I adopted a puppy from a rescue. I paid $200 and signed an adoption agreement. They tried to pick up my dog with the police. I refused, and they said it was a breach of contract because I decided to take my dog to my sister's house for a few days to house sit. They were concerned about my dog, but no where in my agreement does it say I can't take my dog where I want to. I had permission from my vet, my sisters dogs were vaccinated, and I was very careful. The puppy is in very good health. The foundation is taking me to small claims court stating that I am indebted to them for $200 and/or I'm not entitled to the dog. Do they have any chance of getting the dog back? I can provide all vet records, vaccinations, and patient notes showing where the vet gave me permission to take him out of state with me. I have personal references of what a great home the dog has. I am worried.
The rights of adopters and rescues are typically contained in an adoption agreement. I suggest you consult with an attorney in your area who can review the agreement, advise you about your rights, and help with your case. Keep in mind that even in Small Claims Court, judges are very reluctant to consider hearsay evidence. Therefore, personal references are generally not admissible unless the person providing the reference testifies in person. Also, check with your local attorney on what may be needed so that your veterinary records will be admissible (there may be a mechanism so that the veterinarian or veterinarian’s representative do not need to appear).
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