UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My sister works at a vet clinic. A dog was brought in a couple weeks ago hit by a car and left there with no ownership and had to get leg surgery. My sister took ownership of this dog because nobody would take her but now her boss is demanding the dog back even though my sister took ownership. The vet never said anything about paying the money back for the surgery either. My sister’s boss made her bring the dog in today for X-rays, then made her leave work without it and is now saying that she will not be getting the dog back, even though my sister did not abandon the dog or give it up. What can she do?

Asked on August 15, 2018 under Business Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When property, including a dog, is left at business, including a vet's, for care or safekeeping, that business would have the first right to it if it is not claimed by the owner(s), as compensation for the unpaid services, etc. the business provided. The vet, not your sister (who was only an employee there) had the right to the dog.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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