are vetrinarians legally liable if your dog is found and they dont call you?

almost one year ago my dogs got out of the house because my son didnt get the door shut. one week ago my husband got a call from a lady in illinois (we live in indiana) saying that she found one of them. she took him to the vet and they ran his chip and gave her the option of whether or not to call us. we let her keep picasso but i was wondering if the vet was supposed to call us. my female border collie is still missing and im hoping that this is not what happened in her case. i would love to see her come home. so once again is the vet supposed to legally call you if your pet has been found

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Depends on the Country / State that you live in. In England, it is the law that dog wardens call you. Or at least that is what the Dog Wardens told me when they called me when mine got picked up after someone broke a lock and opened a gate on me. And I paid £45 to get him back.

    If it isn't where you live, you should get your legislature to make it so. After all, they are there to serve you, are they not?

  • My educated guess would be that you might be able to collect damages but only upwards of the dogs monetary value, most states consider them property. As far as any legality, that's a good question. I've never heard of such a law but it seems it would be the ethical thing to do since vets typically recommend microchipping for that very reason. I'd call a local vet to find out for sure.

  • Rachel
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    if the vet was not in possesion of your dog, then no, he was not liable. The person who found the dog was. You would have to contact your local city officials to know what the State law is. It is different from state to state. If the vet was in possesion of your dog and knew it, had your contact info and chose not to use it, then in the State of Ohio, he could potentialy loose his license. If a vet receives payment for a procedure and does not do it, then he could loose his license. A vet may not perform any medical procedure on a pet without the written consent of the owner. In the state of Ohio, pets are considered property, and the owner has the right to do whatever he or she wants with that property.

  • 1 decade ago

    DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney and merely a legal assistant and this advice should not be construed as the opinion of counsel.

    The Veterinarian owes you a legal duty of care to protect your property and return it. In the case of your dog, you probably have a valid small claims suit and can seek an injunction to compel the return of your dog. Your chances of collecting punitive damages depend on the circumstances exactly, but if you just want your dog back, I believe judicial remedy can be sought. Contact your local attorney.

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