Okay here's a little info on the situation. I'm twenty-three by the way and live in an apartment by myself, well with dozed now. Well my mom decided two months ago to surrender dozer to the shelter; (which I'd also helped take care of when I was living with her.) because her current boyfriend at the...
When she gave the dog to the shelter, she legally gave up all rights to the dog. YOU legally adopted the dog - its your dog. Be sure you have paperwork (vet records) and license in your name as well as the dog microchipped in your name.
She can say or do what she wants but if she takes you to court she will lose.
The registered owner - where is the dog licensed? - is the owner of the dog.
Only YOU know if the dog is registered, by whom and where.
This is a LEGAL ISSUE, not a DOG issue. I have NO idea where people got their legal education, but it obviously wasn't in the US.
When people divorce and one of the parties "takes" the dog I advise that person to register the dog IMMEDIATELY.
I rescued a dog. Five months later the owner tracked me down and appeared at me door, wanting the dog back with some song and dance about Animal Control unfairly took the dog from her. The dog was registered in MY name. The Police told the former owner to pretty much get off my property. She then filed in Small Claims Court but never showed up for the hearing.
Tell her to go sling her hook in that case
If she surrendered the dog to a shelter there is no way she legally can get him back, however, I'm quite surprised at the shelter allowing a relative to adopt him out as you have.
Once your mother surrendered the dog to the shelter, she gave up ownership. And, I am pretty sure there is paperwork that legally states as much.
Let's say that someone, a stranger, adopted Dozer. Do you really think your mother would go to the shelter, and demand the dog be returned to her, from whomever adopted the unwanted dog? Of course not. But, you are her daughter and she can try to use emotional blackmail and even the threat of a ridiculous law suit. She is actually abusing her relationship with you by even asking you to return "her" dog to her.
When you found out the dog was in the shelter, you adopted it, fair and square, so that dog is YOURS. You signed Legal documents to gain ownership of the dog. As a matter of fact, I do believe that in the adoption papers, it states that you must return the dog to the shelter if you no longer want it. At least something to that effect was in my paperwork when I adopted a cat. This insures that the pet's owner passes the requirements for adoption for the good will of the animal. Who is to say that your mom will forfeit Dozer again for another reason?
In any event, Dozer is legally yours and if your mom decides to take you to court, do not even bother getting an attorney because you got this and will win, no doubt about it. So, get your paperwork together in the event that you need it. If you cannot find your adoption papers, the shelter will provide copies for you. You may also want to show that Dozer is up to date with his shots, just to show that you are taking steps to keep Dozer healthy.
This may cause a bunch of tension between you and your mother. However, that can be avoided IF you are BOTH willing to compromise. Maybe you can grant your mother visitation. Think about that.
You adopted him. He is legally YOURS.
She gave up all rights or ownership when she dumped him in a shelter.
You DO have a choice... And she would LOOSE if she took it to court.
You DO have a choice. There is no way that your mother would win in court. She surrendered the dog to a shelter, therefore, if she wanted the dog back she would've had to pay. In other words, that was not her dog anymore once she surrendered it. You were the one who went in and bought the dog after your mother gave it up. You bought the dog when it was no longer hers. Dozer is YOUR dog. Although I strongly urge you to keep the dog and fight her in court if she takes it that far, your relationship with your mom will probably be largely hurt if you do not give the dog back.
It's your dog now. Let her take you to court. She won't win. SHE surrendered her dog to a shelter and that shelter "adopted" the dog out to you. Giving the dog back is NOT the right thing to do. She dumped her dog because of a BF, and that just goes to show you how much she really cares about the dog. She doesn't even deserve to own a dog from my stand point of view.
When she surrendered her dog, she gave up ALL claims to it. You legally adopted the dog & now the dog is yours. NO way should she get the dog back. She has no legal claim to it in any way. She surrendered the dog of her own free will cause she didn't care that much about the dog in the first place. No, the dog is legally yours.
go fight her
It's your dog now. When she left him at the shelter, she surrendered all of her legal rights to the dog and he became property of the shelter. You adopted the dog, and you now have legal rights to the dog. It is your dog. And no, giving the dog back is not the "right thing" to do. When the BF returns to the scene, she will just dump the dog in the shelter again. Tell her to go ahead and take you to court. It is an idle threat, and she will lose - and have to pay the court costs on top of it. Just be sure to get your hands on the shelter paperwork as you would need it if in fact she did take you to court.
Maybe you can "share" him. That way you both get the best of it all, and if anyone goes on vacation, there's a built-in dog sitter. If she "adopts" a new boyfriend, Dozer is taken care of.