My neighbor was sentenced to a couple years in prison for a felony. He asked me to take custody of his dog. I had him sign a release of ownership stating the dog's name, his name, and that he was releasing all interest in her. He recently contacted me and said he was coming home in a few months and wants her back. I love her, she's extremely attached to me, and I intend to keep her. Does he have any rights? I have the release, the nearly two years of her being licensed in my name, a vet visit, and I intend to change her microchip info from his name to mine. Can he take her back?
Generally a person who gives his/her animal away and signs a release of ownership will have no further rights to that animal. Even so, some people may choose to sue to try to get an animal returned (but are not likely to be successful in the lawsuits). Many more people threaten such lawsuits than actually sue. A person who suspects that their animal may be taken by another person should take extra measures to safeguard the animal. I also suggest having on hand license and veterinary records just in case a dispute arises. Microchip companies will probably not change the microchip registration without the consent of the person who registered the chip. Ideally, a change of microchip registration would be done at the time ownership of an animal is changed. Best of luck!
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