Dog was given away without me knowing it, how can I get him back?

Dog was given away without me knowing it, how can I get him back?
Q:I had trouble finding a dog sitter, so I contacted the lady that gave me my dog to watch him till school is over. The next day she texted me saying that my dog and their dog were having troubles getting along and she asked if its too much trouble for me to find someone, she will give him away. I told her to “wait on that and let try to convince my parents and I will tell you if its okay for you to give him away.”  Then my dog was given away without me knowing it. Am I still able to get my dog back from the other family?

A:Individuals can bring a lawsuit for the return of an animal that they believe is being wrongfully withheld. When a pet “parent” is advised that a boarding situation is not working out, he/she should act swiftly to retrieve their animals and take them to board elsewhere or take them home if that is feasible. There is a law in Minnesota (and several other states too) which provides a mechanism for animals left for boarding to be deemed abandoned. These laws vary. For example, Minnesota’s abandoned animal law applies to animals left with a veterinarian, boarding facility, or commercial facility pursuant to a written agreement. Some states’ laws are only applicable to veterinarians while New York’s law, for example, is much broader and applies to any person with whom an animal is left for treatment, board, or care. It is difficult to predict how a court will decide most pet custody cases. Courts will review the evidence to determine whether the pet “parent” gave away or abandoned the animal and whether the person boarding the animal acted in accordance with the law. These cases get more complicated when the person being sued no longer has the animal. I suggest you consult with an attorney in your area regarding next steps.

 
Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott