What to do if I lost a dog and had to go onto private property to retrieve it and was charged with trespassing?

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What to do if I lost a dog and had to go onto private property to retrieve it and was charged with trespassing?

I was under the understanding that you have the right to protect your property (which includes my dog) and I could not get a hold of the landowner after multiple attempts so I decided to get my dog before she was lost and I couldn’t even find her.

Asked on May 2, 2013 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You are unfortunately incorrect: you do not have the right to trespass onto another's property, even to retrieve your own property (like a dog). The correct response would have been to call the police or animal control to help. That said, you should--assuming no aggravating circumstances (no damage to the property; did not argue or fight with police or the landowner; etc.) and a clean record--be a good candidate for lienent treatment, given the circumstances.


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