How should we proceed if we run a dog training and boarding facility with a customer who has abandoned their 2 dogs?

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How should we proceed if we run a dog training and boarding facility with a customer who has abandoned their 2 dogs?

They first brought the dogs here in April and their only payment was May 16th because we threatened to send the dogs to authorities for abandonment. We contacted them 5/22, 6/2, 6/6, 6/19, 6/20 and finally on 6/23 told them we were forced to take the dogs in. The bill is over $2,948 currently and we are still feeding, exercising and medically caring for their dogs. The local SPCA has said that they won’t get involved.

Asked on June 26, 2014 under Business Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the issue were straight breach of contract for services rendered  - the care, feeding, etc.,  - then you could take them to small claims court.  But if you are trying to have them take back the dogs then small claims can not help you.  You could continue to care for the animals and keep doing what you do and keep suing them and getting judgements against them but I am assuming you do not wish to do that. Generally abandoned property can be turned over to the police or state but here they are animals.  You may need to speak with an attorney about the possibility of suing the owners and in some way terminating their rights to the dogs so that you can have them adopted. Good luck.


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