About five days ago my dog got loose and ran off. In between work and family I had failed to acknowledge him missing. So I went around the neighborhood searching for him with no luck. With a glimpse of hope I headed out to our local animal shelter. I was so happy to see Woody, he was safe and sound. Long story short, the animal shelter wants me to pay $140 to adopt my own dog. Is that legal?
It is very common for states and municipalities to have laws which require people who are seeking to retrieve their lost pets from a shelter to pay an impound fee. After all, the shelter has fed and cared for the animal. Impound fees differ throughout the country. If an animal is not retrieved during the legal hold time (and that time varies throughout the country too) or the person claiming to be an animal’s owner does not have sufficient proof to demonstrate that he or she is the animal’s owner, the shelter may require the person claiming ownership to apply to adopt the animal and pay the adoption fee (which also varies among shelters). Time is of the essence. Animals not retrieved in the time period provided by law may be re-homed. People who believe they were overcharged can sue afterwards to try to get reimbursed.
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