My sister's cat escaped 10 months ago. The cat was just found by a rescue organization, but they gave it back to a guy who apparently has had the cat for the last 10 months. Shouldn't my sister have legal rights to the cat since she had her first?
People who believe that their animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue to try to get the animal returned. The court will consider the evidence and determine rights. Rights may depend on a number of factors, such as how the cat’s most recent “parent” acquired the cat. For example, shelters are often required to hold lost and stray animals for a specified number of days to give the animals’ “parents” an opportunity to retrieve their missing pets, after which time the shelter can generally re-home the unclaimed animals. The person who then adopts the animal generally has legal rights to that animal. Alternatively, if a person loses an animal and the animal is found and kept by another person, the original “parent” may still have rights to that animal. The court may consider such things as efforts made by the finder to locate the animal’s “parent” and efforts made by the person who lost the animal to find the animal. I hope this all works out well for this cat!
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