My service dog was adopted while I was incarcerated.

////My service dog was adopted while I was incarcerated.

Question

Please help. I was incarcerated for 3 weeks and my dog was adopted 2 days before I got out. She is my service dog, and she is microchipped, I've sent Fulton County Animal several emails, called constantly, and no one has returned my call. I went down there, and they are actually really mean.

Answer

People who believe that their animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue (replevin action) to try to get the animal returned. These cases can get complicated particularly after an animal has been rehomed (so attorney representation can be helpful but it does not ensure success). Laws provide that shelters must hold animals for a specified number of days before placing the animals for adoption in order to give the animals’ “owners” an opportunity to redeem their pets. The number of days a shelter must hold an animal varies throughout the country and can depend on the circumstances which caused the animal to be at the shelter or whether the animal is able to be identified (for example, by a license, microchip, etc.) in which case laws often require the “owner” to be contacted and the animal to be held for more days. If an animal is seized due to suspected mistreatment, typically that animal must be held pending the outcome of the criminal case, forfeiture hearing, or voluntary surrender. If the animal is seized or brought to a shelter for purposes unrelated to mistreatment, rights can depend, for example, on whether the “owner” signed a surrender agreement or the animal was brought to the shelter for boarding (and this happens sometimes when a person is suddenly hospitalized, evicted, or arrested). Consult with an attorney in your area.

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By | 2018-05-17T16:55:53+00:00 April 5th, 2018|