Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Ownership/rescue question. If you read this novel, you're my hero

Criosphynx
September 21st, 2011, 07:07 PM
Hi all, been a while. I couldn't think of better people to ask this since you all are so deep into rescue.


In june, I saw a dog online I wanted to adopt. He was due to be euthanized after 30 days in hold. He had severe medical issues and had generated no interest from rescue or the public.

I desired the dog, but worked another few days, thus he'd be PTS before I could go down there.

A puller from a rescue offered to pick him up for me and drive him to me if I "paid for gas" which I agree'd to do. The shelter was about 60 miles from me, so this seemed fair.

The dog cost only $5 for the rescue to pull.


In comunicating with the puller, she was too busy to drive him to me. So Instead I drove to her, met her infront of the shelter, gave her the gas money anyway ($40) because I felt bad for her and took the dog home.

I was told I'd recieve my paperwork later. I recieved nothing, and signed nothing.


A week or so goes by and no contact from the rescue.


The dog then needs urgent medical care/hospitalization. I need his shot records to have him hospitalized. I email and fb message the rescue and get no response. Finally I find the pullers # and she faxes me his shot records.



That was in early JUNE.


the dog was treated, requiring several thousand dollars in medical care.



After spending all this money, I get ansy and start poking the rescue for the dogs paperwork. My messages go ignored, often days/weeks at a time, and the replies have nothing to do with my questions.


Then the demands for a photograph begin. "do you have a photo of you two we can put up on our website?". I decide to use this as leverage and tell them I'll exchange the photograph for his adoption papers/records. They reply with a non sequiter and ask for a photo again. This goes on for a while, and we get nowhere.


More weeks go by.


Then I get a message out of the blue again asking for a photo again. We go round and round and then I'm told the rescue doesn't know anything about the dog and the puller wasn't supposed to pull him for me. That she was pulling dogs at random (lots of them) and selling and rehoming them on her own.

I listen, tell the org that that makes sense to me (the lady had pulled many dogs that day) but ultimately my reply is along the lines of sorry, but can I have my paperwork now.


The rescue then says, in writing. "hes all yours!" and drops the convo.

I tell them thank you, but would prefer a legal document.


They agree to email me som'thing. It never comes


More time goes by with no contact from them. A month and a half to be exact.


I get a message today saying the police are investigating the puller.


Im like, ok, thats nice and all, if the police need to talk to me, thats fine, but Im done dealing with you guys.


They then tell me I do not own the dog



I ask who owns the dog then and they get defensive and now I'm being told shes reporting the dog stolen.



who owns the dog?

erykah1310
September 21st, 2011, 07:15 PM
I would say you do.
I have a friend who had his dog at a co breeders, as she was handling him for shows in the US, and they had a falling out, even though he had the reciept for purchase of the dog ( from the co breeder) and all records stating he had owned the dog and paid for all vet work, she actually was ruled as the owner of the dog because it was in her possession, I'm sure the fact she had bred the dog had a bit to play in it but it all boiled down to who had possession of the dog.
Why would this place bother to report the dog stolen? Its in a good home now, is that not THE goal of rescue?

Winston
September 21st, 2011, 07:43 PM
I would also say "you-do" and I would think that if the dog was pulled from a shelter then at the point the dog was left to fend for itself and brought to the shelter they (the shelter) become the owners.

Criosphynx
September 21st, 2011, 08:02 PM
Thank you both.


Yes, Im confused also, the dog is old, and Im his 4th home. He has severe medical issues, and now they are wanting him back, after months, simply because I som'how offended this woman in asking for his shot records and such.

I was very careful to be polite and kind in all my writtings, so Im a bit confused. What are they planning on doing with him?


I called the police and inquired and they confirmed that I own him after 72 hours. Which is well over the time I've had him. That combined with medical bills and the messages from the rescue saying I own him. Im feeling pretty good.


I have heard though, that this happened before at this rescue, and they sent people to break into the persons house and steal the dog back (this one HAD legal paperwork to boot). So Im a bit concerned about that.

hazelrunpack
September 21st, 2011, 08:15 PM
Breaking into anyone's house is illegal, so if they attempt it, you'd be on good footing to have them charged. If they go so far as to get a warrant, that would be a whole different thing. Not sure how difficult that is for them to do or how much proof of ownership they'd need to have one issued and served, though. Is it possible to have the police open a file on your behalf so that there is a record of having checked with them about ownership?

Criosphynx
September 21st, 2011, 09:00 PM
thats not a bad idea. Though the officer on the phone laughed at the idea that they had any dibs on the dog. She said it was ludicrous essentially and to tell them to do their worst.


It would not be a smart idea for them to show up here. We have more cameras than the pentagon, the idea of it though, reguardless is unsettling.

My understanding is it would be a small claims case. Even if they did win custody, wouldn't they be liable for his bills while in my care?

Sylvie
September 22nd, 2011, 06:19 AM
Does not sound like a reputable rescue :(

As to ownership, it would be up to the courts. Unfortunately, even the police could not give you the answer as to who owns the dog. Perhaps the original owner lost the dog and if they come back into the picture that would open a whole new can of worms. :eek:

Once you start dealing with the law it is not black and white, there are a lot of grey areas.

Now to a lighter side, do any of us own our pets or do they own us :laughing:

Melinda
September 22nd, 2011, 07:15 AM
according to the law, if you have had the dog/cat etc, in your possesion for 72 hours it becomes yours, I had to advertise for the owner on a dog we found and rehabilitated, doesn't matter if its a small 3 word ad in a newpaper 500 miles away, you did try, how this would relate to you I'm not sure, but being it was at a pound means they tried to find the owners, so the pound owned it after 3 days...now you do.

Love4himies
September 22nd, 2011, 08:01 AM
I think Criosphynx is from the US, so not sure if the same laws apply to them as they do here about ownership of a dog or cat.

This sounds like a scam artist to me, and yes, if they legally own the dog, then they are responsible for the vet bills, however, you may have to go through small claims court.

ownedbycats
September 22nd, 2011, 09:52 AM
I would suggest printing out and keeping handy all emails to and from this "rescue", especially the one that implied/ stated the dog now belongs to you. It might even be possible for you to contact the pound the dog originally came from and get paperwork from them. Please let us know how this turns out for you and the dog. unfortunately, despite all the good rescues out there, there are also some bad apples who prey on people wanting to look after animals. Hopefully, when this so-called rescue (any rescue trying to take a dog away from someone paying expensive medical bills and caring for the animal is not a rescue) sees you are organized and prepared for a fight they will leave you alone.

BenMax
September 22nd, 2011, 10:04 AM
This does not sound like a reputable rescue at all. Firstly, rescues do not ask for gas money :confused:. - but this point is minor.

Reputable rescues ask for all pertinant information regarding your housing situation, if you have other animals, the behaviours of your current pets, if this is a joint family decision...etc..basically a good screening to see if the animal they have would be a good candidate to successfully be placed with you. Some rescues also do home visits to further screen applicants.

Then there is a contract to sign. Further, you should be provided with full disclosure based on medical condition and a vet record of all medical intervention done, vaccinations, deworming etc.

There should be a monitary transaction as well if there is an adoption fee. Some rescues that have 'compassionate placement' due to medically or behaviourally challenged animals, may not ask for an adoption fee, but rather a donation. Regardless, there is a contract to sign.

I would contact other rescues and find out if they know anything about this rescue. You can also contact the humane society to see if they know anything about the organization.

Be careful about liability however. Do not post the rescue name on line anywhere.

If you have any documentation at all, on-line discussions (email trail), names etc., keep this handy just in case.

Criosphynx
September 22nd, 2011, 12:12 PM
thank you all.

I called the shelter that I got him from, and they said, as long as I didn't sign anything, after 30 days hes mine.


I'm in the process of contacting my local shelter to see the specifics in my area. But im sure its similar.


I called the PD about the case on the puller, and it doesn't exist.


I was asked to call a PI in reguards to the case, and I searched the name/number and it turns out this person is not a PI, but another dog rescue.




They want me to sign a contract at this point that stipulates they can take the dog back at ANY TIME for ANY REASON.


After learning the PI is a fake and that the dog is 99% most likely mine. Im not sure were to go from here. Just stop communicating? Tell them to take me to court?

Winston
September 22nd, 2011, 12:23 PM
:thumbs up If it was me! thats what I would do....also just a piece of advice. Dont leave the dog unattended outside in case they try to remove the dog from your property.....that is if they know where you reside?

Choochi
September 22nd, 2011, 12:34 PM
Wow sounds like a bunch of nuts on a power trip calling themselves a rescue.

You never signed any thing, the dog is yours and they have no legal claim to him. The way I see this story, you wanted a dog from the shelter, you contacted a person who did you a favour and pulled the dog on your behalf. At this point the only people involved in this transaction are you, the shelter, and the puller. You met with the puller, she gave you the dog, in exchange you gave her money (weather it was for her gas, trouble, lunch or what ever, it's an exchange of funds) making this a legal transaction. Story over.

I understand your desire to have records for the dog but you really don't need any thing. It's not like dogs come with proof of ownership like a car. You did get a copy of his vet records which you needed and I'd say it's great that you even got those.

The rescue has no claim to that dog. You never signed a contract with them or had any agreement beyond their rep pulling a dog for you. It is even questionable if the person was representing their interests, at the very least they could have tried arguing that by entering into an agreement with their agent you entered into an agreement with them. But they themselves just told you that person was not representing them and there fore was not their agent, and you never entered into an agreement beyond the actions of them or their agent pulling the dog for you. They can't just arbitrarily start adding things to the supposed agreement or contract months after the fact. And why are they even trying to lay claim to this dog in the first place is beyond me. Unless they think you shouldn't have had this dog in the first place and are an abusive home and are trying to get the dog pulled from you, that would be the only sane explanation for a rescue to do this.

Criosphynx
September 22nd, 2011, 01:12 PM
If it was me! thats what I would do....also just a piece of advice. Dont leave the dog unattended outside in case they try to remove the dog from your property.....that is if they know where you reside?

Yeah, im aware they may try this. My dogs are not left outside unattented. Esp not this one, since he barks at nothing and im very careful about not letting my dogs bark.

Wow sounds like a bunch of nuts on a power trip calling themselves a rescue.

You never signed any thing, the dog is yours and they have no legal claim to him. The way I see this story, you wanted a dog from the shelter, you contacted a person who did you a favour and pulled the dog on your behalf. At this point the only people involved in this transaction are you, the shelter, and the puller. You met with the puller, she gave you the dog, in exchange you gave her money (weather it was for her gas, trouble, lunch or what ever, it's an exchange of funds) making this a legal transaction. Story over.

I understand your desire to have records for the dog but you really don't need any thing. It's not like dogs come with proof of ownership like a car. You did get a copy of his vet records which you needed and I'd say it's great that you even got those.

The rescue has no claim to that dog. You never signed a contract with them or had any agreement beyond their rep pulling a dog for you. It is even questionable if the person was representing their interests, at the very least they could have tried arguing that by entering into an agreement with their agent you entered into an agreement with them. But they themselves just told you that person was not representing them and there fore was not their agent, and you never entered into an agreement beyond the actions of them or their agent pulling the dog for you. They can't just arbitrarily start adding things to the supposed agreement or contract months after the fact. And why are they even trying to lay claim to this dog in the first place is beyond me. Unless they think you shouldn't have had this dog in the first place and are an abusive home and are trying to get the dog pulled from you, that would be the only sane explanation for a rescue to do this.

Yes! thats what I believe also. I have in writing in several places that the person and I made the transaction, and they are not involved. I really in hindsight wish I left it at that, but I kept asking for paperwork, no knowing this would piss them off. She told me she didn't have any claim to the dog, that it was the pullers "thing" and now they are saying, nope, the dog is ours.

Their claim is that the puller stole the dog from them, and then "sold" it to me. I don't see how the puller stole anything when they were legally authorized to aquire dogs from that shelter.

I've called several agencies today who assured me the dog is mine, and to contest that they need to take me to small claims, which they will lose.

I will be attempting to change his chip number today. I'll keep you all posted


Im worried about retaliation. Them making unfounded claims to animal control and such to try and harrass me. My understanding is AC has no right on my property without a warrant. I've read the "what to do if AC shows up at your door" pdf several times, but any tips with dealing with AC and unfounded complaints are welcome


and yes, for the record we are far from a bad home. We are an ideal one, if I've ever seen one. Positive training, good food, vet care, no children, indoor dogs etc.

Choochi
September 22nd, 2011, 01:47 PM
I will be attempting to change his chip number today. I'll keep you all posted


The only way to do that is to remove the chip and have a new one implanted. The chips can't be reprogrammed.

Criosphynx
September 23rd, 2011, 12:17 AM
sorry, yes, your right, I meant to say have the info changed.


I'll know som'thing in 24 hours when our request is processed. :) I'll keep you guys updated