Humane Society failed to contact us.

////Humane Society failed to contact us.


Our chipped 13-year-old dog wandered from home while we were away. He was picked up and taken to another town's Humane Society. However, they never contacted us and gave him away. Do we have any rights in this situation?


Shelters will sometimes contact a new adopter and request the return of an animal under the circumstances you described. New York State law requires shelters to check companion animals for ID, including microchips, tags, tattoos, and licenses. The law further states: “No later than twenty-four hours or as soon as practicable after the seizure or taking possession of such animal potentially identifiable by a form of identification, including a license, tag, tattoo or microchip, or records or reports that are readily available of animals reported to be lost, reasonable efforts shall be made to identify and provide actual notice to the owner of the animal by any means reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the owner.” Failure of the shelter to comply may affect rights. People who believe that a shelter failed to comply with the law can sue to try to get an animal returned and/or for monetary damages. These cases can get complicated after an animal is rehomed, in large part because the shelter no longer has the animal to return and courts have been reluctant to order the release of an adopter’s contact information. Time is of the essence. I suggest attorney representation.

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By |2024-01-18T10:38:50-04:00December 10th, 2023|