Can a rescue shelter take my new puppy away from me?

////Can a rescue shelter take my new puppy away from me?

Question

On Feb 21st I went to go look at a puppy to adopt. We found a puppy that was super sweet and we fell in love instantly. Our dog that we already have seemed to get along with her just fine. We proceeded to ask what the next steps were and when the dogs could meet again but this time inside our home. We scheduled the next meet and greet on Feb 24th. We were also told that if we wanted her we would take her at the visit. I will be honest the visit was a lot more tense then the first meeting because the dogs were getting to know each other but one is a baby and the other is dominant. He did snap at her once and we corrected him right away and he did not connect to skin. Despite that incident the rescue still gave us the puppy. Not even two hours later they sent me a text telling me that they received an email stating my dog was vicious and they need to re-evaluate giving me the puppy with this dog. I already had possession of the animal and they left my residence. I did not want to give her back but I did as they asked. They told us to get a behaviorist come out and do an evaluation with both dogs in the home and we could have her back on the March 3rd if everything went well. We then paid one hundred and thirty-five dollars to have a behaviorist come out and verify that our dog will be fine with the puppy. I then received an email the next day saying that they wanted their behaviorist to come evaluate the dog and they were going to pay. Since we did not "do as they say" we could not have the dog back. If I would have known that is all they wanted I would have done it but they told us something else. I have tried working it out with them but they now refuse to answer any calls or emails. I then let that all go and pursued other options to get a puppy. We got a puppy on the 2nd of March from an Amish guy and he handed me a folder took the cash and I left. There was no switching of information nothing in writing. Can this rescue take my new puppy from me too?

Answer

A shelter/rescue does not have rights to reclaim animals who were not adopted from them. However, the police and some humane societies have the authority to investigate complaints about animal cruelty, neglect, fighting, abandonment, etc., to make arrests for violations of the law, and to seize animals who they believe are being mistreated in violation of the law (but this is totally unrelated to reclaiming an animal). The animal’s “owner” will usually have the opportunity to get the animal returned if not convicted.

PLEASE NOTE: Responses to legal inquiries are not meant to replace seeking legal advice from an attorney in your state. The materials in this website and any responses to questions are for informational purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. This website, the information contained herein, and any responses to questions directed to this column are not intended to create and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon any information provided on this website or in any response to your inquiry without seeking the advice of an attorney in your state regarding the facts of your specific situation.

Send Your Pet Legal Question Now!

Elinor will field as many questions as she can and they will be posted here on this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions are answered. However, many individuals have similar questions. You may find helpful information in the categories listed below.

Ask a Legal Question

By |2018-05-24T11:02:40+00:00March 19th, 2018|