A family adopted a dog as a puppy from our organization. Three years later, the dog and the other dog in their house are having issues and fighting regularly. The adopter contacted the rescue to take the dog back or they will have to euthanize. We (the rescue) of course took him back. He was dropped off at our vet by the adopter. Then over a week later, the family decided they wanted the dog back. Due to safety and fear of another altercation, the rescue has refused to return dog. Does the adopter have rights to him still?
Generally when a person surrenders his/her animal, such person has no further rights to that animal. Ideally, there would be a written surrender agreement. When there is no written agreement and a lawsuit is commenced for the return of an animal, often disputing parties offer different versions of the verbal agreement (for example, one person saying the animal was surrendered while the other saying the animal was boarded). The court will consider the evidence and determine rights. I hope this all works out for the dog!
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