Found Dog


If I found a puppy and notified the shelter and police immediately can I hold the dog at my home until owner is found? Also, what happens if someone comes forward claiming that the puppy is theirs but has no proof?


New York State law does not prohibit finders of dogs to hold them as long as authorities are contacted. NYS law states: “The unauthorized possession of a dog or dogs, by any person not the true owner, for a period exceeding ten days, without notifying either the owner, the local police authorities, or the superintendent of the state police at Albany, New York, of such possession, shall be presumptive evidence of larceny." I suggest checking with local village/town/county clerks to make sure there are no local laws that require bringing stray/lost animals to shelters (although such laws are not common). Posting found dog fliers in the area where the dog was found can also be helpful. If a person believes his/her animal is being wrongfully withheld, such person can contact the police and can commence a civil lawsuit (replevin action) to try to get the animal returned. Proof to the satisfaction of the police or court that such person is the animal’s “owner” will be required (such as veterinary records, microchip, etc.).

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.

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By |2019-01-31T13:23:47-04:00January 29th, 2019|