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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I found a puppy in the middle of the street one evening

Customer Question

Hello my name is ***** ***** I found a puppy in the middle of the street one evening about 7 PM and went to every house on the block to ask if they knew who owned it or who the owner was and got no response I look for signs on posted on the around the neighborhood called the animal shelter and had nothing.
I took care of the animal for at least a month she was covered in flees she was a little puppy about 9 weeks old and I had to go get a flea pill to get rid of her please come her she was dehydrated she was had a little cold and was just very hungry and thirsty.
I meant later I find out it belongs to a man down the street who abuses his dogs according to us and some other neighbors that we can't prove it anyhow he saw the dog in my yard stopped his car and took the dog from me.
Since then I kept an eye on the dog and in his backyard he had the puppy on a 12 inch lease with no food or water so I rescued the dog from the backyard and again she was covered in flees dehydrated was thirsty and act like she hadn't had anything to eat in a long time. I then take her to the vet shortly thereafter had all of her shots done she a pet had no tags on her from the very beginning and now my mother who lives with me I don't have the dog in my custody it lives across the street with my friend wants to tell the man that we have the dog what are my rights to keep the dog since I now have tags on the dog and can he get the dog back?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am very sorry to learn about the care and condition of this poor animal.

Unfortunately, the terrible treatment by the dog's owner does not excuse the fact that you stole the animal, and that he can report you to law enforcement for criminal theft, as well as sue you for "conversion" (the civil equivalent of theft).

You can report the animal's care and condition to animal control, and he can be punished for animal cruelty, as well as having the animals removed from his care (at which point you can potentially adopt the animal through the County Animal Shelter).

But, you cannot simply take another person's property.