Many rescue organisations have a clause in the adoption contract which states that the adopter(s) must bring the animal back if they want to get rid of him/her.
This is sensible as it helps to protect the lives of these animals. It prevents rescue animal adopters being careless with the welfare of the animal that they adopt and it keeps a lien (a hold) on the animal by the rescue centre allowing them to control to a certain extent the welfare of the animal in which they have invested time and care.
Rescue centers microchip the animals that they adopt out. A Huntington, Long Island, rescue centre called Little Shelter discovered that a couple of their cats adopted from their shelter four years earlier had been relinquished to a kill shelter in Tennessee (about 1000 miles away). As expected the Tennessee shelter scanned the microchips and learned that the two cats, Chester and Lucy, were registered with Little Shelter as a secondary owner.
The people who adopted these two cats had disposed of them at a shelter where they could well have been killed. They had, on the face of it, treated them as disposable objects.
Importantly, they were in breach of contract. They appear to have excused themselves from complying with the contract by saying that they were too far away to contact Little Shelter; a poor excuse which does not hold water.
As a consequence, Little Shelter are seeking to enforce the contract against the couple. They are seeking legal advice with the intention of imposing the $1000 penalty for a breach of contract of this type. In other words, failing to contact Little Shelter when they didn’t want to keep their pets any more.
Comment: I like this contract. It is exactly the way a contract should be written. These contracts should be enforced. They will help to stop people becoming careless with their pets and, as is clear in this instance, save their lives.