Saint Louis, MO asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri

Q: my fiances mother fostered our dogs without consent and is withholding their whereabouts information, is this illegal?

we have asked countless times for her to give us the information of who has our dogs so we can get them back and she is saying we have to meet her demands (which we have plenty of screenshots of her telling us what we HAVE to do to receive this information). she fostered our dogs not even 24 hours after my fiance left her house to stay at a friend's house because being at her house was extremely unhealthy with how she was acting ( we had to call the cops on her for attempting to throw our belongings outside because she was telling us we were kicked out when we were living there without a notice to vacate, which you cannot do). we don't think it's right Columbia PD told us we have to take her to court to obtain this information for our dogs. they are our belongings and have been for 10 years (we have vet records for proof). please give me some guidance because the police here don't seem to care. thank you for your time, hope to hear back from someone soon

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1 Lawyer Answer
Emerald Sheay
Emerald Sheay
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Springfield, NJ

A: I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing this. As animals are still considered "property", this appears to be theft of your dogs by your fiancé's mother. But, typically disputes over pets are treated as a "civil" dispute, however, which is why the police do not want to get involved. As the police suggested, you can file a complaint in court asking for the return of your dogs. You should check the rules in your state on where to bring this claim - sometimes it is tricky to find where to file. Once you have obtained a court order stating the dogs must be returned to you, you can contact the police for their assistance.

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