Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri

Q: We found a stray dog that was skin and bones. Posted it online, etc. Took to vet had scanned and all. It's been 2 weeks.

Got him fixed and chipped. Now a person claims he is hers. We live in small town and she never posted a thing til now. Do we have to return?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kristen Thurmond
Kristen Thurmond
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: This is not really addressed well in the law and there is not a definitive answer for you. However, please consider that not everyone actively uses social media, the dog may have been stolen and released, or the person may have looked for the dog and given up hope. I have met numerous people who lost their pet and despite their best efforts found their pet years later. If the dog was trying to survive on its own when it's never had to before, of course it will be emaciated. Please consider what you would want to happen if you lost your dog and couldn't find him before someone else did. That said, have them show proof to the vet that it is the same dog before turning the dog over.

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