|Barked: Tue Mar 5, '13 1:12pm PST |
|I'm iffy in how I feel about this.
On the one hand, if it had been here, legally, by not being properly contained and not having proper supervision, the dog WOULD in fact be considered 'at large' regardless of being on the persons property because wandering CAN happen. Especially in a dog that is not contained and is without supervision. What I'm wondering is why, even in a rural area, a dog is left UNSUPERVISED in an unfenced yard. That's negligent to me, regardless of OP's love for the dog and efforts to find said dog.
I also agree that while dogs CAN slip their collars, I can't say I wouldn't question whether or not my dog was stolen if I saw a collar lying in the middle of the yard. But I also fit my collars snugly enough that they're comfortable, but not able to be slipped off either(for safety reasons when out with my dogs and because Charlie HAS escaped my yard before).
Numerous times, my ID tag with Charlie's name and my phone number have gotten him back home to me(before I learned HOW he was such a Houdini when I first got him), never has his chip gotten him back to me(although NOBODY in the three times he did escape, ever took him to the Vet at all!) - granted, that may be because he has an ID tag with my phone number just in case.
I AM inclined to be suspicious of this person showing up after they get their dog back, demanding money or dog. Vets HAVE given out personal information before - particularly when someone says "I've found a dog, and I want to find out his owners contact info." Should they? Absolutely not. A lost/found dog should be TURNED INTO THE SHELTER, OR A VET OFFICE and left there for the owner to find and your info left to be updated on the animal(if you want to be). Sure, they claim they only had the dog one year out of the two she was gone, but if they had scanned the chip and KNEW there was an owner, why weren't further efforts made to contact them? And WHAT was the $600 of Vet care for? I'd be inclined to want PROOF OF CARE GIVEN by the Vet. Yes, I understand wanting to be reimbursed for money spent on the dog - but that was also a choice that they made KNOWING it was a lost dog with owners. Clearly, they did not leave the dog anywhere to be found by her owners, nor did they make much effort in my opinion. These are all CLAIMS thus far. We have one story to go on and that's OP's, so I'm inclined to side with OP on this.
It's OP's dog, regardless of how long the other person cared for it - the dog was STILL in OP's name and OP DID search for their dog. If I were in this situation, I'd try to come up with a peaceful resolution to everything, but I certainly WOULD NOT give my dog back to them. I'd laugh at anyone that tried to claim MY dog was theirs, just because they had it for a year and didn't keep trying to contact me - ESPECIALLY if I had been searching for my dog to begin with!
If a peaceful resolution could not be made, damn rights I'd get a lawyer and keep track of all information, and contacts being made by these people. OP has proof of ownership... Does the other person have PROOF of Veterinary care and costs? I would want to SEE receipts, I'd want to see any and all information as proof before I stopped being suspicious of these claims.
So, while I hope OP has learned their lesson on negligence and leaving dogs unattended, I also hope that they come to a peaceful resolution with these people and am glad they got their beloved dog back.
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