West Springfield, MA asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts

Q: My rights with animal control massachusetts

A friend was watching my dog while I was at work and walked into the store and tied him up outside and left accidentally without the dog returned a couple of hours later dog being held at store until animal control arrives owner went to store with updated license and vaccinations

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kim Carnevale
Kim Carnevale
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Salem, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Animal control should release the dog to you once you provide proof of ownership - dog license, photos, whatever you have - provided the officer believes that someone else, not you, left you dog tied for hours and that you did not neglect or abuse your dog. You should be aware that animal control officers in Massachusetts are typically police officers. They not only have the right to keep your dog if they find neglect or abuse, but also to bring criminal charges against the person who tied your dog and left him/her for hours under the animal cruelty laws - for example - dog was left in cold weather, tied for a long time without water, etc. If animal control is not returning your dog, then you should act quickly to protect your dog and yourself. As with any criminal investigation, you are best advised to have legal counsel before speaking with the police.

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