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Discussion Starter #1
Any advice or opinons as to how I should proceed when a well known area rescue group refuses to honor a contract that I already have in place on a GSD that I had adopted out then three weeks later wound up in their rescue then was adopted out by them two weeks later. My adopter never informed me of his decision to reliquish the GSD, which is required by my contract in addition to the return of the dog, and informed the other rescue that he obtained the GSD from a woman who does the same thing she does (rescue). From what I understand, I believe that the GSD was adopted out by this well known area rescue without an adoption application, without checking vet or work references, to a family with acreage that does not have fencing, and without requiring a home visit. This well known area rescue as well as the person to whom they adopted the GSD were aware within 24 hours of the adoption that this dog was currently under a legally binding contract with me and that the dog was not legally free to be adopted. The dog has not been returned to me and I do not have a level of comfort with this placement at this time. This particular rescue is not sharing any information to help raise my level of comfort with the placement. Since I am not able to obtain any information whatsoever to determine the suitability of the home for this particular GSD, I would appreciate input as to how some of you might proceed and if you have encountered this before. It has been suggested to me that actions such as refusual to recognize a legally binding contact may have implications which might affect a rescue's 501c3 status, their IRS status as well as seeking possible criminal action against the parties involved. I am not looking to have to sue anyone and my main concern is the dog however I am not receiving any reciprocal couresty and cooperation from the other rescue and as such, am wondering those sort of legal remedies are the steps I need to take now. Feedback would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 

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I'm certainly not a pro in these things but if I read this right I would think any issues you have would have to be taken up with the person that you adopted the dog out to. They are the ones that violated your contract, not the rescue group that later got and placed the dog, right?
How do you know the rescue group adopted this dog out without any of the things you mentioned (application, vet check, etc.)?
Rosa
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Originally Posted By: shilohsmomHow do you know the rescue group adopted this dog out without any of the things you mentioned (application, vet check, etc.)?
I was told this by someone who asked them on my behalf so that we/I could do our own vet check with the person's vet, reference checks, etc. to be able to have a level of comfort about the home this dog went to. They were also asked to please provide a copy of the application as a courtesy.

The person that adopted the dog called me. My phone number and all my contact info was on the paperwork that was turned over to him by this rescue and he called me. He thought to call me. The rescue did not call me. It was the very next day after he had 'adopted' the GSD that he called. It was at that time I informed him that I had a contract on this dog and it was supposed to have been returned to me by my adopter per that contract.
 

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Please bear with me. I found the original post a bit difficult to follow, so let me see whether I got all the right facts:

You are a rescue. You adopted out a German Shepherd to a person, doing a legally-binding adoption agreement / contract with that person.

That person then gives up the dog to another rescue after awhile. This is a breach of your contract which states they must return the dog to you (your rescue). They tell the other rescue that they got the dog from your rescue.

The other rescue, knowing the dog came from your rescue, proceeds to adopt the dog to another person. They do not inform you and they do not return the dog to you.

Is this all correct?

If you had a contract with the person who gave the dog to the other rescue, then your main issue is with that person. That person is the one who broke the contract you had, which was that the dog had to be returned to you if they could not keep it. You can pursue them for breeching the contract.

The other rescue, however, is also in the wrong here. They knew where the dog came from when they took it in from that person. They did not contact you and ask you to take the dog back. You would think that's what a reputable rescue would do, since it would free up a space in their rescue for a dog in danger of being put to sleep. You'd think it would be in their best interest. I think they screwed up by adopting this dog out to someone else, knowing that he came from your rescue.

Unfortunately, I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really tell you what you can do about the situation. You had a contract that the other person did not uphold. So you can address that in terms of breaching the contract. Can you approach the other rescue with your contract and ask for them to return the dog? If they have no paperwork on the dog at all when they gave it to the current "adopter", what do they have to stand on?

I think the best bet would probably be to consult with a lawyer and see whether you can get the dog back or what else you can do to "fix" this situation. Maybe the "adopter" would agree to a home visit and doing a contract with you?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally Posted By: HistorianPlease bear with me. I found the original post a bit difficult to follow, so let me see whether I got all the right facts:

You are a rescue. You adopted out a German Shepherd to a person, doing a legally-binding adoption agreement / contract with that person.

That person then gives up the dog to another rescue after awhile. This is a breach of your contract which states they must return the dog to you (your rescue). They tell the other rescue that they got the dog from your rescue.

The other rescue, knowing the dog came from your rescue, proceeds to adopt the dog to another person. They do not inform you and they do not return the dog to you.

Is this all correct?
Yes, that is correct.

Originally Posted By: Historian

If you had a contract with the person who gave the dog to the other rescue, then your main issue is with that person. That person is the one who broke the contract you had, which was that the dog had to be returned to you if they could not keep it. You can pursue them for breeching the contract.
Yes, I plan to follow up with that person re: breach of contract but that still leaves the dog in a home that I do not have a comfort level with.

Originally Posted By: Historian
The other rescue, however, is also in the wrong here. They knew where the dog came from when they took it in from that person. They did not contact you and ask you to take the dog back. You would think that's what a reputable rescue would do, since it would free up a space in their rescue for a dog in danger of being put to sleep. You'd think it would be in their best interest. I think they screwed up by adopting this dog out to someone else, knowing that he came from your rescue.
When I spoke with the other rescue, I was told that the owner told her he obtained the dog from a person who does the same thing (rescue) that she does. The owner claims to have turned over all the paperwork to that rescue. In that paperwork were vet receipts. One of the recent vet receipts had my name and phone number on it. I don't understand why, when this rescue knew that the owner had obtained him from someone who does the same thing (rescue) that she does, why she did not give a courtesy call to the name and number on that vet receipt just to be on the safe side. The person who adopted the GSD from her thought to do that and he only had the dog about 24 hrs at that point. The rescue purports to have had him for two weeks yet I don't understand why this wasn't a red flag and why she didn't contact me knowing where this man obtained the dog from.

Originally Posted By: Historian
Unfortunately, I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really tell you what you can do about the situation. You had a contract that the other person did not uphold. So you can address that in terms of breaching the contract. Can you approach the other rescue with your contract and ask for them to return the dog? If they have no paperwork on the dog at all when they gave it to the current "adopter", what do they have to stand on?
I have approached the other rescue and she will not return the dog. Someone has intervened on my behalf and asked them to return the dog. Apparently she put the dog out on a contract with the current 'adopter' and states she has a contract and that her obligation is to that dog because of the contract. I do not understand why she expects that her contract is to be recognizes yet will not honor or recognize a contract from another rescue. To me, that devalues the meanings of the contracts. IMO, it sends a message to the current 'adopter' and anyone he relates this story to that the contracts from rescues aren't worth the paper they are written on. I'm sure she would want her contract honored should something happen so I cannot understand why she is not recognizing this contract. We have also asked for our own screening of this new home so we can determine if there is a comfort level with the dog remaining there. That is not being provided for either which I cannot understand. It was my understanding that recriprocal agreements between rescues exist in information sharing and in honoring each other's contracts. Otherwise, why have the information or contracts to begin with. Perhaps this is a suitable home for this dog but without the needed information, we have no way of determining that. I would think that any rescue would be happy to provide the information and show what a great home they dog went to and be more than happy to accomodate a reasonable request such as this.

Originally Posted By: Historian
I think the best bet would probably be to consult with a lawyer and see whether you can get the dog back or what else you can do to "fix" this situation. Maybe the "adopter" would agree to a home visit and doing a contract with you?
I would be welcome to the idea a home visit and if suited, a contract with the new adopter however, neither the rescue nor the new adopter have returned my calls.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: Myoung
wow! Poor dog, going through all these changes.
The dog seems to be the victim here. I don't understand why this other rescue doesn't seem to be willing to share any information about his new 'adopter's' home. It would seem to me they would want to be more than willing to share information on the home to alleviate any concerns that this may not be a suitable home and to help the dog be able to remain there. Cooperating, sharing information and helping us to understand what, about this new home, would be good for him, would certainly go a long way in helping us all get the best end result for this dog in an amicable fashion which is the desired result. A home visit, reference check and a contract between me and the new 'adopter' would seem to me to be very reasonable and help keep continuity in this dog's life. If I don't have any way of deeming whether or not this home suitable because of no information whatsoever, I certainly don't have a comfort level in letting him remain there. And if, in the future, this new 'adopter' decides he no longer wants or is no longer able to keep the dog, will he then disregard the contract he has with this particular rescue because he has now learned that contacts with rescues (in particular the contact that is already in place for this dog) are disregarded. To me, it's not a good precedent to set in rescue. Where then will this dog wind up?
 

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By admitting to you the rescue did not act with due judgement maybe mars their reputation and would they need to give the $$ they received from the sale to who? What is there to hide? What was your relationship with this rescue b4 this? Usually when working in close proximity both rescues would have a good working relationship. Could this be the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally Posted By: Myoung
By admitting to you the rescue did not act with due judgement maybe mars their reputation and would they need to give the $$ they received from the sale to who? What is there to hide? What was your relationship with this rescue b4 this? Usually when working in close proximity both rescues would have a good working relationship. Could this be the problem?
I'm not sure who they would give the $$ they received from the sale to - I'm assuming they would return the $$ to the person they adopted this dog out to. I am not looking for the $$. I don't understand what there is to hide either. I would think that they would be very proud to share all information to show what a good home they have selected for this dog and what a good job they did in placing him. I would think they would be happy to speak to the new 'adopter', arrange for a second screening with me, arrange for a home visit, arrange for vet/work reference checks for me, and be happy to arrange for the new 'adopter' to sign a contract with me if this is a good home. I would think they would be very happy in doing that that because it validates their selection for this dog as being a good home and keeps continuity in this dog's life. Then, the likliehood of the dog being able to remain with this home if all checked out is much, much greater. That would seem the best for all involved; especially the dog. An amicable, cooperative relationship between all the parties to facilitiate this process is what's desired here. No one wants to have to take this dog out of a good home if it is a suitable home for him but without any information whatsoever to show that it's a good home, it seems like it would have to get bumped up to the next level. Before this happened, I had never worked with this rescue. A very well respected rescue has intervened on this dog's behalf and is trying to obtain an amicable, workable relationship so that we can proceed with reference checks, home visit, application, contract between me and the new 'adotper' but as far as I am able to tell, has not been successful in their attempts either. It was my understanding that a relationship was in place with them thinking that they were doing home vists, applications, etc. I believe that is so however, bear in mind that I am speaking second hand here and don't want to speak for them since I may say something incorrectly without meaning to. That being said, I think there was working relationship in place but am not 100 percent sure. The other thing you touched on regards a rescue's reputation. I don't understand why a rescue would not take their reputation into consideration when not honoring another rescue's contract. This doesn't even have to do with the other rescue. As the new 'adopter' begins to tell his friends, relatives, etc. about the dilema with his 'new dog' and the contract that is not being honored, word soon gets around. What happens then with the next person who adopts from them then decides to get rid of their dog thinking if this resuce didn't recognize the contract in so-and-so's case, then it must be ok to 'breach'. It's not only their reputation between rescues but reputation in the community and the generalizations the public will make. The dogs are the ones in the end who may ultimately pay the price. That's all just my opinion; maybe I'm wrong? It's certainly is food for thought though.
 

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Personally I am working with a great rescue and would be very surprized if a situation like this would arise. We have 6 gsd rescues in our state and they all work together and check with eachother when a question arises. They all do business differently but would ask alot of questions just for liability issues as you have encountered.
I understand you just have the best interest of the dog at stake. I feel badly that you are coming out smelling like the bad person when all you want is assurances. I hope you can sort this all out between you and the person who gave up on this poor gsd and the rescue who adopted it out .
 

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Quote: I would think that they would be very proud to share all information to show what a good home they have selected for this dog and what a good job they did in placing him. I would think they would be happy to speak to the new 'adopter', arrange for a second screening with me, arrange for a home visit, arrange for vet/work reference checks for me, and be happy to arrange for the new 'adopter' to sign a contract with me if this is a good home.
Uhhh, if it were us, we absolutely would NOT give you any information about the adopter. We respect the privacy and confidentiality of our adopters, which protects them from having former owners change their mind and harass them to try to get their dog back. We will tell former owners general information, such as "He's with a great family in New England and has another dog, a cat and two kids to play with."

Why would the other rescue permit you to do "another screening"? You've already said that you won't approve this home. What if you don't approve the home? Then what? You have no legal authority to take the dog back at this point; and it sounds like Rescue #2 doesn't want to take the dog back, either.

Why would Adopter #2 permit you to call their references or perform a home visit? They didn't apply through you to adopt the dog.

Here's what I don't understand in this situation. I think there's some missing information. Why would Adopter #1 relinquish the dog to a different rescue group (Rescue #2) after three weeks instead of returning it to Rescue #1? That just isn't making any sense to me. Why did they relinquish the dog in the first place?

Legally, as Chris said, your claim is with Adopter #1 for breach of contract. You have no privity of contract with Rescue #2 or Adopter #2.

I can't even say whether Rescue #2 did anything that I would consider unethical or unacceptable. It depends on when they became aware that the dog came from Rescue #1 less than a month prior. Having a name and phone number on a vet receipt means nothing. If we assumed that everyone who had names on vet receipts for the various dogs that come through our group had some type of ownership claim on the dog, we'd never be able to adopt out anything!

I think your logic isn't right if you thing the "general public" will assume that because there was a mix-up with this one dog that Rescue #2 thinks it's okay to breach a contract and, therefore, nobody will honor their contracts with Rescue #2. Rescue #2 did NOT breach a contract because there wasn't a contract to breach. They may or may not have known that Adopter #1 had breached his/her contract, but you don't really know what story they were told about where Adopter #1 got the dog, how long he/she had the dog and why it was being relinquished to Rescue #2 instead of Rescue #1.

I think there's another side to this story....
 

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The only contract that was broken was between you and the person you adopted out to.

You can be as upset as you care to be about how the other rescue proceeded, about how they did not contact you, that they didn't review the paperwork. If they even got it... What you have is a lot of rumour here. I would suggest that the most you have going with either party is a civil suit and that you will have a lot to prove regarding the rescue if there is anything at all legally wrong. (Not saying it is ethically correct but I don't see any legal issue with them.)

The dog is in a home, he has not been euthanized, he has not been dumped at a shelter. It is not a home of your chosing but, as mean as it sounds, do not loose sight of the fact that your choice didn't work out. It was the person you released the dog to that failed to live up to the agreement.

Now, do you want to spend money and how much of your energy pursuing a civil law suit? Do you want to move forward with what you are doing (placing dogs) or do you want to expend energy on a case that will give you little monetary reward so far as trying to involve the other rescue organization? You will also want to explore the reality of what the expense (monetary, emotional, time) will be for you for what return? Do you really want the dog taken from another home and returned to you? I can understand the principle involved and the feelings of outrage you seem to be experiencing. It's hard to step back and look at the case objectively when you are as emotionally invested as one can get in these sort of situations. Someone betrayed you and removed you from the chain of decission making.

One of these instances may be legally wrong and ethically wrong; the other is most likely just ethically wrong because the dog wasn't stolen property per se as I understand it. (Not a lawyer, just a lay person's interpretation.)

Figure out what you want to happen (and what the ramifications of this result would be to you -- is this going to crimp potential adopters for instance?) then talk to an attorney about the likelihood of having that happen. And what it is going to cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Originally Posted By: MyoungPersonally I am working with a great rescue and would be very surprized if a situation like this would arise. We have 6 gsd rescues in our state and they all work together and check with eachother when a question arises. They all do business differently but would ask alot of questions just for liability issues as you have encountered.
I understand you just have the best interest of the dog at stake. I feel badly that you are coming out smelling like the bad person when all you want is assurances. I hope you can sort this all out between you and the person who gave up on this poor gsd and the rescue who adopted it out .
Thank you for recognizing that I just do have the best interest of the dog at stake here. I am not attacking anyone's reputation or goodwill here and I not scrutinizing or disrepecting the other rescue here. I really don't want to have to take anyone to Court or have that affect their organization's 501c3 status. My ultimate goal is an amicable working relationship with information sharing and that which was brought up in the other posts to give me a level of comfort with the home in which he has been placed. I feel that is more than reasonable on my part. My hope too is that this can all be sorted out between the guy who gave up on this GSD and the rescue who adopted him out.

Yes, all rescues do business differently but I don't understand why, when this rescue had him for two weeks time, no questions were asked. The rescue person did tell me that she felt in her gut that something just wasn't right and that she did not have a good feeling about it. She said she knew from him that he had obtained the GSD from a someone who does something (rescue) like she does. I don't understand why she didn't ask him my name at that point. That, to me, would seem a natural question. "Who did you get him from?" "A woman who does the same thing (rescue) as you do." "What is her name?" She had all the contact information for me there in the paperwork yet she did not contact me or pursue this further with the guy who gave him up. The new 'adopter' called me from that contact information. She did not. I simply cannot understand that and why she did not ask for my name from the guy. Then, when she did adopt the dog out, within about 24 hours the new 'adopter' called me then I called her. I don't understand at that point, before it got further involved and the people got further attached to the dog, why she didn't either 1) remove the dog from that home and return it to me or 2) offer what I talked about before - home visit, checks, new contract with me. At this point, my opinion is that the new 'adopter' has posession of something that does not belong to him and he does not have the permission of the legal owner to have it in his posession. Same goes for her. She did not have the legal owner's permission to keep that dog in her posession for two weeks and the way I see it, it seems as if she made no attempt to seek out the name of the legal owner by either calling me or asking the guy what my name was.

As for the new 'adopter', I don't understand why even he would want to keep the dog at that point knowing that it legally belongs to someone else and is supposed to be returned to them. Or even why he isn't offering up on his own to provide references and welcome a home visit to be able to keep the dog. The way I understood it, rescues have a reciprocal type agreement of cooperation amongst them and cooperate with each other. Questions come up and rescues use each other to help answer those questions, check things with each other, send out DNA's, etc. To see this type of situation, especially when it comes to a contract, is something I can't seem to understand.

Just like there are DNA's for individuals, wouldn't there be DNA's for rescue groups then too? I personally wouldn't want to refer anyone to a rescue that didn't honor a contract but that's my personal opinon. Others may feel differently. It raises a question in my mind that if they are not honoring my contract, what others are they not honoring? Are they honoring their own contracts? Maybe they are. Maybe mine is the only instance. I don't know but it does make me question things. I do know for fact they are not honoring my contract at this point. I hope they will honor mine and work with me to have a suitable home for this dog. He deserves it.

He is HW+ and at this point, I don't even know if anything regarding that is in his contract with this rescue. Without vet references I have no way of determining if this dog will even get it's monthly preventative. It's very disconcerting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Originally Posted By: Susan F

Uhhh, if it were us, we absolutely would NOT give you any information about the adopter. We respect the privacy and confidentiality of our adopters, which protects them from having former owners change their mind and harass them to try to get their dog back. We will tell former owners general information, such as "He's with a great family in New England and has another dog, a cat and two kids to play with." .
You're the first rescue I've heard that from. Most I have spoken with said they would share.

Originally Posted By: Susan F You've already said that you won't approve this home.
At what point did I say that? Please quote me specially where I said I won't approve this home.


Originally Posted By: Susan F
Why would Adopter #2 permit you to call their references or perform a home visit? They didn't apply through you to adopt the dog.
Of course they didn't apply through me to adopt the dog because I didn't have the dog up for adoption. There is no way they could have applied through me.

Originally Posted By: Susan F Here's what I don't understand in this situation. I think there's some missing information. Why would Adopter #1 relinquish the dog to a different rescue group (Rescue #2) after three weeks instead of returning it to Rescue #1? That just isn't making any sense to me. Why did they relinquish the dog in the first place?
And you are not the only one who doesn't doesn't understand this missing information. We have three different stories regarding the adopter relinquishing the dog - all three are conflicting.

Originally Posted By: Susan F Legally, as Chris said, your claim is with Adopter #1 for breach of contract. You have no privity of contract with Rescue #2 or Adopter #2.
I never stated that there was a breach of contract with Rescue #2 or Adopter #2.

Originally Posted By: Susan F I can't even say whether Rescue #2 did anything that I would consider unethical or unacceptable. It depends on when they became aware that the dog came from Rescue #1 less than a month prior. Having a name and phone number on a vet receipt means nothing. If we assumed that everyone who had names on vet receipts for the various dogs that come through our group had some type of ownership claim on the dog, we'd never be able to adopt out anything!
Rescue #2 learned immediately from the adopter that he obtained the dog from someone who does the same thing (rescue) that she does.

Originally Posted By: Susan F Rescue #2 did NOT breach a contract because there wasn't a contract to breach.
Again, never at any time did I state that Rescue #2 breached any contract. Never at any time did I state that I had entered into any contract with Rescue #2.


Originally Posted By: Susan F I think there's another side to this story....
And I would like to know what that other side is so please let us all know if you find it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereThe only contract that was broken was between you and the person you adopted out to.
And the disagreement here is??? I never stated that there were any other contracts broken other than the one the adopter breached with me.

Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereYou can be as upset as you care to be about how the other rescue proceeded, about how they did not contact you, that they didn't review the paperwork. If they even got it... What you have is a lot of rumour here.
Rumor from? I don't follow that. Rumor eminating from?

Originally Posted By: middleofnowhere I would suggest that the most you have going with either party is a civil suit and that you will have a lot to prove regarding the rescue if there is anything at all legally wrong. (Not saying it is ethically correct but I don't see any legal issue with them.)
And what exactly would need to be proven? That information would be helpful.

Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereThe dog is in a home, he has not been euthanized, he has not been dumped at a shelter. It is not a home of your chosing but, as mean as it sounds, do not loose sight of the fact that your choice didn't work out.
That's certainly one way of looking at it if, in fact, you know he is in a home.

Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereIt was the person you released the dog to that failed to live up to the agreement.
No disagreement on that statment.

Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereOne of these instances may be legally wrong and ethically wrong; the other is most likely just ethically wrong because the dog wasn't stolen property per se as I understand it. (Not a lawyer, just a lay person's interpretation.)
There are different interpretations.

Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereFigure out what you want to happen (and what the ramifications of this result would be to you -- is this going to crimp potential adopters for instance?)
What does that mean - crimp potential adopters? Does that mean put the adopter on the DNA list?
 

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Originally Posted By: gsdcodyk9My adopter never informed me of his decision to reliquish the GSD, which is required by my contract in addition to the return of the dog,...
Adopter #1 cn have legal action taken against him for breach of contract, if you feel that it is something that you can put the time, money and resourses into it.

Originally Posted By: gsdcodyk9...and informed the other rescue that he obtained the GSD from a woman who does the same thing she does (rescue).
Ok, so Adopter #1 told Rescue #2 that he had adopted the dog from "another rescue" and was now turning the dog over to Rescue #1. I would, if I was Rescue #2, wonder why he did not return the dog to Rescue #1 and if I did not have a working relationship or know of this other rescue, would have doubts about the first rescue.

Many people these days say they are "rescue" and we have all seen in the news where people claiming to be rescues are really not. Rescue#2 could very well have been trepidacious about contacting or returning the dog to a rescue they were not comfortable with. Just my thoughts on that part...

Originally Posted By: gsdcodyk9From what I understand, ...
And here is another problem I have with the whole thing... Everything sounds to be pretty much hearsay. No facts are known other than the dog is no longer in the home you had originally placed it.

Originally Posted By: gsdcodyk9I believe that the GSD was adopted out by this well known area rescue without an adoption application, without checking vet or work references, to a family with acreage that does not have fencing, and without requiring a home visit.
Why would you think a well-known and fairly well respected other area rescue would not do these basic placement checks? Just because they didn't call you? From the sound of it, you don't particularly like this other rescue. It sounds like you have differing opinions on what makes a good home.

Originally Posted By: gsdcodyk9The dog has not been returned to me and I do not have a level of comfort with this placement at this time.
This above quote is partially what makes me feel that even if you did a home check yourself, that you would not approve and attempt to repossess this dog. It sounds like you have a real vengence about being legally correct and the only person who has interest in this dog, IMHO. If this other rescue is comfortable with the placement and is a well-known area rescue with a decent reputation... where is the concern? A contract that was breached by Adopter #1? Not Rescue #2's legal problem



Originally Posted By: gsdcodyk9This particular rescue is not sharing any information to help raise my level of comfort with the placement.
Again, I see nothing really wrong with this legally. Personally, I am glad they protect the adopter's information.

Not to step on any toes here but..... why is your way the only way? Do you seriously think that this other "well-known area rescue group" does not have the best placement for the dog in mind? Sorry, and I do not mean to be rude or crass but... Let the dog stay where he is. Let the other adoption group handle the dog and the adopter. If you feel legally wronged, have the time/effort/money to file suit, do so against the Adopter #1 for breech of contract.

For some reason this really reminds me of Soloman's story of the two women who claimed the same baby and King Soloman said to just divide the baby in two... It soundes like this dog, even though he doesn't know it, is in a tug of war with you and everyone else.... Be the bigger person and let him stay in a home that another rescue obviously saw as a fit home. IMHO of course...
 

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I know that Sue's original intent is to come here to seek advice from the rescue community. I'm sure she appreciates everyone's advice. However, there seems to be some question regarding the facts regarding this situation and as I am privy to most of them I feel the need to share.

Sue is not a rescue group but rather a caring individual who rescued Riley from a bad situation and out of her own pocket got him through heartworm treatment and then began to seek him a home. She came to NSR for a courtesy listing which we provided. We offered her assistance as we do all of the people who courtesy list with us. She used our application and our adoption agreement. We offered her all of our resources, including access to volunteers to perform home visits or conduct interviews. Sue choose to process the applications herself. She found what she perceived to be a great home for Riley and adopted him to this gentleman.

This individual was not totally forthcoming with his information. Although he told her he lived in a condo, he did not tell her he did not have permission to adopt a GSD. Now had we been processing this application we probably would have caught that as we require proof of such. However, as Sue is new to this she did not catch that. I believe, as does the rescue who ended up getting Riley from this gentleman that he was probably embarassed about the fact that he lied and that's why he didn't contact Sue after the three or so weeks had passed. He told the rescue that took Riley from him that he was giving up the dog because he had an expectant child on the way which is false. I have spoken to the gentlemen and he admittedly had no reason for not contacting Sue as per their legal contract.

Sue's concern is only for Riley's welfare. Sue rescued Riley from a bad situation. She got him through heartworm treatment and had a certain home in mind for Riley which she mistakenly thought she had found. Sue wants Riley to be an inside dog and in a home where he will be kept on heartworm preventative and vetted properly if needed. She has no alterior motives here. She only wants to be comfortable that Riley is in a good home. I personally understand and would feel the same way.

There is simply no way to tell if his current situation is a good one as it is a fact that an application was not taken and a home visit was not done. I am not sure if a vet check was performed. That issue has not specifically been addressed. However, without an application it would seem doubtful.

I can say that if this situation arose and NSR ended up with a dog that had recently been adopted out under the contract of another rescuer then we would at the very least make the person comfortable with the new adoption of the dog. If we are comfortable with our rescue practices then there should be no need to not be anything but forthcoming. I would hope that other rescues would give us the same courtesy but it sounds like perhaps some would not. As rescuers we all take great comfort in knowing that our dogs are in loving homes similar to our own and if we had any doubts I'm sure we would be just as distraught as Sue know is.
 

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So neither are "Rescue Groups" but individuals with the right intentions?

I do understand Sue's concerns, but I also have to think about Riley. Poor guy has been passed around a lot. The new home should not be deemed unacceptable just because there is no fence. The new adopter is probably afraid to return your calls at this point for fear of you taking Riley. Can't say I blame them there. It is easy to get attatched to a dog quickly and not want someone to come and just take the dog they see as their own.

The Ellen Degeneras Saga made several people distrustful of "rescue" organizations and I have to admit, some of the stipulations some groups have seem farfetched. But each has a right to run their group as they see fit.


If Rescue #2 doesn't release information, and you are really desperate to get in contact with the adopter.... Didn't you say they called you? Contact the phone company and get a return number. Find out the phone number, do a backwards phone search on the internet and dig up what you can find. Get name etc and call local vets to see if they are a client. There are several things you really could do if you wanted to put the time into it.

Yes, it was wrong both legally and ethicly for the Adopter #1 to not return the dog to you. However, the dog is in a new home now and might just be a fabulous home. If Rescue#2 won't assist in information... there are many routes to take.
 

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I think the very valid point that Lisa is trying to make is, what kind of message are we as a rescue community sending if we don't honor each other's contracts? As soon as Rescue #2 found out that the dog they just adopted out was in fact a dog that had an adoption contract on it that stated he was to be returned to the rescue/individual who adopted him out...then isn't it the honorable thing to do to return that dog to the original rescue.

Placements go bad, it happens to all rescues...no matter how many checks and balances are in place, sometimes people just don't live up to their end of the contract. I would hope that if a dog Noble Shepherd Rescue adopted out with our contract ended up in another rescue's hands they would respect us enough to return the dog into our care as soon as they found out and/or work with us to assure us the new home was a good fit in our mind also.

This is exactly the same issue as with Ellen, except the person who rehomed the adopted dog is also an established rescue.....everyone was up in arms about Ellen rehoming a dog, just because the person who rehomed Riley was a rescue doesn't mean the original owner isn't still the legal owner of this dog!!
 

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BrightStar is also aware of this situation directly and indirectly.

If BrightStar learned that a dog we just adopted out was in fact a dog that had a valid adoption contract that stated he/she was to be returned to the rescue/individual who adopted him/her out...then


1. We would have to honor a valid contract, however, we would ask to be permitted to provide our previously obtained proof that the dog was properly placed under our adoption policies and procedures, ie, but not limited to (see below), and hope that the rescue/individual trusted our placement and had the best interest of the dog at heart.

- Application (which certain key questions are asked); if approved
- Personal and vet reference checks (again certain key questions asked); if approved
- Home Visit, if approved (and we approve adopters to adopt certain dogs - ie. males only, females only, puppy, adult, low drive, etc),
- Adoption Contract - our contact contains language that:

13.) I agree that during the lifetime of the GSD, BrightStar retains the right to reclaim the GSD at any time because of neglect, abuse, inadequate care, breach of this agreement, or lack of integration into Adopter's family as determined by the BrightStar. The Adopter agrees to relinquish custody of the GSD immediately upon request. In the event that such action is necessary The Adopter hereby waives any claim for a refund of any kind for any fees and expenses that may have been incurred


14.) I agree that I will not transfer the ownership of the said dog to any other person, firm or corporation without a prior written consent of BrightStar. Furthermore, The Adopter is required to notify the BrightStar Organization within 72 hours in the event of the death of the GSD. In addition The Adopter agrees to notify the BrightStar Organization immediately if the GSD is lost for more than 24 hours.

However, if the rescue/individual that had Contract 1 was insistent, and there are valid reasons for wanting the dog back, we would have to do so, unless we felt there was valid reason/proof to think the dog was in danger by returning the dog, then we would have to legally fight Contract 1.

This is not a nice situtation for anyone, especially Riley. There were many errors made by all parties.

I believe all the person with Contract 1 in this situtation is sufficient proof that Riley is in a safe home that is right for him.

Proof being:

1. Application Processed
2. References checked (personal and vet)
3. Home visit
4. Strong Adoption Contract in place

It is my understanding that NSR has offered to assist both the person with Contract 1 and the rescue with Contract 2 as a go between to provide proof that Riley is in the proper home, based on certain criteria.

I hope that this can be worked out without legal action. If Riley is in a great home under reputable rescue standards and proof is provided, I hope Riley will be permitted to remain.

In closing, I think the question is not so much that Contract #1 was in place (although that must be considered valid and binding), but was Riley's current placement proccessed under reputable rescue criteria and if so, if proof can be provided, I would hope the best interests of Riley are utmost.
 
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