dog groomer and a client of mine went to our local shelter looking for her cat. While there the head of the shelter begged her to take a dog and didn't charge her a fee or anything. She later found out that she couldn't keep it so she asked me if I wanted her and my family fell in love with her. Two days later the pound called her and told her if she didn't return the dog back to them she would be charged with a felony unless she decided to keep the dog. He then said that after the pup was fixed she could give it away. This makes no sense to me. We can't find out who his boss is. HE HAS HARASSED US ALL WEEKEND AND DEMANDS THAT SHE BRING THE DOG BACK. Can he do this??

A:

The police will normally not intervene in these types of disputes. Of course, if one went into a shelter or pet store and stole an animal, the police would/should get involved. There is a law in Virginia (and other states) which requires animals adopted from shelters to be spayed or neutered. Under Virginia law, individuals who adopt an unsterilized animal from a shelter must sign an agreement to have the animal sterilized within 30 days of adoption or within 30 days after the animal reaches 6 months of age. The law further states that an animal control officer, humane investigator, and State Veterinarian may petition the court for an order directing the new adopter to comply with the spay/neuter requirements. Civil penalties may also be imposed on the shelter and adopter for non-compliance. If the reason the shelter is concerned is because the dog is not spayed, perhaps if you agree in writing to get the dog spayed, the shelter will be satisfied.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I sue my vet for spaying my dog without permission?
Q:

I took my dog in to a vet hospital to get her hernia removed. The vet called me when the surgery was complete and told me that they neutered our baby because the hernia would possibly come back when she was in heat. So they went ahead and neutered her without our permission. Can I sue? I'm very disappointed and upset right now. What can I do?

A:

It sound as if the veterinarian gave you a reasonable explanation regarding why the spaying was performed in conjunction with the hernia surgery. Keep in mind that spaying provides health benefits to animals and that there is a serious dog overpopulation problem. Spaying (and neutering) helps to curtail the population and saves lives. If you believe the veterinarian acted inappropriately, you can file a complaint with your state’s veterinary licensing board and you can sue. The court would consider the evidence presented (including a hospital admission form which sometimes gives veterinarians discretion during surgery) and determine whether you suffered any monetary loss as a result of the veterinarian’s actions. Consider that the court could decide that the veterinarian actually saved you money that you might have had to spend on another hernia operation in the future.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can we sue the dog seller for not providing registration papers?
Q:

My husband and I bought a dog for $300 and it was suppose to have papers. Now the original owner is saying they do not have the papers. We wanted half our money back and at first they agreed. Now they are saying they won't give us any of our money back. I have documentation on my phone about the cost and them having papers. They said they would buy the dog back for what we paid for him and vet bills, but its my son's dog and he is attached. Can we sue him? Would it be worth suing him?

A:

In some states, there are laws which address this issue if the animal is purchased from a pet dealer (that term is defined differently but generally refers to pet stores and some breeders). For example, New York’s law provides that the purchaser can receive a refund of 75% of the purchase price if the pet dealer who represents an animal as registered or capable of registration with a purebred registry fails to provide the purchaser with the registration papers. Even if one does not purchase an animal from a pet dealer, a court could award the purchaser what the court deems to be the difference in monetary value between a registered and un-registered dog if the court believes that the seller represented that registration papers would be provided and then failed to provide the papers.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
How can I stop people who find lost dogs from neglecting to talk to the real owner?
Q:

I lost my dog and been looking on CL. I answered to a post title found small dog. After doing this I sent pics and this person said call me. I did and they never answered or heard through email until 3 days after that day saying they had taken this dog to the shelter and to go see if it was mine that same day. This shelter closes on Mondays. I replied politely just asking why I was never called or emailed so that I could take a look at this dog before they did this. (I have more emails and details just can't put it all here). This person responded by saying "...because after three days the dog is legally mine and they will not let you take him in..." I can't sleep, I am all tears I will do everything I can to pursue legal action but my Nico was never registered as my pet due to many circumstances like job loss and illness. And if anything, they might not even know this but I know I love him, I know I miss him and I know there is other people looking and searching for their lost companion and it is my duty to stop actions like this one. Please help me by guiding me and I thank you deeply from my heart.

A:

A finder of an animal is usually acting within the law when such finder brings a found animal to an animal shelter. Problems sometimes arise when a finder states that he/she was the “owner” of the animal. This can be tragic since in some areas shelters are not required to keep animals who are surrendered by their “owners” for a minimum number of days. As a result, sometimes these animals are either euthanized or adopted out without the real “owner” having an opportunity to claim the animal. Since you know where the animal was taken, I suggest you go to the shelter immediately and see if the shelter has your dog. Each shelter has its own requirements for redemption, but some proof of “ownership” would normally be required. The proof could be in the form of photos, veterinary records, license, etc. Otherwise, anyone could go to any shelter and claim an animal. When one cannot prove “ownership” to the satisfaction of the shelter, sometimes the shelter will allow the person to adopt the animal, assuming the person meets the shelter’s adoption standards.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Is it legal for a shelter to adopt out a pregnant dog?
Q:

We adopted a dog from a local animal shelter. We were told she had given birth recently and that the babies were adopted out already. Flash forward to yesterday, we came home from work only to find a brand new puppy laying with her, but it was dead. My daughter has Generalized Anxiety Disorder and this has caused her a lot of grief. We called the animal shelter and they said "Well just wait to see if anymore come out." No remorse whatsoever. Is this legal?

A:

I suggest that you take the dog to a veterinarian to be examined. Also, consider speaking with someone else at the shelter to express your concerns. You might have a civil claim for veterinary and other expenses you incur which are related to the dog’s most recent pregnancy and delivery. The Georgia Department of Agriculture, Animal Protection Section regulates shelters. Consider contacting that agency as well. I hope your dog does well and will be spayed once a veterinarian says it is safe to do so. Under Georgia law, animals adopted from shelters must be spayed or neutered either prior to adoption (which obviously did not happen in your situation) or shortly thereafter (which may have to be delayed given your dog's condition).


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Did my uncle's ex abandon her animals?
Q:

My uncle's ex girlfriend left him a few months ago and left her two dogs and three cats at his home. He wants to give the cats up to our local rescue center, but they said that she either needs to give the okay or have her say that they are his (they avoid talking if possible).

He also wants to keep both dogs. Is it legal for him to buy tags for them under his name? Would they be considered his if she were to try to get them back?

A:

It is understandable that the rescue center would want the ex-girlfriend’s consent. The shelter would not want to adopt out the cats and then have the ex-girlfriend try to reclaim them. A dog license does not in and of itself prove “ownership” of a dog. It is just one indication of “ownership.” In an animal custody/ownership lawsuit, the dog license would be considered in conjunction with the rest of the evidence. For the sake of the animals, your uncle and his ex should try to resolve the pet custody issue.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
What can I do legally to get my cats back?
Q:

I raised two rescue kittens and recently decided to put ad in paper free to good home. Bad choice, couple came with daughter to pick up and decided they wanted them both, read article on computer about these kind of people. Don't think they are doing what they promised for cats, I broke down 5 minutes after they left and haven't stopped crying yet. I am very depressed at what I could do to get cats back, I can't live without them, I now know that. I tried to talk to them two days later about getting my cats back, they said well we may give the boy back maybe. What can I do legally to get cats back, they are not adjusting to their new home and neither am I. Please help, I can't live without them, I even sleep with their toys.

A:

When one places a “free to good home” ad and then places the animal in the possession of a person who responded to the ad, a lawsuit to get the animals returned would likely be a difficult case to win unless as part of the adoption agreement there were conditions for the return of the animal. One’s best bet may be to attempt to purchase the animals from the adopter if the adopter is otherwise unwilling to return the animals.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
What is the legal time frame to deem a dog abandoned?
Q:

There is a dog located in Fulton, NY that many, many, many neighbors are concerned for. He was "left" with a friend, who is said to come once a day, if at all. Outside 24/7, with a porch to crawl under. Every time they call Animal Control, they say they can't do anything because the dog has shelter and water. Here in upstate NY we have very cold, windy winters. What is the legal time limit of an animal to legally be determined "abandoned"?

A:

New York’s abandonment law (section 355 of the Agriculture and Markets Law) does not state a specific amount of time before an animal can be deemed abandoned. In addition to the abandonment law, there are other laws that may be utilized in the situation you presented. There is a law in New York State (section 353-B of the Agriculture and Markets law) which requires dogs left outdoors in inclement weather be provided with a structurally sound housing facility with a waterproof roof and insulation appropriate to local climatic conditions with sufficient space to allow the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down with limbs outstretched. ‘Inclement weather’ is defined in the law to mean “conditions that are likely to adversely affect the health or safety of the dog, including but not limited to rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme heat and cold.” There is another law, section 373 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, which provides that upon a showing that an animal on premises other than a street or other public place is kept in unhealthy conditions or not properly cared for for more than 12 successive hours, a judge may issue a warrant to law enforcement officers to take possession of the animal. Section 117 of the Agriculture and Markets law states that law enforcement officers, including a dog control officer, may seize a dog which is not licensed whether on or off the “owner’s” premises.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Items 141 - 150 of 445  Previous11121314151617181920Next

 

Browse our extensive expert advice by selecting categories below:

Show Expert Advice by Topic

Animal:
Topic:
Advice Type: