Pendleton, OR asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Law and Small Claims for Oregon

Q: What are the laws regarding animal ownership when it pertains to not giving a dog back?

My sister-in-law moved into a house with some friends. She also brought her dog. She was kicked out a few weeks later. When asked when they would be home to pick up the dog, they said that they were not going to give the dog back. They had stolen a family member of our house. What are the options we have?

Just found out they registered the dog as a support animal today.

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Stealing an animal is no different than stealing anything else - legally speaking. The real issue is likely to be how can you prove the dog is hers? Receipts? Vet appointments? Especially prior to her moving in? If you think you can prove the ownership issue, then you can first file a police report, showing them the proof. Worth a try but they likely will tell you it is a civil matter and they won't pursue it. If so, then you have to simply sue them in court to get the dog back. You may be able to also get your attorney's fees if you win but that likely will require your jumping through hoops before filing in court. All in all, you may wish to review the matter with a local attorney. Good luck.

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