I returned a dog, but now I'm really regretting it...

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    Nov 23, 2011 11:25 PM GMT
    I'm dog sitting the dog which I had previously rescued from the street. She was flee-bitten, underweight, dirty, and sad. I took care of her for a month, got her looking stellar, and then was contacted by the previous owner. Despite my reservations, I felt that I should give her back to her original owner, so I did...

    A month has passed. The previous owner had her and has given her crap food, little exercise, and been quite stupid, frankly. She hasn't been getting her heartworm/flee medicine, which I bought and gave to him with directions. He set up the kennel upside down and then got mad when she broke out. He still owes me over $350 for things I paid for while I had her.

    Now her coat is dull, her ribs are more visible, and she whined and RAN to my car when I went to pick her up from his house. He's not a bad guy, but I don't think he is a good owner for such a big animal. She was beautiful, and now she is rather sad looking. I have her for a couple days, and I'm curious what you guys think. Legally do I have a strong case should it come to that?
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    Nov 23, 2011 11:30 PM GMT
    RumbleStud saidI'm dog sitting the dog which I had previously rescued from the street. She was flee-bitten, underweight, dirty, and sad. I took care of her for a month, got her looking stellar, and then was contacted by the previous owner. Despite my reservations, I felt that I should give her back to her original owner, so I did...

    A month has passed. The previous owner had her and has given her crap food, little exercise, and been quite stupid, frankly. She hasn't been getting her heartworm/flee medicine, which I bought and gave to him with directions. He set up the kennel upside down and then got mad when she broke out. He still owes me over $350 for things I paid for while I had her.

    Now her coat is dull, her ribs are more visible, and she whined and RAN to my car when I went to pick her up from his house. He's not a bad guy, but I don't think he is a good owner for such a big animal. She was beautiful, and now she is rather sad looking. I have her for a couple days, and I'm curious what you guys think. Legally do I have a strong case should it come to that?



    Hmmm... I don't think you really have a case. I mean, the only thing I think you can do is maybe call the welfare league. But other than that, her living conditions don't sound that bad. As long as she is fed, sheltered, and not abused then there is not much more to do.

    Maybe tell your friend tactfully about the situation?

    Believe me I know how you feel. My ghetto neighbors have a beagle that is kept in a cage 20 hours a day it seems and looks pretty pitiful most of the time. But going to a shelter might not be the best option for her either. She could be put to sleep or sent to a worse home. Unless you yourself plan on keeping the dog. I have two dogs myself so I have no more room, but I would take the beagle in a heartbeat if I had the resources...
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    Nov 24, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
    My thoughts are to keep her.
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    Nov 24, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
    RumbleStud saidI'm dog sitting the dog which I had previously rescued from the street. She was flee-bitten, underweight, dirty, and sad. I took care of her for a month, got her looking stellar, and then was contacted by the previous owner. Despite my reservations, I felt that I should give her back to her original owner, so I did...

    A month has passed. The previous owner had her and has given her crap food, little exercise, and been quite stupid, frankly. She hasn't been getting her heartworm/flee medicine, which I bought and gave to him with directions. He set up the kennel upside down and then got mad when she broke out. He still owes me over $350 for things I paid for while I had her.

    Now her coat is dull, her ribs are more visible, and she whined and RAN to my car when I went to pick her up from his house. He's not a bad guy, but I don't think he is a good owner for such a big animal. She was beautiful, and now she is rather sad looking. I have her for a couple days, and I'm curious what you guys think. Legally do I have a strong case should it come to that?


    this sounds like a case for Judge Judy.

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    Nov 24, 2011 12:20 AM GMT
    This is a serious issue Stan....

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    Nov 24, 2011 12:21 AM GMT
    Why dont you just tell him that you'll forget about the $350 he owes you if he lets you keep the dog?
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    Nov 24, 2011 12:25 AM GMT
    The dog got out once, maybe he "ran away" from you, too?


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    Nov 24, 2011 12:26 AM GMT
    Try to keep the dog and perhaps the friend will not care and let you have her. Unfortunately pets are considered property and that may mean you have to return the dog if demanded and then go the route of reporting your friend for animal cruelty. There is a good chance if it determined to be true they will let you have the dog, but that may be after a lengthy process so try and go the easy route and see if your friend will agree to let you have her.
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    Nov 24, 2011 12:30 AM GMT
    RumbleStud said... Legally do I have a strong case should it come to that?
    Any lawyer that wants to keep his license will not answer that online due to liability. He would tell you to contact a lawyer.

    That said, if I were in your shoes (which I could be soon), I would forgo the request for reimbursement and ask to keep the dog. You already said the guy is a good guy, just not capable of properly taking care of a big dog.

    I'm currently nursing an abandoned stray bitch that I found a few weeks ago. She was in piss poor condition and had a slight limp (vet said it's just a sprain - she now jogs with me). If the previous owner contacts me, the first thing I'll do is call a lawyer before even replying.

    Oh, and that doesn't apply to my other abandoned stray bitch. I already know "her" ex, and we're all friends. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 24, 2011 12:32 AM GMT
    This guy lives 3 blocks away. During the month that I had her, he admitted to not looking for her. The only way he found her was through a craigslist ad that was listed by an outside party a month after I posted mine. His friend found the ad and got us in contact.

    I don't want to be dishonest with him, but I'm really not feeling comfortable around him at this point. I know he's not very intelligent, not to mention moody, and he works long hours that leave her in the kennel for up to 12 hours. He feeds her the cheapest food he can find, and he once silky bright coat is now rough and dull.

    This dog requires a LOT of attention that I know he is either incapable or unwilling to give to her. If anything, he could own a smaller, less needy animal. A 65 pound pit mix is not a small responsibility. I am confident in my ability to support this animal in a healthier way.
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    Nov 24, 2011 1:09 AM GMT

    In this case, it is particularly unfortunate that animals are regarded as property. That means that, legally speaking, you have no right to keep the dog, even if would be the better owner. On the other hand, there is an old saying that 'possession is 90% of law'. Since you have the dog with you, you are, for now, at something of a practical advantage.

    Even though you are clearly motivated by concern for the dog, you may want to frame the discussion with your friend in terms of you, not the dog. In other words tell him that you are really in love with the dog and that you would like to keep her. (If you say that you think the dog is better off with you, you may bump into the other guy's ego and he may take a hard line.) You can certainly let your friend know that you will forget about the $350 he owes you, if you can keep the dog. You may even want to consider sweetening the offer with another $100 or so if he agrees.

    Best of luck. I hope you succeed.
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    Nov 24, 2011 1:12 AM GMT
    If I were in your situation, I'd probably offer to help him adopt two smaller dogs. That way he could leave them alone without them becoming anxious, and he's be able to feed them properly.
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    Nov 24, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    Why not offer to take care of the dog for a while to give him some time off. Then when he wants the dog back, you can offer to pay him and show him how well the dog is being treated. Maybe you can appeal to him that it would be in the best interest of the dog, and offer him the opportunity to visit.
  • matt13226

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    Nov 24, 2011 2:35 AM GMT
    report him and fight for the right of the dog
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    Nov 24, 2011 2:37 AM GMT
    Claystation saidWhy dont you just tell him that you'll forget about the $350 he owes you if he lets you keep the dog?


    ^ THIS! Definitely this!

    I'm in the pet supply biz and I see all too often that some people just shouldn't own dogs.
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    Nov 24, 2011 2:42 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidIf I were in your situation, I'd probably offer to help him adopt two smaller dogs. That way he could leave them alone without them becoming anxious, and he's be able to feed them properly.


    If he neglects one dog he'd then be neglecting two. Size has nothing to do with his lack of responsibility.
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    Nov 24, 2011 2:44 AM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle said
    In this case, it is particularly unfortunate that animals are regarded as property. That means that, legally speaking, you have no right to keep the dog, even if would be the better owner. On the other hand, there is an old saying that 'possession is 90% of law'. Since you have the dog with you, you are, for now, at something of a practical advantage.

    Even though you are clearly motivated by concern for the dog, you may want to frame the discussion with your friend in terms of you, not the dog. In other words tell him that you are really in love with the dog and that you would like to keep her. (If you say that you think the dog is better off with you, you may bump into the other guy's ego and he may take a hard line.) You can certainly let your friend know that you will forget about the $350 he owes you, if you can keep the dog. You may even want to consider sweetening the offer with another $100 or so if he agrees.

    Best of luck. I hope you succeed.


    Smart advice. You have to sell him on the idea, and this is an excellent way to do it.
  • HndsmKansan

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    Nov 24, 2011 3:12 AM GMT
    No you don't have any legal standing.... but you have moral standing.. my suggestion is that you sit the owner down and talk about the dog's welfare and how he/she could best be cared for. You would like to take the responsibility for the dog and that your friend could visit the dog at any time.
    Even if he refuses.. encourage him to think about it... what is in the best interest of the dog?
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    Nov 24, 2011 3:16 AM GMT
    I agree that you should try to have a rational argument with the guy rather than trying to kidnap the dog. But I would document the money you spent and the efforts you made to take care of her which he clearly was not. She probably ran away from him because she was unhappy.

    I understand you guys are not friends, you were thrown into this situation by circumstances and it sounds like you'd rather not have to see him again, but maybe if you told him he could visit her or something he'd let you have custody of her. How did it come about that you're babysitting?
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    Nov 24, 2011 3:17 AM GMT
    Legally I don't think you have anything...and the owner might be too proud to admit that he's a bad owner, so I would steer away from that argument. Maybe act like it's you that needs her. Tell him that you're going through a rough patch and could use a canine companion. I hope everything works out dude, I love dogs and hate when they are mistreated.
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    Nov 24, 2011 3:24 AM GMT
    Sad thing is most states consider pets property like livestock. Airline law too... pets are baggage w/a $400 max value.
    I took back 2 Lab pups I place w/folks who had really good jobs/income and good intentions but couldn't handle all the dog they got (I warned them), had the income to travel a ton, and the pets suffered. Lesson learned. They called frantic for a break, I took the dogs and put them off over a week to retrieve them and all of a sudden they liked not having an obligation and I was welcome for me to find new homes for them. I bought both back for $1 and placed them w/awesome homes w/o BS and drama. One small victory in my life but happy for it.
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    Nov 24, 2011 3:26 AM GMT
    Do not look back and KEEP the dog !!!! . Take pictures (you might have done it the 1st time too ) save all vet and med receipts , and if the owner try to give you a hard time , tell him that you will report him to the authorities ,and that you have all the necessary proofs showing the lack of care he was giving to the dog . I command you for your courage , as i have mentionned it before , i volunteer in a shelter for abused animal , and i am totally disgusted by the way certain owners treat their pet .icon_sad.gif
  • creature

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    Nov 24, 2011 3:26 AM GMT
    I would just ask him upfront. If he admitted to not looking for her while she was missing, he may be willing to part with her.
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    Nov 24, 2011 3:28 AM GMT


    this sounds like a case for Judge Judy.

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    She is a fair lady , and an animal lover .icon_biggrin.gif
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Nov 24, 2011 5:30 AM GMT
    Buy the dog for the amount he owes you.