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Old 05-04-2013, 11:26 PM   #1
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Found stray dog - holding period before ownership is ours?

So I have a bizarre situation going on. We found a dog running down the road in a kind of remote area (mile away from houses) near our house. He's a Chihuahua mix, very sweet, looks and acts healthy etc etc. We got him checked for a microchip (he wasn't wearing a collar) and he didn't have one.

Posted everywhere - lots of local lost pet facebook pages, local humane society pages, craigslist etc etc etc.

A few days later, I got an email asking if the dog would respond to a name. He didn't really... Then kind of did (when he was less distracted) but nowhere near consistently. I told the lady this. She said "He looks EXACTLY like my puppy"... Had a couple of weird emails (asked for my email address - it was craigslist anon email at that point - to send pic, I gave it to her then she emailed asking for my cell phone number to text a pic instead) she sent a pic to my husband's cell and it does look JUST like this dog..younger (he's around a year old now, according to the vet we saw) but the markings on his nose look the same, he's just grown into them.

Anyway, we asked a few questions to make sure he was definitely her dog. Requested more pics, she said she would send later. Told her that we were pretty sure it was her dog, when would she like to come see him. She said the next morning (we offered that night, even though she was working late - we stay up pretty late usually - no response) we said the afternoon would be better. NEVER HEARD FROM HER AGAIN.

DH messaged her and asked when she was coming to see the dog and take him if he was hers.... Nothing.

We picked him up last Saturday, so it's been a week and she contacted us on Tuesday and that's the last time we heard anything from her.

So.....wtf?

Does anyone know what the legal holding period is for stray dogs, before he legally becomes ours? We are in Oklahoma. The local humane society said they thought it was 3 or 5 days... We were going to send him there, but now we're thinking of keeping him if this lady isn't interested in coming to pick him up. He is SUCH a sweetheart and although it's not the best timing for us having a dog, we can deal because he is great with pretty much everything (isn't trained, having some issues with soiling in the house - I wonder if that's why the woman hasn't picked him up, she can't be bothered dealing with that?) and has become pretty attached to me in particular
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:46 PM   #2
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I don't know the laws or anything but people who don't care enough to get their pet really bug me. I found a stray and the guy said he couldn't come get his puppy for 3 days because he had to work all day and would be too tired to swing by and grab him. >.< so frustrating. I ended up bringing the puppy to a local no kill shelter and the adopted him out because the man didnt care enough to go get the puppy.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:52 PM   #3
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Re: Found stray dog - holding period before ownership is ours?

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I don't know the laws or anything but people who don't care enough to get their pet really bug me. I found a stray and the guy said he couldn't come get his puppy for 3 days because he had to work all day and would be too tired to swing by and grab him. >.< so frustrating. I ended up bringing the puppy to a local no kill shelter and the adopted him out because the man didnt care enough to go get the puppy.
Yeah, I know right. DH and I both agreed that if we had lost a dog, our first priority would be to pick him/her up ASAP! Even if it was 3am, if we were given the option, we would be there to get our dog!!
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ExpatMama1990

Yeah, I know right. DH and I both agreed that if we had lost a dog, our first priority would be to pick him/her up ASAP! Even if it was 3am, if we were given the option, we would be there to get our dog!!
That's how I am with my dogs. I love them And wouldn't wait to get them. I was out of town once and my brother was watching my dog and she got out and i came home immediately to look for her.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:59 PM   #5
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Re: Found stray dog - holding period before ownership is ours?

Ugh!

your best bet might be to surrender the dog as a stray to the shelter, and then tell them after the 48 hours of hold that you want to adopt the dog. that way you have paperwork that the dog is now yours and the owner was given time to claim it. Otherwise i would just assume the dog is yours, and tell the lady that you gave to dog to the shelter days ago. (i dont condone lying but in this case the pet is obviously not a top priority. had it gone to a shelter it would have been adopted or euthanized by
now)
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
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Ugh!

your best bet might be to surrender the dog as a stray to the shelter, and then tell them after the 48 hours of hold that you want to adopt the dog. that way you have paperwork that the dog is now yours and the owner was given time to claim it. Otherwise i would just assume the dog is yours, and tell the lady that you gave to dog to the shelter days ago. (i dont condone lying but in this case the pet is obviously not a top priority. had it gone to a shelter it would have been adopted or euthanized by
now)
This. She can SUE you later. Seen it happen. But you will need to pay to adopt dog later. And out here, there is a 10 day stray hold at shelter. But legally dog would be yours.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:11 AM   #7
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Re: Found stray dog - holding period before ownership is ours?

Yeah, there's a 10 day hold here at shelters. I'd just feel bad leaving him there too, even for a short period of time. I thought about just telling her we gave him to a shelter...or that he escaped...

I really want to contact her again and ask for medical history etc and get something in writing from her that she is abandoning him (we were informed we could get her charged with something like that!) but I am afraid she will suddenly say she wants him and not ACTUALLY want him and he will "escape" (or get dumped) again...

The only real legal info I've found with googling is that we can charge her for looking after her dog, which I think is just hilarious... I wondered if she was just using us for free boarding to start with, but if she turns around and wants him back we can send her a bill
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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Re: Found stray dog - holding period before ownership is ours?

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The only real legal info I've found with googling is that we can charge her for looking after her dog, which I think is just hilarious... I wondered if she was just using us for free boarding to start with, but if she turns around and wants him back we can send her a bill
You can also hold the dog until she pays that bill. That's how I adopted one of my dogs. He was 6 weeks old and his owner was sent to a Youth Detention facility. When she got out, she wanted him back. I gave her a bill for food, toys, a dog crate, a bed, vet care, my time for training and exercising him. Anything dog-related I charged her for because we wanted to keep him and I kept copies of receipts and stuff around for 2 years because I was paranoid she would try to take him. But really, most boarding facilities have a policy that if an animal isn't picked up within 10 days after an agreed upon date and all bills reguarding that animal paid, it becomes the property of the facility.

She threw a fit about this, but the Sheriff backed me up that she needed to pay for all the stuff I did for the dog before she could have him back.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:13 AM   #9
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Re: Found stray dog - holding period before ownership is ours?

Oh and I have only found her listed as living in a town a LONG way from here (no way the dog would've made it) which could just be an old address, but she refused to disclose her location! Which just makes me wonder if she dumped him... But then why would she contact us?... So many questions!
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:26 AM   #10
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Re: Found stray dog - holding period before ownership is ours?

I say get a bill ready; boarding, food, medical (bill from having vet look for microchip), etc. If she contacts you again, present the bill first and see if she even bothers to get the dog. If she does, you're reimbused and had fun with a rent-a-pup. If not, the dog's all yours-just make her send you something stating she surrendered the animal to you.
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