I would have given the dog back willingly if it wasn't for the fact, everytime I considered giving it back they did somewhat that made me trust them even less. The fact they lived 5 houses down from me and didn't ever ask anybody around if they had seen a dog. The fact they put no posters up at all around the neighborhood. The fact that we got the dog registered at the pound as a found dog and they didn't go there and check to see if there dog was put there. When they did find out we had the dog the husband came to my house and lied straight to my moms face saying he saw her with the dog and called out to her. If he did see her with the dog why didn't he just come to our house and ask for the dog. Then one of the daughters like 18 19 years old started cussing and threatening my mom forcing us to call the police so it didn't get any worse. Then the dog escapes out of the garage that my sister stupidly left open and we go looking for the dog like 5 mins after the fact and spend the next 30 min driving around the neighborhood until we find out they took the dog and brought it in there house. Then when we asked for the dog back they essentially gave it back with no fight, expect for the daughters crying. They may have been afraid of the legal aspect, but if it was my dog I wouldn't ever give it up. Add all this and it makes it hard for me to feel like they care enough about there dog to take care of it. That is why I'm so reluctant to give the dog back, as I have grown attached and want the dog in good hands.
Remove all selfish feelings from this. If you genuinely think they are uncaring owners, I would tell them you think they are unfit and that you want the dog. If they say they really really care for the dog, maybe give em another chance.
I know that I love my dog and she loves me back. I couldn't tell you without being there if the dog loves the other family a whole lot.
That's quite an interesting situation. Your issue is not a legal one, it's a moral one generated almost entirely by emotions....the attachment you've developed with the dog, the feeling that the dog was not being adequately cared for before you found it, and the crying children who want their dog back. It may be a good idea to talk to the folks and at the very least find out whether they really feel that they did all that they could reasonably do to find their missing dog. You might be surprised by the answer. My decision would hinge on whether or not I felt the dog was being adequately cared for prior to getting lost. If it had then I would return it and maybe go rescue a pound dog. If it wasn't being cared for or if the people just decided that maybe they couldn't afford to keep the dog anyway once it had disappeared then I'd likely keep it to the benefit of all parties except the crying kids (who probably didn't do a damned ting to take care of the dog anyway).
If I had a dog(pet) return after even 20 years of being missing...it'd still be my dog as far as I'd be concerned. I'd say, "Thanks for taking such good care of my dog." Then I'd take my dog home.
Exactly. I think that Cap hit the nail on the head. You have to approach this from a neutral standpoint, just as civil said it's an issue of morals.
My personal recommendation is very much in line with Civil's answer: if you feel that the animal is in danger, or that in the custody of the other family it would be abused or otherwise treated inhumanely (that includes not being fed properly), then you are well within your right to keep the dog. But otherwise, it's probably a good idea to give it back, not just for 'the kids', but because it's just the right thing to do.
Well here's the problem. If you suspect the dog is being abused, you have to go through the process of notifying a local animal control agency, and then mention that you are willing to take the dog in for your own. In the U.S., there's no such thing as self-help. You have to go through legal and bureaucratic processes to legally transfer property be it exchange of cash through a verbal/written contract, or through some sort of legal proceeding as a result of a settlement. In any case, do it right, and you will have the dog without any complication. You may also wish to draft up an affidavit saying that they are giving you this dog, otherwise it can be considered a theft crime, regardless of any hearsay.