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Re: Need "Legal Eagle" help ASAP

Posted by Alison on 1/16/07
(3) Comments

    On 1/16/07, Rowena wrote:
    > Long story short, our shelter had a B&G surrendered to us
    > in the middle of the night last November. The previous
    > owner was homeless and addicted poor girl! We took the
    > bird out of a terrible living situation and have
    > rehabilitated him, vetted him, and have him adopted out to
    > a new home.
    > Now, the previous owner is trying to get him back saying
    > she needs him to pay off a money debt to her supplier.
    > She did not sign a surrender form at the time, but we have
    > verifiable witnesses to state that she came to us and
    > requested that we take her bird. Including the manager of
    > the pet shop where she had used to work.
    > What can or need we do to both protect this bird and
    > ourselves? Any "legal eagles" out there? Thanks.
    Unfortunately, without a signed surrender form, you have no
    verifiable, documented proof that the bird was willingly
    given up. However, given her addiction,she will not make a
    very credible witness in the eyes of the court. Add that to
    the fact that you have credible (hopefully) witnesses to back
    up your shelters word, you have a good chance of winning a
    legal battle. Given that she has no money, I doubt she will
    be too anxious to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit.
    Depending on your states laws and what the maximum suit
    amount is, the 'market' value of the bird may make the suit
    too big for small claims court, and a full lawsuit would be
    very expensive. For the sake of your shelters reputation, as
    well as future suits, I hope that in the future you will not
    take in a bird without the proper paperwork being filled
    out. -Alison-