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
 
Do I owe the shelter money for a dog I had a week and then gave away?
Q:

I had a friend that was moving and couldn't take his dog with him. I told him I would take him and find a home for him. While I had him I got his shots and got him neutered. I had another friend who told me she had friends that wanted him so I gave him to her to take to them. I only had this dog for about a week and now I have an animal shelter telling me he is there and I owe them money. I can't get a hold of my friend to find out what happened. Do I really have to pay the shelter for a dog I had a week?

A:

It is unclear from your question why you have been in contact with the shelter and what the shelter’s explanation is for you owing them money. For clarification on the shelter’s position, you should ask the person in charge at the shelter. Adoption agreements sometimes state that when an adopter no longer wishes to keep an adopted animal, the animal must be returned to the shelter. These agreements sometimes also include financial “penalties” for violations. However, a person who never signed such an agreement would normally not be obligated to pay a penalty or other fee to the shelter.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
What legal action can I take against an adoption agency not honoring its contract?
Q:

I adopted a heartworm positive dog which the organization signed a contract to pay for treatment of which they will not honor now. What legal action can I take?

A:

I suggest that you carefully review your contract with the adoption organization. If the agreement states that the adoption organization will pay for heartworm treatment and the organization refuses to comply with the specific terms of the agreement, consider talking with someone else in the organization to work out the dispute. If you cannot resolve the dispute and want to take the matter to the next step, you may choose to sue the organization for the cost of the heartworm treatment. Of course, since pet adoption organizations try very hard to help animals, suing should be a last resort.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
What are the legal standards for the size of dog cages?
Q:

I know of a dog who is left in a cage that is too small. How do I tell if it is too small by legal standards? Also, the owner leaves her in the cage for 8 or more hours a day; a minimum of 2 days a week. Is this neglect?

A:

I suggest you contact your local humane society and the Illinois Department of Agriculture to request that an investigation be conducted. The investigator (if he/she gains access) can assess the dog’s condition and whether there is a violation of the animal protection laws. Illinois (as does every state) has laws prohibiting animal abuse and neglect. Laws regulating cage size generally pertain to animals kept by pet dealers/stores/laboratories. Illinois’ general animal cruelty law specifically requires “owners” to provide animals with adequate shelter and humane care and treatment. Based on the conditions the animal is kept in and the condition of the animal, the investigator can determine if there is a violation of the law. If, for example, there is inadequate room for the dog to stand up and turn around or if the dog is lying in his/her excrement, an investigator may very well find that there is a violation of the law. Also, investigators can and often do educate animal guardians about humane care so even if a summons is not issued, sometimes conditions improve based on the investigator’s input. It is wonderful that you are looking out for this dog. Please follow-up with the investigator.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Am I legally obligated to pay my friend back for impound fees?
Q:

12/19/12: Yesterday my friend gave me his dog cause he was getting rid of her. Today she ran away and got impounded while I was home alone with my young kids (2 years and 6 months old). The friend who gave her to me paid the fees without me asking him to get her out after I looked everywhere for her once my fiance got home. After he paid the fees, he asked me to pay him back. I agreed, but when he told me I couldn't have her back and that I lied about looking for her and the way she got let out, I told him I wasn't going to pay him back. Now he's threatening to take me to court. Am I legally obligated to pay him back even though I didn't ask him to get her out of the pound in the first place?? Didn't he technically dog-nap her as well??

A:

There is a tragic overpopulation of dogs and cats. Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized each year at shelters. Thankfully, this dog was reclaimed. Rather than being angry at your friend or accusing him of dognapping, consider that you lost the dog on the first/second day you got her, you did not look for the dog until your fiancé returned home (unless there were extenuating circumstances, young children can go outside with adults to look for a missing pet), and your friend took the time to retrieve the dog. It is unlikely a court would require a person in your situation to pay for the impoundment fees, but one cannot say with certainty how a court will rule. I hope the dog finds a loving home where she will get the care and attention that she needs.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I take legal action against neglectful pet boarding of the Animal Hospital?
Q:

My family and I went home to Detroit, MI for thanksgiving. We have two Zebra Finches that I gave as a birthday gift to my three year old granddaughter, she fell in love with the birds at first sight. She named the birds Aaron & Bechett. Aaron & Bechett are two little boys that go to the daycare that she attends. After a long drive back from our trip from Michigan, I received a phone call from the the Animal Hospital which also offers pet boarding. The director proceeded to inform me that one of the birds is no longer with us. Well, that was an eye opener, I said to myself. She continued to say, one of the staff members was feeding Aaron & Bechett and some how, some way one of the birds escaped from their bird cage. I need to know if I can take any legal action for their neglect.

A:

I am so sorry to hear about your bird. Perhaps if you place signs near where the bird was lost, someone will see the bird and contact you. In a bailment situation, the bailee (in this situation, the animal hospital) has the responsibility of exercising due care of the birds. In one South Carolina case, the court stated, “The degree of care required of a bailee for mutual benefit is defined as ordinary care, or due care, or the degree of care which would be exercised by a person of ordinary care in the protection of his own property.” The court also stated, “In a bailment action alleging a breach of the duty of care, the bailor is entitled to be compensated for all losses that are the natural consequence and proximate result of the bailee's negligence.” If you wish to pursue this matter, consult with an attorney in your area or commence a lawsuit in Small Claims court.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
How can I get my relinquished dog back from the medical center?
Q:

After my Chihuahua was attacked by 3 pitbulls, the owner said she would pay all costs. Now I'm on state disability and can't afford the costs, so I relinquished my dog to the medical center. As I was pressured into signing my dog over, I want him back! Can I do anything to have him returned to me?

A:

You can appeal to the hearts of the personnel in the medical center. If they still have your dog, perhaps they will consider adopting the dog to you. Sometimes when people are under duress when signing a contract, the contract can be voided. You should consult with an attorney in your area.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
What can my daughter do to share custody with her ex?
Q:

My daughter and her boyfriend adopted a dog 5 years ago. During that time the dog resided here 70% of the time. The dog is listed under the boyfriend's name because of my daughter's age at the time. My husband paid for the dog but we have no record because it was cash. Since breaking up, they have shared custody every other week. Now the ex is saying he won't allow her her to get him and share custody. What can she do?

A:

Shared custody of animals can be very difficult---for the humans and the animals. These arrangements are often difficult to sustain as the individuals move on with their lives. All that said, I have heard of situations where shared custody has worked. Your daughter can sue her ex-boyfriend for custody. The fact that her ex-boyfriend has possession of the dog and the dog is registered to him will probably help him in the court case.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
How can I get my bird back from a trial adopter?
Q:

After considering rehoming my pet bird, I met someone who wanted her and I agreed to let her have the bird for a week or two to see how the bird would do. After I dropped her off, I really felt concerned about the home since it was a really old trailer and worried that if the lady could not afford better living conditions for herself, maybe she shouldn't be taking on an animal. So, I told her that I just couldn't part with her and asked if I could go ahead and pick her up the next day. She said I could. The next day when I went to get her the lady said no and when I pressed a bit, she said that I couldn't even come visit to check on the bird as we had agreed. I can provide my adoption papers from when I adopted the bird and a vet bill. How do I go about getting her back? I never agreed that this was to be for sure the final arrangement - it was tentative.

A:

You can sue for the return of the bird. Consult with an attorney in your area. Keep in mind though that just because a person still has adoption records does not prove that he/she did not subsequently sell or give an animal to another person. When one voluntarily places an animal in another person’s possession, and the other person is not a boarding facility, it may be difficult to convince a court that the arrangement was temporary (unless there is a written agreement which states such terms). Saying that you were concerned about the woman’s living conditions and then giving her the bird anyway (even temporarily) may not work in your favor. I hope the bird is receiving good care.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Was the vet negligent in not scanning the dog for a microchip?
Q:

2 weeks ago my Chinese crested intact male went missing. The day after we notified all shelters and vet clinics in a 60 mile radius. We provided photos, contact info and the dogs microchip number. I was contacted by a shelter yesterday and was told that a vet clinic had a Chinese crested male in for a neuter that day and that I should call. I called the clinic (which HAD been notified with flyer, photos, info and microchip for my missing dog) and I was told the owner and dog were new clients and that the description of the dog matched mine. They however DID NOT SCAN THE DOG. By the time I called, the dog had been picked up so I could not go there nor could they scan it. Isn't this negligent on their behalf? What legal rights do I have? Can I have a court order to have the information released to me? I believe strongly this was my dog as this breed is rare, and even rarer in this area. Hard to swallow when the shelter said the dog matched my photos exactly and the clinic failed to scan the dog.

A:

Consider immediately asking the veterinarian to call his/her client to explain the situation and to request that the dog be brought back to the office to be scanned. The longer someone has an animal, the less likely they are to be cooperative so time is of the essence. Consult with an attorney in your area. The attorney can attempt to resolve this matter for you and, if necessary, commence a lawsuit in which he/she would seek a court order to have the animal scanned, based on probable cause that the dog is yours. However, it is unclear from your e-mail what role the shelter had in this situation and how the shelter knew this dog was at the veterinarian’s office. If the dog was held for the legal hold time at the shelter and then adopted, the case is more complicated—but not a lost cause.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can the vet withhold my dog until the bill is paid in full?
Q:

I just got a pug from a lady who couldn't take care of him anymore. When I got him he was skinny and when I was trying to get him up to weight I ended up having to take him to the vet. When I got there, because it was in the middle of the night, I told the vet that I didn't have any money until my husband got paid this Friday. He said that it would be fine, that when I came and got my dog that we would work out a payment plan to pay the bill. Well he called me today saying that I couldn't come and get him unless I paid $100 now and $200 later and if I didn't come in 24 hours he was going to keep the dog. What can I do? I just got him so I have nothing to prove that he is mine. This is the first vet visit he has had since I got him.

A:

It seems that the issue is not whether or not the dog is yours, but if the veterinarian can refuse to return your dog to you for lack of payment. There is a Michigan law that says that a veterinarian may “dispose” of an animal placed in the veterinarian’s custody and abandoned by its “owner” if the “owner” does not respond in a timely manner to letters sent by the veterinarian alerting the “owner” that the animal will be “disposed of.” The law is not clear about the owner’s rights if the owner cannot pay on time, but I think it would be hard for a veterinarian or other animal care facility to declare an animal abandoned when the owner has been in contact and needs a little extra time to pay the bill. Consider also that given the dog’s condition, the veterinarian may think the animal has been severely neglected. Evidence of your adoption (lady’s name and contact information) may help to allay concerns that you were the person who neglected this animal. Veterinarians are allowed to report suspected animal abuse to law enforcement authorities.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Items 171 - 180 of 441  Previous11121314151617181920Next

 

Browse our extensive expert advice by selecting categories below:

Show Expert Advice by Topic

Animal:
Topic:
Advice Type: