Adopting a Pet You've Been Caring For
I was asked to care for a Dachshund for three months, but it has now been seven, possibly going on eight months. This dog is very happy living in my home. She loves my children, plays with my Maltese non-stop and lies by my side no matter where I am. I feel it has been way too long for someone to come take this animal out of her happy environment.
It's bad enough to hear the kind of care she received before I agreed to care for her. Prior to coming to my home she was with a nasty person who views animals as property who have no feelings. While this person gave her the necessities, he told me that he would only let her out long enough to potty and that was it.
I feel that this precious girl has had a rough life, and now that she is in an environment that she is happy in, should I allow her to be taken away? Do I have any rights?
Angel, it sounds like this dog is very lucky to be spending such high-quality time with you. I am not a lawyer, so I can't advise you on your rights. If you have access to legal advice, you should start by finding out what leverage you have if you decide to negotiate with the owner. The factors that might matter are:
Was there a written agreement when you assumed care of the dog?
If you have cared for the dog for longer than the original plan, does this give you any rights to claim ownership of the dog? For example, did owner "abandon" the dog at your home?
Have you been paid for this service?
Have you paid for food and veterinary expenses?
Are you prepared to offer to buy the dog from the owner?
As a psychologist, I would advise you to avoid accusing the owner of not caring about his dog, even if it is true. You will need to use your best interpersonal skills in order to persuade this man to give the dog to you. If you have any friends in common with the owner, try to convince them to speak on your behalf.
Unfortunately, this is a common problem that occurs when people foster animals. You might want to check with your local humane shelter to see how they have handled the foster issue. Good luck.