Sandown, NH asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts

Q: I adopted a puppy from a rescue back in January 2019. My father got very ill In Jan of this year 2020 and I sought out a

** continued caregiver to take care of her while I traveled to take care of my father for 4 weeks. I had supplied a large bag of food a blanket of mine some toys etc. It has now been almost two months and I am being ignored by the woman whom was watching her. She claims she is in love with her now and will not give her back. I had given her papers of her vet info Incase of any emergencies- And she told me she has taken her to HER deceased dogs vet for shots? Also said she has made many friends in her neighborhood. This lady basically just told me she’s keeping my dog and that’s that. I offered her 500 and then 1,000 for my dog back and she refuses. The contract I signed with the rescue states I cannot re home the dog and if I did it would have to be returned to the rescue. I am on her microchip as well as the rescue. I am devestated and not sure what to do.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: I can't speak to your specific case because we don't have an attorney-client relationship. However, dogs are considered property under Massachusetts law. Certain things like microchips and documents may be able to prove that a dog belongs to someone. The police sometimes help in a situation where a dog is taken although they also may say it's a civil matter. In that case, an attorney can be consulted about the possibilities of a lawsuit against the person who took the dog. If you would like to discuss this specific situation, please feel free to email me at to set up a consultation time so we can further discuss your options. I am an equine attorney but also handle limited matters concerning other areas of law such as animal law.

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