Feb 11, 2019

Are pets considered property?

I provide my kitty food, water, a clean litter box, heat, security, love, and cat toys. If anything would happen to my beloved kitty, I would be truly upset. My cat is family.

But the law has a different view about pets, and that is determined by what state, county, and city where the owner’s residence is located at.

I recently read about an incident involving a rescue group who was contacted about a missing cat that escaped from their foster home over a year ago. The information on the chip stated the cat belonged to the rescue, and a veterinarian’s employee contacted them. But, the veterinarian believed the animal was property to the person who paid the bill and refused to provide the rescue with any information about the founder and the animal. The rescue wanted the founder to fill out adoption papers to update the chip’s information.

From my understanding, the microchip’s purpose is to reunite the pet with its rightful owner.

This incident has me worried about my kitty who has a microchip implant. If my kitty somehow escaped from my house and got lost. A veterinarian can decide a person who found my kitty, provide better care than with me?

Those it is unlikely that would happen.

Most veterinarians have procedures for found pets. (If you’re unsure if a veterinarian has such a protocol just ask.)

An animal is found with a microchip, the owner must have time to decide whether they want the animal or relinquish ownership.

The incident with the veterinarian has me concerned about the laws and the procedures to reunite owners with their pets. I hope this is a onetime incident and not an everyday occurrence in the veterinarian world.

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