Can a previous owner demand a dog be given back?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from cmoree. Show cmoree's posts

    Can a previous owner demand a dog be given back?

    I took over the care of a small dog when its owner was in the hospital for a week.  The initial agreement was that I would take care of the dog while he scaled back on his responsiblities in life.  A few weeks later, I asked him about the dog - told him we were all having fun and the dog was cuter than I ever thought.  He said I could keep the dog if we liked him so much, but he wanted to visit with him.  A similar conversation took place after that - he said I could keep the dog.  As time went by, I started sharing the dog with my sister-in-laws family, as I was very busy with work, etc.  I told the previous owner about this and he said it fine, just don't give the dog away.  Now, six months have passed and he wants the dog back - outright.  We've cared for the dog, vet visits, medication, healthy diet, grooming - and an attachment has grown.  Do we have to give the dog back?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: Can a previous owner demand a dog be given back?

    I would consult a lawyer if you feel strongly about keeping the dog.   Do you have anything in writing regarding the conversations you have had with the previous owner?      There are three things to consider:  1)  What is legally correct.         2) What is morally right?    Who would the dog be better off with?  When the original owner visits the dog, is the dog happy to see him?  Does he want to go with him?   Are there financial considerations,  does the original owner plan on reimbursing you for food and boarding, veterinary expenses?      3) Was the original owner very ill when he gave the dog away,  did he think he wouldn't recover?  Was he on mood altering medication?  Is he depressed?    Did his condition change for the better?

         So, the answer is No...but there other factors to consider.    Regarding the question: "Do we have to give the dog back?"   PS: Can you and your family sit down and talk to him and try to work it out?   Maybe if he knows the dog is happy and well cared for he'll reconsider.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Can a previous owner demand a dog be given back?

    File under, "No Good Deal Ever Goes Unpunished".

    I tend to think that if a person gives up a dog and then changes their mind 6 months later, then the person is unstable and is likely to give the dog to someone else in 6 months.

    I would do whatever is best for the dog. 

    How old it the dog?  If it's young, then no way.  If it's older and stable, then I would consider it.  I would expect to be compensated for the expenses.

    On second thought - no way.  The guy is a jerk and is pulling at the heartstrings of the dog and family. 

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: Can a previous owner demand a dog be given back?

    Whatever you agree to, get it in writing this time.     If he decides you and your family are the rightful owners of the dog,  I am not sure his visiting would be a positive thing as it may confuse the dog.

    If this becomes an issue, consult a dog trainer/behaviorist and get his opinion.   Keep all your paperwork (for now),  I mean everything, dog food, vet bills etc etc. 

    I agree, in the end do what is right for the dog.

    But try to have a little bit compassion for the guy, maybe he made a mistake or misunderstood...if he loves the dog he will want what is best for him.

       How about giving him monthly updates or occasional pics (for a year or two), would that help the previous owner adjust?

    PS:  I hope you'll let us know how it turns out.   Best of luck.

     

Share