Portland, OR asked in Animal / Dog Law for Oregon

Q: Can my neighbor take my cat to the pound because he feels my cat is being a nuisance?

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

A: It wouldn’t be right or legal for him to do so. But keep an eye on your cat because if your neighbor catches him and takes him to the pound, there will be little you can do to get him back, especially if he doesn’t have a collar or a microchip.

Jennie Lynn Clark
Jennie Lynn Clark
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: There is a difference between can and should. "Can" means that your neighbor has the physical ability. "May" means he has permission from you, the owner, or otherwise has legal authority.

If the cat is on your property and the neighbor trespasses on your property to take your cat without your permission, there are trespass and theft claims.

However if the cat trespasses onto your neighbor's property, then your neighbor can return the cat or take it to the pound. Then you can go to the pound to pick up your cat. Make sure your cat is micro-chipped and you have proper documentation, so you may pick up your cat.

Since it is your neighbor, you might do your best to work things out in an amicable manner before getting authorities involved. These neighbors are the people you may need to have a good working relationship with when looters or burglars storm through your neighborhood or in other times of crisis, such as an earthquake. Find out why your neighbor thinks your cat is a problem and see if you can politely address your neighbor's concerns and come up with a workable solution. I think states and cities need to provide free on-line resources on city and state websites for mass training of conflict resolutions, as our courts are too clogged and many matters can be handled amicably before they spin out of control if all parties have conflict-resolution skills.

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