My dog ran away, a year later we found him, but she won’t give him back.

////My dog ran away, a year later we found him, but she won’t give him back.


A year ago, my dog got out of the yard while I was recovering from an accident where I lost my child. We searched for him but heard nothing. A year later, my dog groomer sent me a picture of him; someone had brought him in to get groomed. She informed the lady that she knows the owner and gave her my contact info. However, the lady did not contact me. The groomer provided me with her info, and I've been trying to contact her, but she will not respond. How can I get my dog back?


People who believe that their animal is being wrongfully withheld can commence a civil lawsuit (such as a replevin action) to try to get the animal returned and can also contact the police, although the police do not usually get involved in pet custody disputes. If the lost dog was brought to a shelter and adopted from the shelter, it will be much more difficult to get the dog returned. Shelters are required to hold lost and stray dogs for a specified number of days after which time the dogs may be adopted. The number of days shelters must hold lost and stray animals differs throughout the country and sometimes even among municipalities within the same state. People who fail to retrieve their animals during the legal hold time generally forfeit rights to their animals (particularly if the animals were adopted and no longer at the shelter), although there have been exceptions in extraordinary circumstances, such as after Hurricane Katrina when so many people and animals were displaced. If an animal was found by an individual and kept, the court may consider efforts made by the person who found the animal to notify authorities and to locate the animal’s “parent” and efforts made by the person who lost the animal to locate their missing animal. I hope that everyone involved considers the best interests of this dog.

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By |2023-05-19T15:05:29-04:00March 20th, 2023|