Animal control took my puppy.

////Animal control took my puppy.


I have a 9-week-old puppy who is very accident-prone and often hurts himself. I take him to the vet every time. This last time, the vet decided after we left that she thought we were not going to get the dog the surgery he needed and suspected we were abusing the dog. The next day, animal control and the police were here and took the dog. How do I go about getting my puppy back, and what can and can't they do? They don’t have any proof.


Michigan law states: “A veterinarian or veterinary technician who in good faith reports to a peace officer, an animal control officer, or an officer of a private organization devoted to the humane treatment of animals an animal that the veterinarian or veterinary technician knows or reasonably believes to be abandoned, neglected, or abused is immune from civil or criminal liability for making the report.”

It is illegal to mistreat an animal. Every state has animal cruelty laws. People who are suspected of violating these laws may be charged. Animals who are impounded because officers believe the animals have been mistreated are sometimes held pending the outcome of the criminal case. Also, Michigan law states that “the prosecuting attorney may file a civil action in the court that has jurisdiction of the criminal action, requesting that the court issue an order forfeiting the animal to the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter or to a licensed veterinarian before final disposition of the criminal charge.” The law further provides that if a civil action is filed, there will be a hearing on notice to the defendant. The prosecution must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant violated the law. If the court decides that the prosecuting attorney has met this burden, the court must order the immediate forfeiture of the animal. However, the defendant can prevent immediate forfeiture if within 72 hours of the hearing he/she “submits to the court clerk cash or other form of security in an amount determined by the court to be sufficient to repay all reasonable costs incurred, and anticipated to be incurred, by the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter or the licensed veterinarian in caring for the animal from the date of initial impoundment to the date of trial.”

I hope this all works out well for the puppy who with proper supervision should not be “hurting himself all the time.” You indicated in your inquiry that there is no proof of mistreatment but consider that such proof may be that the puppy is constantly injured and the veterinarian may attest to this. Attorney representation should also be considered.

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By |2024-05-06T11:21:56-04:00March 8th, 2024|