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All Q&As
by
Elinor molbegott

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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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Senior citizen over-charged for euthanizing cat.
Q:

I'm writing on behalf of an elderly woman living in a subsidized seniors residence. She was charged over $600 to euthanize her cat. I was shocked when she told me and I'd like to know if anything can be done. Can she contact someone to get $ back for being overcharged?

A:

It is unclear if other services were also performed prior to the cat being euthanized (to treat an illness or injury) and after (cremation, for example). Contacting the service provider (which I assume was a veterinarian) to question the charge would be reasonable. U.S. Veterinary licensing agencies tend not to get involved in fee disputes. However, private veterinary associations sometimes try to help resolve such disputes.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Father gave my cat away without consent.
Q:

My father gave my cat away to an adoption agency in MIchigan without my consent. I called the agency and they mentioned that my cat has already been sent to a foster home. Being that this was done without my knowledge and that I had sole ownership of the cat is there anything I can do to get my cat back? 

A:

Proving sole 'ownership' can sometimes be a challenge when a family member relinquishes an animal. When one believes his/her animal is being wrongfully withheld, a lawsuit can be brought to try to get an animal returned. Sometimes adoption agencies will more readily agree to return an animal if the animal has not been adopted yet. After adoption, the situation gets much more complicated.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Estranged Husband Gave My Dogs to SPCA.
Q:

My estranged husband was caring for my 2 dogs while I was visiting my daughter out of town. While in his care be signed them over to the SPCA, as soon as I found out I contacted the SPCA mgr and he told me even though I have ownership akc registry, and vet records that they were adopted out and I could do nothing. I've pleaded with this mgr on several occassions to get my male back but he refuses. I even offered to buy the adoptees a pet of their choice in returns of my dogs to no avail, he refuses to help me or give me any info. My female dogs was dropped by her adoptees to the animal control and because they're both chipped I was able to get her back 2 weeks later. She misses her brother as well. I don't know what else to do, I'm truly hearttbroken????

A:

Proof of ‘ownership” in the form of vet records and AKC registration may help in a court case, although courts will also consider who ‘owned’ the dog at the time the dog was given away. I suggest you retain an attorney in your area about the viability of a lawsuit. 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Animal Rescue gave dog I was set to adopt to a foster family.
Q:

I was recently working with an animal rescue and was determined to be the lucky one to adopt this particular dog. Apparently, while they were the rescue that was coordinating the adoption for this particular animal, the pet was actually at another neighboring shelter about 4 hours away, being taken care of. They were going to transport her (the dog) up last weekend, but didn't deem her able to come due to some lingering kennel cough that she has been recovering from for several weeks now. Without telling my adoption coordinator they put her in a foster family and claim the foster family is unreachable.
Assuming they can find the foster family. Can they force them to give the dog back? I don't think they even realized I would have been willing to pick her up. I am working through another rescue organization and there is a bit of a telephone game going on.
I am also curious as to the relationship between rescues and shelters. If one particular person is designated the adoption coordinator, does that grant them any exclusivity to determine the future of the pet? The coordinators I've worked with have seemed to act like they had exclusive rights to obligate the best future for the pet.
Thanks for any insights. I'm somewhat devastated. The rescue had me buy name tags, and a lot of gear for this particular dog and told me about an hour before I was going to pick up the dog, that I couldn't.

A:

Usually foster ‘parents’ are reachable so I wonder if you are getting the full story. Also, usually foster ‘parents’ have agreements with the rescue group or shelter who placed the animal with them to return animals upon demand/request of the shelter or rescue group, but the rights of the parties would depend on the actual agreement. The term ‘adoption coordinator’ is generic and the job description and rights of such person would depend on his/her employment or volunteer agreement. 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I reclaim my dog if new owner is not caring for her?
Q:

In october I made a flyer, title: "Needs a Good Home". It was for my beloved 4-5 month old rottweiler Dakota. On it was information such as name, vaccinations, docked tail, dewclaws removed, Dakotas personality and under her information are requirements that the other people willing to care for her had to follow. 

This woman agreed to the requirements, but now I hear from her coworkers that she isn't caring for Dakota like the requirements said. Also I did NOT want Dakota being bred, but now the lady that took her hasn't gotten her spayed. I am concerned for Dakota's well-being because Dakota also had 2 false pregnancies, and I know that to cure such symptoms she would need to be spayed.

Is there anything I can do to claim back Dakota, since I am concerned for her well-being and that she isn't holding up her end of the agreement? 

We both didn't sign the flyer but there is proof of what the lady needed to do to provide Dakota with a "good home".

Please help?

A:

Unless there is a purchase/adoption agreement signed by both parties, it becomes very difficult to successfully allege a breach of an agreement and to reclaim an animal. It is very unfortunate that Dakota was not spayed before you gave her away. Sometimes people who do not bond with an animal will agree to return an animal or sell the animal to the original ‘owner.’


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
What should I do to get the Rottweiler puppy I gave away back?
Q:

I had a Rottweiler for 14 years and had to put him to sleep 4 years ago. My son showed up at my house with a 7 week old Rottweiler Christmas as a present without discussing with me. I gave the puppy away after having him for 6 weeks and now feel guilty because I don't think the owners now take care of him as I would have. I have visited with the puppy 3 times since giving him away and am not pleased with him living outside. What should I do?

A:

Sometimes people are willing to return an animal when asked and other times they are willing to sell an animal to the people who gave them the animal. If the animal is being neglected or abused, the police and local humane societies should be contacted.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I get my surrendered dog back from a rescue?
Q:

I surrendered my dog to a private rescue organization about three weeks ago. I have called several times asking about her and wondering if I can get her returned to me. They have only answered to tell me she is in a foster home awaiting to be adopted. Can I get her returned? I have been crying constantly about leaving her there.

A:

Usually when one surrenders an animal to a rescue organization, all rights to that animal are surrendered, unless the agreement states otherwise. Oftentimes rescue groups are reluctant to return an animal because of concerns that whatever caused the individual to surrender the animal in the first place will ultimately cause such person to surrender the animal in the future. However, at times rescue groups will return an animal if they believe it is in the animal's best interests to do so.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Breeder insists she gave us the wrong dog.
Q:

Could you please provide some guidance for me. My wife and I recently purchased a puppy from a breeder in South Jersey. After meeting with the breeder for several hours when we picked up our dog, she now claims that she sold us the wrong dog. She claims she sold us "Purple" dog which isn't what we were given and now wants her dog back and has retained a lawyer to do so. Not once in the multiple times we met with her and the dogs did any of the puppies have any color coding or distinguishing markings to identify each dog. My contract with her also does not mention anything to the effect of what dog we would receive or any color identifier. Can you please give me any advice if this "Breeder" has any recourse. Thank you.

A:

It would seem that the breeder is out of luck, but I suggest you consult with an attorney in your area who can review the contract and tell you more definitively whether the breeder would have any recourse.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Son-in-law wants dog back after 4 years.
Q:

My daughter died 5 yrs ago. Her husband could not keep their dog after he had to move in with his mother. He has his own place now and is demanding I return the  dog.
I have the sister dog, they can't be separated after 4 yrs. My husband loves this dog, it would destroy him, the dog loves his litter mate, he has threatened to come and take him from us. The dog is registered to me. My daughter never registered her, after she died I registered her, had her spayed etc. My son in law  previously had 3 labs, which he took to a humane society and had put down because he couldn't have any dogs. I need your help, please! Thank you.

A:

I suggest that if your daughter’s husband sues for the return of the dog, you hire an attorney to represent your interests and the interests of the dog. Given that you have cared for the dog for four years, it is very possible that a court would find that you are entitled to keep the dog, particularly if you have paid for the dog's care during this four year period.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Will I get my dog back from Animal Control?
Q:

My dog has been aggressive lately. We have an appointment with a dog trainer,  but today he tried to bite me so I hit him on the muzzle. He growled so I pushed him with my foot. Someone called Animal Control and they took him. Will I get my dog back?

A:

Unless a dog ‘owner’ signs a surrender agreement, he/she is generally entitled to a hearing before any final disposition of a dog alleged to be dangerous is made. Even if a surrender agreement was signed, one can still try to assert rights. Dogs who bite are often ordered quarantined for several days (although sometimes in the ‘owner’s’ home, not at a shelter). I suggest that you immediately contact animal control to inform them verbally and in writing that you want your dog back. Remember that a hearing should be requested if there is any indication that the dog may not be returned, or that the dog may be killed or subject to other conditions. The dog’s life may be in jeopardy. I suggest hiring an attorney in these matters. I also suggest hiring a humane animal trainer.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
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