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How do I get my missing dog back who was adopted from the pound?

Q:

My missing dog was adopted from the pound before I had a chance to find her there. They said they only keep the dog for 3 days, they found her Tuesday night and she was adopted Friday morning. How can I get her back?

A:

Courts, including in Georgia, have held (but with some exceptions based on the specific facts of the case) that ‘owners’ of lost dogs forfeit rights to the dogs who had been held by an animal shelter for the number of days required by law and then adopted. One such Georgia case involved a dog (wearing no tags or other means of ID) who had wandered from his ‘owner’s property, found at a shopping center and brought to the Atlanta Humane Society. The dog was held for nine days and adopted out. The court found in favor of the Atlanta Humane Society and stated that, “The owner has a right to redemption if that right of redemption is exercised in three days.” The court further found that it was appropriate for the Atlanta Humane Society to refuse to release the name of the adopter to the original ‘owner.’ However, if a shelter adopts out an animal before it was legally allowed to do so (the 'owner' redemption period had not expired) the original ‘owner’ should have a reasonable claim for the animal’s return though these cases can get very complicated when the shelter no longer has possession of the animal. If the shelter is unwilling or unable to get the animal returned to you, consult with an attorney in your state regarding a lawsuit.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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