My dogs were seized and I’m being denied access to get them.

////My dogs were seized and I’m being denied access to get them.


I need help understanding my rights and the necessary steps to take. I believe my dogs were wrongfully seized.


I suggest that you immediately contact an attorney in your area. California has several laws regarding seizure of dogs. It is not clear from your inquiry if your dogs were seized based on a dangerous dog complaint, cruelty/neglect complaint, they were running at large, or for some other reason. The length of time a dog will be held at a shelter depends on why the dog was seized. For example, dogs who have attacked are sometimes held because of public safety concerns and to observe for signs of rabies. The dog’s “parent” should have an opportunity to present a defense at a hearing. Even those dogs who are declared potentially dangerous are often returned to their “parents,” although typically with requirements for muzzling, confinement, etc. Animal cruelty/neglect cases are handled differently. If the animal’s “parent” is convicted, the animal will be forfeited. There are also laws that address forfeiture prior to the conviction of the animal’s “parent.” Dogs who are seized because they are found running at large are often returned to their “parent” upon payment of an impound fee, and compliance with local laws that may require the dogs to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and licensed prior to their return. As you can see, rights depend on the facts and circumstances. Again, I suggest you consult with an attorney in your area.

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 |2023-12-13T17:52:24-04:00November 24th, 2023|