A couple in Leechburg, Pennsylvania is facing criminal charges after allegedly selling a Rottweiler puppy belonging to their neighbor on Craigslist. The puppy wandered into their yard along with another dog, a golden retriever mix. The couple returned the retriever mix but allegedly told police that the Rottweiler puppy had run away.
The puppy’s owner believed that his dog was inside his neighbor’s home and contacted police. When the police showed up at the couple’s home, their five year old son explained that his mother had given the puppy “to a woman from the Internet.” The Rottweiler has been returned to his owner and the couple have been charged with false reporting, two counts of conspiracy and for failing to make a reasonable effort to return lost property.
Most criminal defense lawyers in South Carolina are aware that South Carolina has a specific dog stealing crime statute, which states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to steal a dog in which any other person has a right of property.” see Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 section 16-13-60. Dog stealing is a common crime, and is a problem in the Myrtle Beach area.
A pet owner may also take action to recover damages from the finder of a lost pet through the traditional tort actions of conversion and trespass. A personal injury attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC would file a civil action in Conway, SC seeking monetary damages. In order to prove trespass in a civil action, a personal injury attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC would allege that there was an intent to cause unlawful or unauthorized entry on land of another. To prove the intentional tort of conversion, a myrtle beach personal injury lawyer must prove purposeful or knowing dominion or control over another person’s property.
The original owner of a lost dog may wish to recover actual possession of the dog in addition to monetary damages if it is still alive. Generally, in South Carolina you need to be able to prove ownership of the lost dog and the wrongful detention by another person. This is called a replevin action, which was a common law remedy created to restore possession of property to the party who is entitled to have possession of it.