Boxer Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thursday evening when I came home from getting groceries, a stray sheltie was running in my yard.  I jumped out and called him over.  He was very skinny and scared to death.  He had a black collar on with no tags.  I hooked him to our garage..we live near a very busy main road and I didn't want him to run and get hit.  I immediately called our radio station and also put an ad on our local online free classifieds.  I called the dog warden to ask what the laws were regarding finding a stray.  I didn't get a call back until the next morning which a covering dog warden told me he could pick him up right then and they would take him to a shelter 2 hours from my home.  I asked if it was possible to keep the dog over the weekend since I hadn't even had him 24 hours and I'd hate for the owners to call and then have to drive 2 hours to go see if it was even their dog.  This dog warden agreed and said that was completely understandable.  He also mentioned that if we decided to keep the dog that was fine just to let them know.  I stated that I would not be keeping the dog, but my grandparents live next door and have taken quite a liking to him, how long could we keep him without licensing him.  He stated there was no "set" timeframe, but obviously there came a point when we could no longer claim him as a stray.  This morning (Monday) I get a call at 8 a.m. from the original dog warden that I left a message with that he could be here in 10 minutes to pick up the dog.  Over this past weekend my grandfather decided that in no way was this dog going to a shelter to possibly be put down.  I asked the dog warden what my grandfather would have to do to claim the dog and mentioned the conversation on Friday with the other dog warden.  This guy says it is unlawful to keep the dog.  He could turn him into the shelter and adopt him from the shelter, but he is not allowed to simply keep him.  I asked why this was and he said if the owner would come back and claim the dog it could go to court.  I said I understand that, my grandpa is not trying to keep the dog from his owner, but if there is no owner my grandpa would prefer to adopt him than have him go to a shelter.  The dog warden said well he can drive the 2 hours to this shelter and fill out an adoption like everyone else.  I have a problem with this.  I understand that not everyone is responsible enough to have a dog, but why is there a difference of opinion between the 2 dog wardens?  I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize the law with my grandparents but this seems unfair to the dog.  Any advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
The PA state law says this:

General Rule.--It shall be the duty of every police officer, state dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer to seize and detain any dog which is found running at large, either upon the public streets or highways of the commonwealth, or upon the property of a person other than the owner of such dog, and unaccompanied by the owner or keeper. Every police officer, state dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer may humanely kill any dog which is found running at large and is deemed after due consideration by the police officer, state dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer to constitute a threat to the public health and welfare....

Unlicensed Dogs.--Except as otherwise provided by section 305, any police officer, state dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer shall cause any unlicensed dog to be seized, detained, kept and fed for a period of 48 hours at any licensed kennel approved by the secretary for such purposes, except any dog seriously ill or injured, or forfeited with the owner's permission. Any person may view such detained dogs during normal business hours. Any unlicensed dog remaining unclaimed after 48 hours may be humanely killed or given to a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals. No dog so caught and detained shall be sold for the purpose of vivisection, or research, or be conveyed in any manner for these purposes.
So the state has a 48-hour waiting period for the dog's owners to find it.  I guess you have a few choices - follow the strict rule of the law and let them take the dog to the shelter (there might be some wiggle room with "keeper" since it's not defined) and apply for adoption; ignore the dog warden and see if he even bothers to follow up; get the dog licensed now with your grandfather as the owner; or say the dog ran away.  I'm not recommending any of these ;) but they are the options I see.  The first is legal and third might be - "owner" is defined as, in part, "every person who keeps or harbors such dog or has it in his care, and every person who permits such dog to remain on or about any premises occupied by him."  No time limit there, so you might be able to argue that, since the state only has a 48-hour requirement and that has passed, your grandfather is now the dog's owner.   Taking it for vet care would also support the notion of ownership.  You might call the shelter, too, and ask them what their policies are and how often strays that are brought in with the request to be adopted back out are done so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,867 Posts
I wonder if they detain the dogs for observation also.  The Rabies laws are so strict, and you don't know if an animal might have been in a fight with a racoon or other critter.  Would they also check to see if there were signs of abuse by a past owner.  I hope there's some reason besides just waiting for somebody to claim it.  In that case, they could get the description of the dog from you, and leave it with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I found this link for PA Dog Laws, but didn't find any helpful info regarding dealing with strays:

http://www.pghdogs.com/index.php?option ... 0&search=*

If it were me, I would give the dog to the grandparents and tell the warden that the owners came by and picked the dog up, but I didn't get their info.  Of course I would only do this if I felt confident judging by the condition of the dog and the amount of time that has elapsed that the dog's owners were probably not looking for him.  I'd continue to post 'Found Dog' wherever possible to make sure some family isn't missing their pet.   Its a bit dishonest, but it would be justified in my mind by keeping a non-unwanted dog out of the shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Sorry I haven't posted a follow up...the situation as it stands now is that I contacted the closest SPCA to us...45 minutes away...and reported to them our situation.  The girl there took a description and my phone number and told me that no dog fitting that description has been reported missing in their database.  I explained the two differing opinions of our local dog wardens and she told me technically the dog warden could not force the dog to be turned over.  It is their (SPCA) recommendation that the dog be turned in and my grandparents immediately apply for adoption.  She said their interests are that the dog is altered and adoption would legally solidify ownership to my grandparents.  I agree 100% with altering.  I again told the SPCA that I would prefer to keep the dog in the area because the ads are placed and their location.  I don't think the second dog warden was being a jerk, I think he was making sure to cover his butt.  I'm still hoping things work out in this little guy's favor.  My grandpa has a heart for strays, please read my post from last summer about "Jake" :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
sorry again...I've been absent again.  I talked with the first dog warden.  He told us again that my grandparents could keep the dog but to make a lost report to the SPCA, continue advertising him as lost and found, and keep in contact with him.  He said there was no harm in licensing the dog to themselves, at this point chances are slim he will be claimed.  The second warden has never called me back.  I'm trying to add a picture of him..but I have a problem every time.  Not sure what I'm doing wrong.
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
how sad that they make it so difficult with their laws to save a stray!  that's the 2nd time this week on the forum.  (rosie)
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top