San Jose, CA asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: I took in a dog for a group 4 months ago I have a text saying I can adopt her, they have my check and want her back?!

I took a dog in through a woman that claims to be an animal rescue four months ago, since them she only periodically respond to text messages, she has never returns a voicemail or a phone call, and she has never made a meeting she scheduled (4 in the past 3 weeks).I have had to do all the pet care and pay for all of it including grooming, Vaccinations, food, supplies and more even though that had been promised when I agreed to take her in. I have a text message stating I can adopt the dog and then she never showed up to our meeting to pick up the paperwork will return my property she has been holding for a month. I mailed the check and the adoption contract signed Over a week ago so she said she was going to come pick her up and take her on Wednesday and she never showed up to talk and now she is harassing me saying she needs to pick her up today. I need to know the next step in the legal process to get her to leave me alone and leave my dog alone. This is a group it is not a 501(c)(3

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1 Lawyer Answer

William John Light

Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you believe that the dog was abandoned, and that you assumed ownership, inform the animal rescue of that. The animal rescue can decide whether to challenge your contention by filing a complaint for theft with the police, or by suing you in Small Claims. If there are any documents pertaining to your agreement to house the dog, they will probably govern. It is not clear that 4 months is an unreasonable length of time. Further, paying for food, vaccinations, etc., isn't necessarily evidence of ownership. You do not say whether the animal rescue has refused your request for payment, or even whether you made a request for repayment. It may be that you are entitled to reimbursement for those expenses before you turn the dog over, or it may be that the animal rescue abandoned the dog.

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