Are there any legal loopholes through which a rescue can demand the return of an adopted dog if it can be proven that the adopter was negligent and put the dog's life at risk? The person adopted a dog and was told the dog is very skittish and not to take her out walking until she gets settled. The owner disregarded what was said, and the dog got out. The adopter never called the rescue to let them know the dog got lost (less than 24 hours after adoption) and made very little effort to find her (there are witnesses). I would like to know if that can be considered "abuse"?
While it may be negligent to lose an animal under many circumstances and walking a dog may constitute a breach of contract when the contract clearly states the dog should not be walked for a specified amount of time, it is unlikely such negligence or breach would constitute animal abuse in violation of an animal cruelty law. Shelters/rescues that believe an adopter violated an adoption contract may sue to try to get the animal returned. I cannot predict the outcome of any given case. Courts may be reluctant to order the return of an animal under the circumstances described in your inquiry although the court will consider the language of the adoption contract, including rights for breaches. Perhaps more follow-up and adopter education will help. I hope this all works out well for the dog!
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