Cat rescue center wants to sue a couple for $1000 for breach of contract

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.


2 thoughts on “Cat rescue center wants to sue a couple for $1000 for breach of contract”

  1. Despite what some people think they should read the adoption or purchase agreement. This has been common for a very long time but has seldom been enforced. It’s also been impossible to uphold as many rescues fail to have a lawyer familiar with laws in their state prepare the document. Most rescues don’t have the funds to enforce the contract.

  2. It will also help to stop people from adopting any animal from any shelter once they learn that that animal can’t be and isn’t really theirs. I wonder if this applies to all those TNR cats that they microchip, that if found splattered on the road and identified, if the TNR caretaker can be sued for animal-neglect and animal-endangerment. I bet it could and would. Well, there goes even more people unwilling to TNR cats too if they learn that. You’re tightening the noose on pet-ownership so tight that the number of homes wanting or willing to take on the responsibility will dwindle to none. Then what happens to all those unwanted animals? Are you going to house and feed them all?

    I bet the news of this spreads fast and that shelter will be unable to adopt-out any of their animals soon. Then they close their doors for lack of funds and have to have all their present animals euthanized.


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