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Do I have to return this dog left in a car?

Q:

A few months ago a friend of ours rescued a dog from a car, with the help of the local police--he'd been locked inside for several days. She contacted the family and told them she would take care of him until they got back on their feet and then turned him over to us because she found it too difficult to care for him and the dog she already had. The family has been in minimal contact for the last five months, and have not been contributing at all to his care. They refuse to neuter him--we offered to pay--and say they want him back. We are concerned for his well-being. Do we have any grounds for not giving him back if they ever ask?

A:

A court could (but might not) decide that an individual, whose dog was rescued by the police after being left in a vehicle, abandoned the pet, particularly if after the incident the animal’s ‘owner’ failed for an extended period of time to provide for the animal’s care.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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