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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 82150
Experience:  Over 15 years in practice
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We recently adopted a dog from a rehoming centre. The

Customer Question

We recently adopted a dog from a rehoming centre. The previous owners are refusing to release the microchip ownership to us as they insist the dog was not authorised by them for rehoming. Police involvement between the previous owners and the rehoming people has resulted in them finding that insufficient evidence exists to determine the validity of their consent to have the dog rehomed. Meanwhile we cannot register the dog in our name as the microchip is flagged as "missing" on the microchip company's database.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in nottingham
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Have been in touch with microchip company who have asked the previous owner to relinquish the chip but they are refusing to do so, maintaining that the dog is stolen.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Been in touch with the man who rehomed the dog to us, he is unable to persuade the microchip company to accept the police notification that they do not have sufficient evidence to proceed with a case for theft against the rehomer. We have asked the police to intervene and issue to summary report that the previous owners cannot prove that they did not give up the dog for adoption but they have declined to do so, saying that we need to submit a freedom of information request, but that the report would only say they could not make a decision either way.
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.
Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today. I am a barrister with over 15 years experience.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today. Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. Sometimes I will get back to you very quickly, other times it's going to be longer and possibly hours or overnight Please bear in mind that it takes me time to type answers and I also have clients and sometimes have to attend court so I may not get back to you immediately.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
OK, look forward to your further response
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

There are three potential options.

1. You just ensures that the dog is not lost and, if that is not possible, then he is kept upon a collar and tag as then it is unlikely this dog and his microchip will ever come to the attention of the authorities. This has the advantage of being safe, but the disadvantage of the ongoing risk of detection.

2. you get a solicitor write to the old owner warning him we will sue and threaten costs. No real risk to this and it might work but it might not.

3. You seek an injunction against the old owner forcing transfer. This has the advantage of a final resolution but everybody needs to be alive to the risk that the older owner may win.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Jo

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
We already have the dog tagged to us on his collar but our usual vet advises that they will not be able to register the dog with them for other than emergency treatment. Additionally, should a vet scan the dog's microchip is it true that they would be obliged to inform the people registered to the microchip and that they can seize the dog to return it to them?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

yes, they would but they don't always scan.

Usually a collar and tag avoids the need for a scan but you are taking a risk.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Many thanks for your assistance.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

Prepared to run the risk of suing. Overall, I think I probably would sue.  Its not all that expensive and whether the police can identify the owner is a non issue.   Its a different standard of proof at the county court.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
How do I set about suing them?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

You need to get a solicitor to write to him warning him of the risk.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

Won't the rescue help with that?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I am about to contact the rescue now.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

Which is it?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Leicestershire Dogs
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

I don't know them but if you refer them to pro dogs direct in Kent they will have someone who can help.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Do I refer Leics Dogs to them or do I contact Leics dogs to ask them to make the contace with pro dogs direct?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

Either would be fine.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Have informed manager of Leics Dogs of your suggestion, and await his response
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

It was my pleasure to assist you. Please come back if anything else crops up and needs clarification.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer, and of course me, with your legal problem.

If you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JoC

Thanks again,

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 15 days ago.

Welcome.