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Animal shelter adoption policy


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Does this sound right to you? About 10 days ago, a choc. lab showed up at my house. I called the local vets etc...trying to locate his owner I also called a local shelter telling them that I had this dog, gave them my contact number...while I was talking to the shelter lady, she tells me they have a dog that matches that same description, down to the orange collar...she told me where this dog had been found etc....and that they'd be keeping him a few days before putting him up for adoption. Well fast forward to this morning, I get a call from this guy, asking about his missing choc. lab (I found the owner to the one I found) he tells me he got my number from the shelter, and he knows that I live kind of far away, but was just checking. I told him about the lab the shelter had had the day I called, and he said yes, he knew about that, but that dog had already been adopted out, and they wouldn't give him the name of the people that adopted him or even call them to see if it would be alright...the shelter lady had told me where this dog was found, and this guy lives right there! I would bet money it's his dog ;-( I asked him if there was any recourse, and he said so far no ;-( they won't give him the name of the people...I asked if they couldn't at least have the manager contact the people, and let them decide if they want to do the right thing, and they said no....the guy said he'd been checking at the shelter the whole time, and they never told him they'd found the dog ;-( I know this dog couldn't have been adopted out much more than a week ago....I feel so bad for this guy ;-( I told him I'd get an attorney or whatever it took...i can just imagine if that was one of my dogs, my Stella :rolleyes: oh no! I'd be roundin' up a posse and I'd be getting my dog back, I can tell you that!

You folks that do shelter work, is this SOP? I mean I understand if someone adopts a dog, they want to be fairly sure they're going to get to keep it, but surely there has to be some common sense in this right?

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I know at the shelter I worked at the dog became property of the shelter after the holding period (3 days for county, 5 days for city) and after that they could do whatever they want. Was the guy visiting the shelter at all? We always told people to do walk throughs to make sure that no one was overlooked since we routinely got 75-100 animals/day. I'm confused about how he missed finding his dog before the hold was up. Either way, generally after the hold is up and the dog is the property of the shelter there's little you can do. Some might contact the adopter, but it's their decision; as far as I know there's no legal reason to do so.

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I guess whether it's right or wrong hinges entirely on whether the guy was actually in contact with the shelter regularly as he said he was. When Kat ran off a few years ago (when I first moved to central NC), every shelter I contacted asked me to come in and walk through, at least the first time I contacted them.

 

But like you, Betty, if I had contacted the shelters and left my information, etc., and then found out after the fact that they had my dog and didn't contact me and adopted the dog out, I'd be pretty upset. Then again, if I hadn't found Kat pretty quickly, I would have been checking back with the shelters regularly.

 

J.

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I'd contact the local news media with the story. At the very least, maybe the family that adopted the dog would have a heart and step forward.

 

Agreed. If I adopted a dog and 3 days later found out that the owner had been looking, I'd give the dog back...

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In my 12 years of Collie rescue I always told people, if your dog is lost, GO TO THE SHELTER - EVERY DAY. Don't rely on phone calls. With all due respect to shelter personnel, they get it wrong as often as they get it right. One persons "Corgi" is a Sheltie/ Bassett cross, one person's Shepherd X is another's Belgian Malinois. After dealing with my local Animal control for 12 years, they never got it right with Smooth Collies.

 

As far as I know the three-day rule is common and legally binding.

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Was the dog chipped or tattooed? That would be a hard call on a "lab" what identifiable marks does he have to prove it's his dog? Pictures? I think I would push the issue more and get the city involved. Does he have proof he called them? How long did they hold before he was adopted? I think the shelter should call the folks that have the dog, let them meet the lost owner and see how the dog reacts, then they can figure this out. Right or wrong, this guy is still looking, called the shelter and obviously wants his dog. Bring proof, vet records, pictures, etc...

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