I adopted a dog from the pound as a favor to someone else, if the pound finds outfind out can I be charged with something?

My dad’s friend was involved in a messy divorce and was awarded custody of her dog in the divorce decree. However, while the dogs were with the ex-husband he gave them to the pound without consulting his ex-wife or informing her of the decision. For reasons that were not made clear to me the pound refused to give the woman her dog back so she asked me to adopt it for her then give it to her. While at the pound the workers specifically asked me if I was acquainted with “Jane Doe” and I said no. Could I be charged with anything if they find out I lied on the adoption application and about knowing her?

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I have been wracking my brain to try and figure out why the pound would even ask such a question unless the ex husband lied about her treatment of the animal and filed some form of complaint regarding animal cruelty against her.  The complaint would be unfounded, correct?  And the court did award her the pooch. That is really the document that you have to hold on to and she should have acted on that rather than ask you.  But be that as it may, what I would like to read is the agreement that you signed about the dog.  I am less concerned about the fib to the pound than your agreement regarding the dog.   I would want to make sure that it gives you full ownership rights which would include finding the dog a new home should you not be able to care for it anymore.  I am sure that it does NOT have her name in it limiting you so proving that you knew or should have known that she was on the outs with the pound may be hard for them, although under oath you could not lie about the plan.  But really, I think that you should be fine.  Good luck.


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