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Humane Law Forum: After the Adoption

Are you liable for what happens once an animal leaves your shelter?

Animals come into shelters for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they are found stray or abandoned with no known owner. Sometimes the owner can no longer handle the financial or physical challenge of caring for the animal. And sometimes, the animal has behavioral problems that force the owner to give her up.

The previous owner may warn you about a dog’s temperament. You may see it for yourself while the animal is at the shelter. Or you may find out the hard way when a new owner complains that you gave him a dangerous pet!

In my last article (“Avoiding Adopter Roulette,” March-April 2011), I discussed the duty of an animal shelter to ensure each pet is placed in a safe home with a responsible and caring owner. This column examines the flip side: What responsibilities do animal placement groups have to make sure that the adopter is receiving an animal who will not harm him, his family, or anyone else?

 Read the full article.

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