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  1. #1

    Default Rules Governing a 501(C)(3) Dog Rescue

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Pennsylvania
    Does anyone know if this type of organization has any compliance rules regarding the way they do business? We contacted a dog rescue because we saw our dog advertised as an adoptable dog on the lab rescue site and asked the rescue if we could see the dog telling them we thought the dog was our dog and they refused to let us see it. We told the rescue that a state police investigator thought it was our dog. An attorney then sent them a letter asking them to let us see the dog and they then responded that the dog was being kept by a friend of the surrendering owner and that the surrendering owner removed the dog from their adoption process when we inquired.) Do these organizations have to comply with someone requesting to see a dog they have posted for adoption that may belong to another person? Would there be any course of action that could be taken to get the lab rescue to comply?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rules Governing a 501(C) (3) Dog Rescue

    501(C)(3) refers to the federal tax exempt status of the organization, in that its primary mission is not profit. This has nothing to do with regulatory state laws regarding the operation of dog rescues.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rules Governing a 501(C)(3) Dog Rescue

    501(C)(3) means nothing other than to the IRS.

    A dog rescue organization is not obliged to do anything for you. There are special PA laws for dog rescues that deal with more than a 26 dogs a year, but primarily it involves getting a kennel license and making sure the dogs are mistreated.
    If you believed the dog was your stolen dog, you should have had the police (or alternatively the dog warden which is given great lattitude to search and make inquiries of these folks).

    Was your dog chipped?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rules Governing a 501(C)(3) Dog Rescue

    I doubt that the rescue is a 501(C)(3) organization. The vast majority are not. But that's a tax issue, not a matter of whether or not they have to let you see a particular dog.

    If you believe that they or the third party has your dog, as your lawyer has probably advised, you can sue them. The nature of the lawsuit and claims you would bring would be something to discuss with your lawyer - it is generally a bit more cumbersome, and thus more costly, to sue to recover personal property (which is how the law sees a pet) than it is to recover money damages.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Rules Governing a 501(C)(3) Dog Rescue

    The rescue is a 501 (c) (3) per their website. I thought there might be rules that apply other then tax related. Our dog was microchipped. We will have to subpoena and that will be expensive, but we have no other choice.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rules Governing a 501(C)(3) Dog Rescue

    501(c)(3) means nothing other than to the IRS.

    Call the local dog/animal warden where they are. These guys have leverage over them. The warden should be able to get you the name of the person who has the dog.
    Frankly, any rescue facility that operates above radar (i.e., has more than 26 dogs a year), should have tested the dog for chips as a matter of course, so that is a violation right there.

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