Can I have my dog returned?

////Can I have my dog returned?


I had a dog of which I named Puppy. Puppy had previously been snatched up by the pound and I paid for him to be released to me and have all of his shots taken care of. A few months later the same dog catcher went into my yard and took my dog and claimed he found my dog in the road. The dog catcher came because a neighbor called the pound because my small dog would sneak through the gate to see her pit bull in heat. The neighbor did not even notify me before calling the pound. I told the pound I was trying to get the money together to get my dog and to please hold onto him, they said they would. I came in every day to make sure they knew I was coming up with the money. It had only been three days and I had stayed in contact. I returned the next day with the full amount and they informed me my dog had been adopted out by an older couple who had their eyes on my dog since he was obtained by the pound. They did not call to confirm that I could not pay and they adopted him out early the third day he was there. Admittedly it has been a about a year since this took place but, is there anything I can do to have my dog returned to me? I did not know it was possible to make a legal argument over an animal wrongfully adopted out and I love and miss him so much.


People who believe their animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue (replevin action) to try to get their animal returned. These cases can get complicated, particularly after a shelter re-homes an animal and even more so after the new adopter has had the animal for a year. Shelters are generally required to hold lost and stray animals for a specific number a days (the number varies throughout the country) at which time the shelter may place the animals for adoption. The original “owner” typically has no rights to the animal after the redemption period. Check with your locality or attorney to determine if the shelter held the dog for the requisite time period. Consult with an attorney in your area if you wish to pursue this matter. Another possible issue may be whether the shelter breached a verbal contract to hold the animal (although verbal agreements are often difficult to enforce since the disputing parties usually have a different version of the agreement).

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By |2018-05-24T09:28:26-04:00April 24th, 2018|