An animal shelter gave my friend’s dog away to a rescue.

////An animal shelter gave my friend’s dog away to a rescue.


A friend of mine had a dog that was missing. She contacted all the local shelters and dog pounds. One of the shelters didn't return her calls. Finally she was able to speak to someone, and they said they didn't have her dog. A few days later they called her back saying they gave her dog to a rescue because she didn't claim the dog. She asked what rescue, but they refused to tell her where they sent her dog. What can she do? I advised her to contact the police department and file a report and screenshots of all her incoming and outgoing calls to them. What else can she do legally?


People who believe their animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue to try to get the animal returned. Time is of the essence. Your friend should consult with an attorney in her area immediately since after an animal is rehomed these cases get more complicated and more difficult to win. Sadly, relying on phone calls with a shelter’s staff may not often be enough, as your friend found out, although if the shelter was negligent in providing information, there might still be hope, particularly if the animal is still with a rescue organization. There are laws which provide that shelters must hold animals for a specified number of days before rehoming the animals in order to give the animals’ “parents” an opportunity to retrieve them. After the required hold time (the hold time varies throughout the country), pet “parents” often lose rights to their animals. People whose animals go missing should visit shelters every day in addition to filing lost reports, posting fliers in the area where the animal went missing, posting lost information on social media, contacting local veterinarians, etc. Good luck!

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By |2019-07-22T13:11:21-04:00July 22nd, 2019|