Philadelphia, PA asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado

Q: Can the person who found my dog adopt her out without my knowledge or consent?

A lady found my dog and I responded to her but she kept saying she would give me my dog back but then she stopped answering me. Found out she adopted her out without my knowledge or consent. How do I go about getting my dog back into my care? Mind you this was in Colorado and a year ago. I just want my baby back she is my kid. I got a P.I. and I was able to find out a lot of information about the woman who refused to give me my dog back.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Denver, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: If she adopted the dog out to a third-party who did not know the situation, in other words, a “good faith” third-party adopter, there is nothing you can do to get the dog back from that third-party, unless you know who it is and you can try to buy the dog back from those people. The only option you are left with is to sue the woman who adopted out your dog for the value of your dog and any other ancillary expenses.

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Greenwood Village, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: If it was a year ago, my first question would be why has it taken so long for you to act? In any type of replevin case the court could look at equitable principles of laches meaning why did you wait so long. That being said, was your dog microchipped? If so, and if you could find the person who has your dog, you could possibly try to get that person to give you back your dog, and if not, you could try to sue for replevin, i.e. return of your property, because your ownership was never severed, this is lost property. Look at this case. https://kdvr.com/2018/03/16/dog-owner-reunited-with-husky-that-disappeared-in-2013/ That being said, since replevin is an equitable action, the court could find that the good faith purchaser is an innocent party.

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