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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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I need to know what to do to get my dog back. Or if I even

Customer Question

I need to know what to do to get my dog back. Or if I even have a case to get my dog back. I had an agreement via text with a lady stating that I would pay her $100 dollars a month to have my dog reside at her home from the months of May 2016 to Oct 2016. 6 months. I contact her via text August 5th to tell her I wont be able take my dog back ( which I meant in Oct but did not make that clear) and to see if she would like to have the dog since the dog has been in her care for so long versus trying to find someone else who would like to have the dog. I knew the dog was comfortable there and would have a good home so I wanted to give her first priority of having the dog versus anyone else. She said she would like to keep the dog. I wanted and asked if she had money for the dog. My intent was to sell the dog to her if she wanted to have the dog. She said she did not have money to give me for my dog. She then asked if I wanted to come get the dog and try to sell the dog. I did not respond that day and had no contact with her until August 29th via text when I told her I deposited Augusts payment of $100 into her bank account. I then told her I will get September payment to her asap. She replied saying I did not have to pay anymore because I wasn't coming to take the dog. I told her I was still coming to take the dog back in Oct regardless if I wasn't able to keep him. She said I gave the dog to her on August 5th and that she decided to give the dog away to her co worker and that I wasn't getting the dog back because I gave the dog away. I feel her actions of giving my dog to someone else were based on her assumptions and interpretations of the conversation. I feel she did not have the right to give away my dog because I never sold her the dog and I never said she could just have him. I guess that was my assumption though to think she would know I didn't just give her the dog if I'm asking for money. I just want my dog back.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

I am very sorry to learn of this situation. You have a very complex issue due to the vague nature of the text messages between the two of you.

However, what you can do is sue both the individual that was sitting your dog, and the person that currently has your dog, in small claims court for the tort of "conversion" (it is the civil equivalent of theft).

In that small claims case you can argue that your initial text had not been an offer of a gift to the other person, and no reasonable person would have interpreted it that way, rather it was a post to see if there was any interest in purchasing the animal.

As she stated she had no interest in purchasing, there was no need for any further communication in that regard.

However, be very aware - your case is by no means guaranteed, and the nature of the texts as you have posted them here could possibly be interpreted as you offering to give away the animal (your personal believe that the dog was worth a lot of money notwithstanding).

But, that should at least give you an avenue to pursue to get your dog back.

Unfortunately, this is entirely a civil matter, not a criminal one, law enforcement is not going to be able to assist you until you actually have a civil judgment.