Portland, OR asked in Animal / Dog Law for Oregon

Q: Breeder of $2000 eng bulldog pup allowed pup to go home with a buyer and do payments. She had me babysit twice and ...

I recognized signs of minor animal abuse. I Do not want to continue the sale. Do I have the right to go take him? She still owes 500. And I will give her back the payments she has paid. We live in Salem,Oregon. We do not have a formal contract. I think this is time sensitive. Can anyone please help me with this?

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

A: Assuming you keep the dog and issue a refund, what is the worst they buyer can legally do? The buyer could issue a demand under ORS 20.082 for breach of contract, wait 30 days, and sue for specific performance and demand attorney fees and costs and prevail. In this case, the buyer would get the dog and you would be stuck with attorney fees and costs. Under ORS 20.082 if the buyer lost, you would be awarded your attorney fees and costs.

If you refused to complete the sale, the buyer could also find an equivalent dog. If the new equivalent dog is more expensive, it is possible that you could be responsible for the difference in price if the court does not grant specific performance.

You might want to ask the owner about the evidence of abuse in a non-confrontational way and see the response before making a decision not to sell. There may be an innocent explanation for the evidence you see. I would document the evidence. If a lawsuit were to be filed, it would be your burden to show the dog was abused which you could argue goes to the foundation of the contract, as you did not sell the dog to be abused. If the abuse is obvious, it is, of course, more likely you would prevail if you were sued.

There is also the real world to consider. If this is a person abusive toward animals, the could be abusive toward humans too, so I would handle the situation accordingly.

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