I purchased a dog that was bred for sport. I tried to train him in the sport myself but I got to the point where I no longer had enough knowledge on how to train the dog for the sport. I love the dog very much and gave him an excellent home, but I felt bad that I could no longer train him for the sport for which he was bred. I returned him to the breeder (who is also a trainer) so the dog could get the proper training. Being away from my dog was miserable and the very next day I asked for the dog back. The breeder refuses to give me the dog. What are my options? Do I still have any legal rights to the dog?
Generally when a person gives away, sells, returns, or surrenders his/her animal, such person has no further rights to that animal. However, a person usually retains “ownership” of his/her animal if he/she merely transferred possession on a temporary basis (as one may do for training or boarding). Your rights may depend on whether you returned the animal to the breeder temporarily or gave/sold him back. I suggest you read your agreement with the breeder since the agreement may contain provisions that would affect your rights in this situation. Also, people who believe that their animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue (replevin action) to try to get their animal returned. Consult with an attorney in your area who can review your agreement and advise you about possible next steps. I hope the dog is doing well.
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