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Old 01-30-2013, 11:22 PM   #61 (permalink)
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A chip would have made all the difference in the world.
That puppy, at 5mos., hadn't even seen a vet in her last home (the home that lost her), so they had no vet bills, even.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:39 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Yes...but this dog wasn't taken off their property. It was found wandering the streets. Therefore not theft. Legally the guy has no obligation to return the found property to its rightful owner since it wasn't taken off their property.

Remember...a dog is property...it doesn't matter that they can walk off your private property and you're not technically "losing" them when they do that. Morally we would probably all consider what he did theft, legally its not even close.
actually, most states have laws that say what you have to do with ANY found property. Find a wallet? a ring? a dog? a bracelet? You are supposed to contact the police (and with a dog also the humane society or whatever entity is in your area) and make valid VERIFIED attempts to find the owner. If the property isn't claimed after a certain amount of time, then it belongs to you.
If you DON"T follow the steps to attempt to locate the rightful owner, then yes, it is legally considered theft. "Finders Keepers" isn't the law of the land.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:49 AM   #63 (permalink)
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to elaborate since it was asked in other posts reasonable effort includes:

calling the police dept/humane society with a description of the found animal as well as the location you found it.

ad in the local newspaper. (most papers don't charge for lost/found ads)

That is it. Free and takes only a few minutes. And, yes, legally speaking you are entitled for any "reasonable" money you spent on the dog - vet care, grooming, whatever - if/when the owner reclaims the dog.

ETA: generally speaking, the effort has to be something that you can A) prove and B) that the original owner would have access to. Even if you could prove that you stood on the corner saying "I found a lost dog" it isn't reasonable to expect the owner to be right there, at the right time, to hear your announcement.

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:33 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Here, if you receive stolen property the property is seized by the sheriff but you are only charged if the police can reasonably prove that you knew it was stolen.

A coworker's daughter had her Harley stolen and sold by the guy who was paid to store it over the winter. When they found out where the bike was the sheriff took it and all the parts spread around it in the garage it was in. Daughter got to keep everything that was attached to the bike and the buyer was told he'd have to recover the money he paid for it from the thief (good luck) but was not charged with receiving stolen property. The thief learned exactly what the HA's think about pledges stealing bikes from 17-year-old girls on top of being charged with theft.
Again...an example where the item in question has clearly identifiable markings which the original owner can use to prove that the item is theirs. I'm talking about items that are mass produced and look like everyone else's. You need very clear proof that that item was yours, and that the person who purchased it from the thief should've known that something was fishy. Like buying an item worth $100 on the open market for $20...you should've known that your "great deal" was questionable. This prevents anyone from just claiming that something you have is theirs.

Like...you overhear that someone just bought an ipod off craigslist. So they most likely don't have a receipt and its hard to prove it was a legitimate purchase. You claim that who ever they purchased it off of stole it from you. Would the cops just go and take the item? Lock it up and then wait for proof? No...you need that proof before you even call the police that the item is yours and that the person should've known they're buying stolen property (in the courts this is extremely hard to do).

The point I was making was that with a dog...without a collar or microchip is very hard to prove that it is yours. I know the guy should've contacted some other sources and said he found a dog, but he didn't. So he broke the law, and he should've just given the dog back to the family in the first place. But I also see how its difficult to give them back a dog that never saw a vet and wasn't taken care of well enough to even keep it in the yard.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:27 AM   #65 (permalink)
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The law technically states that if you find something, not on someone's private property, you can keep it. They are then deemed to have "disowned" it. It's the same reason why law enforcement can go through your trash for evidence but not your home without a warrant. Once its in the trash you are deemed to have discarded it and any claim of ownership to it. And I don't believe you have to make an effort to find its rightful owner. Although ethically or morally you might, legally you do not have to (like the people that find a huge sum of money and then turn it into the police).
Could you please provide links to Wisconsin's state or local "finders keepers" law you keep referring to???? There's a huge difference between police going thru someone's trash/garbage and someone finding a valuable item that was lost/stolen such as a $1,000,000 diamond necklace or a dog.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:25 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Could you please provide links to Wisconsin's state or local "finders keepers" law you keep referring to???? There's a huge difference between police going thru someone's trash/garbage and someone finding a valuable item that was lost/stolen such as a $1,000,000 diamond necklace or a dog.
I've already said the one about pets is different. But I can't find anything about personal property. I found the common law interpretation but no statute based stuff. All I can find is the unclaimed property law which is different than finding something. The little bit of research I did keeps bringing up 30 days and its yours type stuff but nothing about actually HAVING to turn the property into an authority of any type.

This is most likely due to the fact that its very hard to tell the difference between personal property affects. Without documentation, insurance, official paperwork...could you really prove that a piece of found property is yours? That's my point when it comes to dogs...I have a sable GSD...he looks a lot like 1,000,000 other sable GSDs...if he is lost...without any paperwork/tags/microchip...could I really prove that a found sable GSD is mine?
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:13 AM   #67 (permalink)
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I've already said the one about pets is different. But I can't find anything about personal property. I found the common law interpretation but no statute based stuff. All I can find is the unclaimed property law which is different than finding something. The little bit of research I did keeps bringing up 30 days and its yours type stuff but nothing about actually HAVING to turn the property into an authority of any type.

This is most likely due to the fact that its very hard to tell the difference between personal property affects. Without documentation, insurance, official paperwork...could you really prove that a piece of found property is yours? That's my point when it comes to dogs...I have a sable GSD...he looks a lot like 1,000,000 other sable GSDs...if he is lost...without any paperwork/tags/microchip...could I really prove that a found sable GSD is mine?
Thanks ... I must have missed your first reply.
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