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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.

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Shelter adopted out my cat
Q:

The Animal Care adopted out my cat of 5 years to a family and will not call them to give them our information. They had our cat for 4 days, and got him adopted the next day. We kept looking on their site but didn't see him because he was already adopted. What should we do to try and reach out to the new owners?

A:

Typically if a shelter held an animal for the time period required by law before placing the animal in a new home, the animal’s original “owner” loses rights to that animal. The amount of time a shelter must hold an animal before releasing the animal for adoption varies throughout the country. It is so important for people who lose their pets to visit shelters each day. If the person who lost an animal has the adopter's contact information, a call or letter may help to convince the new “owner” to return the animal. It is generally advisable in these situations for contact to be made quickly before the animal gets adjusted to his/her new home and before there is bond that the new “owner” won’t break. Of course, these situations get complicated when the new “owner’s” name is not known. I suggest you consult with an attorney in your area.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Crazy neighbor trapping cats
Q:

In the past two months, two of my cats have gone missing and been taken to the OC Animal Care. One we got back in time, the other was adopted out to another family on the 5th day. My next door neighbor has had their 2 cats go missing in the past two months as well. One found at OC Animal Care and one still not found. We think our crazy neighbor is doing this because he "hates cats" but the shelter won't help or tell us. What should we do?

A:

 One suggestion would be to keep your cats indoors where they will be safe!


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Is there anyway to fight this?
Q:

So I rescued a dog from a back of a truck back in late October of last year. A friend of mine rescued his brother. We kept our beautiful beagle/chihuahua mixever since; however, my friend gave his away to his grandma. Well the grandma wasn't able to take care of him anymore and so she happened to give him away to a friend of mines close friend. I had my friend nicely ask if the two, being almost a year old, could see each other and because of something that happened in the past between my significant other and my friend's close friend, he is refusing to.  Is there anyway to fight this?

A:

 An animal’s “owner” is under no legal obligation to schedule a “dog play date,” even if the dogs at one time were”friends.” 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Is there anything legally that can be done?
Q:

Hi, I hired a pet sitter for 9 days while we were on vacation. I have 4 cats and a 200 lb. St. Bernard. He is elderly. When we came home we found that the pet sitter had not fed our dog appropriately. He gets 8 cups of food a day, and she had only been giving him one can of tuna per day. We found his food in the trash can that she had tried to hide. He lost so much weight in the 9 days that his ribs are showing. She also had not fed any of the cats and they had no water in their feeders and we have had 100 degree temps. Is there anything legally that can be done?

A:

Animal neglect/abuse complaints can be made to local animal control, the sheriff, and the police. In some states, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA) and humane organizations also enforce animal cruelty laws. Cruelty to animals is against the law in every state. A pet “owner” can also sue a pet sitter for monetary damages (veterinary bills, for example) resulting from the pet sitter’s actions/neglect. Success in such a lawsuit will be dependent on whether one can prove to the satisfaction of the court that the pet sitter failed to provide necessary care (such as food and water) to the animals and that such failure resulted in harm to the animals.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
How do I get my dog back from the kennel?
Q:

My dog ran off someone put her in a kennel but the kennel won't give her back what do I do?

A:

An individual who believes that his/her animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue for the return of the animal. The rights of the parties depend on the facts of the particular case. For example, does the person claiming “ownership” of the animal have sufficient proof of “ownership?” Was the animal held at a shelter for the time period provided for in the law and did the “owner” fail to retrieve the animal within that time period? Was the animal neglected or abused and is being held as evidence in an animal cruelty case? Did the animal bite someone and is being held pending a dangerous dog hearing? Is there an issue regarding payment of boarding fees? I suggest you consult with an attorney in your area.

 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
What should I do about the puppy?
Q:

I rehomed a puppy to a woman in Omaha. I was suppose to hold the dog till she got to texas on July 3rd. She payed $250 for her. The puppy was perfectly healthy. But all of a sudden she seemed odd and when I was on the way to a 24 hr vet clinic she passed away. There was no contract just me selling and her buying and wanting me to hold till she got in town. The puppy ate good meals and was fine but health dropped within an hour. What should I do?

A:

I am so sorry to hear about the puppy’s death. Generally when an individual gets paid for an animal but cannot deliver the animal, the purchaser would be entitled to a refund. I suspect that when the money is not refunded in such situations, a lawsuit might be commenced. While each case has its own facts and circumstances, when an animal dies before an individual purchaser takes possession it is unlikely that he/she would be responsible for veterinary bills or boarding fees pending pick-up (unless there was a specific agreement providing for this).


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
PTSD Prescribed Service Dog Denied Access
Q:

Is it legal for an animal daycare to deny access to my 7-year old female service dog because she has NOT been spayed?

Note: She is qualified as an ADA Service Animal medically prescribed by a licensed physician for Combat Related PTSD.

A:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows service dogs to accompany persons with disabilities in public facilities and accommodations but does not address situations where a service dog is being boarded and not accompanied by his/her handler. For further information, contact the US Department of Justice ADA hotline, 800-514-0301.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
How can I get my cat back!?
Q:

I have had a cat for 3 1/2 years i just recently gave her away because i wasnt sure if i could keep her because my son was in a Nicu but i just found out that i can have her. So for the past 5 days ive been trying to call and visit them to ask for her back. They also have 5 cats and a dog so i thought they would be nice and give het back to me. I even called the first night to see how she was doing and they wouldnt answer im worried about her and want her back please help.

A:

One should carefully consider whether to give away an animal BEFORE, not after, doing so. That means that any questions or concerns one may have should be resolved before giving an animal away. Generally, an individual who gives his/her animal away has no further rights to that animal. 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I keep the dog?
Q:

My brother dropped his dog off with me cause he cant have her where he is.. She had no hair on her back, and you could see her bones when we got her.. I got her hair to grow back and some meat on her bones.. But he wants to come get her and take her to the pound where most likely they will put her down cause she is a pit/mix.. Do I have to give her back or could I keep her?

A:

The rights of the person with whom an animal was left is often dependent on the agreement with the “owner” and then on whether the “owner” breached the agreement (for example, the "owner" did not retrieve the animal when he/she agreed to do so).  Court could find, depending on the circumstances of each case, that an animal was abandoned, gifted, sold, or temporarily boarded. In any event, it is hard to understand why your brother would not let you continue to keep the dog who he does not want and would otherwise take to the pound. Individuals who suspect an animal is being neglected or abused should contact their local societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA), animal control officers, and the police. 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can the rescue organization bring legal action against me?
Q:

We rescued a dog that unfortunately is not working out. Originally we were going to return him to a foster with the rescue organization. But a pet groomer in our town would like him. The rescue organization says we have to surrender the dog to them and the groomer has to apply for adoption, which would be to expensive for them. Can the rescue organization bring legal action against me if I give the dog to the groomer? Thanks.

A:

Adoption agreements sometimes contain provisions requiring adopters to return animals to the adoption organization if the adopter decides not to keep the animal.  The purpose of these provisions is to allow adoption organizations to best ensure that animals who were in their custody are placed in homes that meet the adoption organization’s standards. An adoption organization can sue an adopter for breach of contract, although most adoption organizations work with adopters in the best interests of the animal. Consider that caring for an animal can be expensive so an adopter should at least be able to afford an adoption fee. 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
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