Imagine, you come across an unwell, malnourished dog in the street. The first instinct would be to provide care and a loving home. The problem is, as this activist found out – if you take a ‘stray’ dog home, you could be concealing stolen property:
“A local animal protection activist faces criminal charges stemming from her work to help an apparently injured and ill dog that she found lying on a street.
Police don’t dispute that Lauri Buccieri rescued the dog, but say she went too far when she turned the animal over to adopt — and then refused to give it back to its owner.
Buccieri is charged with sixth-degree larceny for failing to return the 16-year-old Husky mix that she named Halo. The owner, Krysten Drachenberg, 21, calls the dog Josie.”
Remember, these days many dogs are microchipped and the person with their details on the microchip is the legitimate owner, even year after a second ‘adoption’. Moreover, a dog may appear neglected to you, but only qualified authorities (RSPCA, Local Council) can make that judgement.
The solution is to take the dog to the local shelter. Most shelters will give you an opportunity to register interest for the dog if the owner doesn’t come forward. This way you can be sure that the Law will not come calling for you one day.