Does any criminal liability attach if I want to adopt a cat from the shelter and lied about my address on the form?

I lied to say I owned a home because I didn’t want them denying my application. My lease does allow pets but the private shelter is very strict and prefers only to give cats to people with their own homes. I am supposed to pay the adoption fee and take her home but I’m worried that, if found out, I could be charged with obtaining property under false pretenses? Any truth in that or am I misunderstanding the charge?

Asked on July 2, 2014 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Do you mean for a falsifying documents charge?  Generally speaking, such charges are brought and prosecuted in very different circumstances than yours, although I guess it would be possible for the shelter to come after you.  But as a practical matter I do not think that their funds are such and that the statute was meant to be used in such a way. The shelter would have no way of controlling a home owner by forcing them to agree not to move or sell their house after adoption, correct?  But I can see that it bothers you and it is always the best to tell the truth. Good luck.

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