In the Doghouse: What Happens to Your Dog If You Get Arrested?

Photo of an arrest taking placeImagine this, you get pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The police take you into custody, where you stay for the rest of the day, and overnight. What happens to your four-legged friend that was left in the car? What happens to your dog if you get arrested?

There is an unknown number of cases involving dogs and other pets being left behind in cars or in homes, alone and without food or water for long periods of time, a week even. Our pets are voiceless victims being forced to starve due to a lack of policy.

Most local governments and law enforcement have no written policy regarding what should be done to prevent the unnecessary torture of our pets. Many local officers will admit that if the pet owner is cooperative during the arrest, they will often ask if someone could be called to collect the lonely pet.

Officers say that it is the pet owner’s responsibility to take care of the dog, even during incarceration. They are adamant that informing an officer of the dilemma should solve the issue, but there needs to be more than that; there needs to be a uniform policy.

What About Dog Shelters?

Dog shelters say that the best scenario is one where the police allow for the arrestee to call the shelter and arrange to have his or her dog picked up. Many shelters will allow the dog to be boarded for a daily fee, but the fee is often expensive.

Many counties mandate that a dog that is not signed over to the city or picked up by a friend or family member will be held in a municipal shelter for an allotted period of time, sometimes as few as 5 days, before the dog is put up for adoption.

Unfortunately, adoption does not always work out, especially with older dogs. If a dog is not adopted, then he may be euthanized, same as any other dog in the shelter.

The Lewisville criminal defense attorneys at Julian, Crowder & Shuster are here to help. Call or fill out an online form to have your case reviewed for free.  



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