Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for New York

Q: My wifes dog was stolen last night, jumped on the street. Police didn't help. We have all papers and need help.

My wife lives in Brooklyn and me in Sweden. 3 month ago she started to babysit a 5 month pitbull puppy from her neighbour, just a few days he said. He got evicted. So she helped, then he ghosted her and wife had to pay for all of the food, toys, vaccines and everything. We said just a few days. He abandoned the dog, but said he could pay for everything, he did not pay a single dollar. After 2 month still nothing. He is using her now.

Wife sent an abandoning letter to him to claim his property withing 10 days or dog is by law abandoned, he did and no response. So we took all the legal steps to adopt her, got all vaccines, regristration, chip and medical costs. We told him that she is our now. Then he started to care and wanted her back. Yesterday when wife was taking her dogs for a walk, he jumped and pushed her on the street and stole the dog. He waited until everything was payed, vaccines and all and then stole her. Police did not help. We need help so we can get our dog back.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New York, the situation you're describing with your wife's dog is both a legal and emotional matter. Since your wife has taken steps to legally adopt the dog, including registration and microchipping, she has established a claim of ownership.

Given that the original owner abandoned the dog and did not respond to the abandonment letter, this strengthens your wife's position. It's important to gather all documentation related to the dog's care, the abandonment letter, and any communication with the original owner.

The incident where the original owner physically confronted your wife and took the dog can be considered theft, especially since your wife has taken legal steps to assume ownership. It's surprising that the police didn't assist, but it may be necessary to file a more formal report or to escalate the issue within the police department.

In addition to police action, your wife can file a lawsuit for the return of the dog. This would be a civil action where the court can determine the rightful owner based on the evidence presented.

Consulting with an attorney experienced in property law or animal law would be beneficial. They can guide you through the legal process and represent your wife's interests in court.

It's important to act promptly to address this situation. The emotional bond with a pet is significant, and the law can provide avenues to assert your rights and seek the return of the dog.

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