When Good Placements Go Bad
(reposessing a dog after placement)
by Wallace Scheurman, © 1996
This article, written by Wallace Scheurman in 1996 and used with his express permission, is a guide to ensuring that you will be able to reposess a rescued dog you have placed if the adopters do not live up to their agreement in regard to taking care of the dog. These guides would also apply to a breeder reposesing a dog or a trainer doing so. Mr Scheurman is a trainer in Florida; it is quite obvious that he has done his legal homework for the laws in his state. Be aware that laws differ from state to state and be sure to consult an attorney experienced in this field.
I have left this article exactly as Mr Scheurman wrote it, adding only formatting for emphasis.
|SITE INDEX||BOUVIER||RESCUE||DOG CARE|
|PUPPY REARING||TRAINING||PROBLEMS||WORKING DOGS|
First you want to make sure, you have an enforceable contract, for your jurisdiction. That all parts of the recovery clause, are lawful.
Second, you must be able to identify the property sized. The dog/bitch must be marked (tattooed or micro-chipped). Photographs alone won't make it.
Third, the contract must give you the legal right to enter the owner's property at any time for seizure of the animal.
Fourth you must document the reason for seizure. In most states they will want you to give the owners TIME to rectify the situation. Sending letters, logging phone calls, personal contacts, etc. This means written statements, Video surveillance, photographs.
See your state's laws regarding recording telephone conversations. Even if it is allowed, always have someone else listen in, they can always be called in to testify in court.
Depending on the state, you will be required to obtain a court order or your contract will empower you to take custody of the property. Call the police department that has jurisdiction, ask them to send out an officer to assist in the seizure.
Notify the police and animal control at once after making a seizure, if the owners were not at home at the time of seizure.
MOST important, MAKE SURE THE DOG/BITCH SEIZED IS THE RIGHT ANIMAL, AND YOU HAVE LEGAL CLAIM TO THE PROPERTY.
We seized several dogs on breeders contracts (sold puppies), We were countered sued, for $250,000.00. (Pain and suffering). They told the court we seized the wrong animal. Lucky for us we micro-chip our puppies and dogs.
You want to talk to an attorney, before you seize any animal!
Make sure all your contracts are notarized!
Lastly, our contracts state the other person financially responsible for ALL cost involving a seizure, for whatever reason. So, we get all of our money back.
Hope this helps!