Problem with Tierheim in Bayern

9 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

 

I have a problem and I am unsure what to do about it. I think I may need an attorney. Maybe some of you can offer some advice.

 

About a year ago, my spouse and I adopted a dog from a Tierhilfe organization in Bavaria. We had actually volunteered for the organiyation before and were contacted as an emergency foster home for the dog, which was coming from Romania, for the weekend. We fell in love with him and adopted him.

 

We have decided to move back to the US next year and the person who owns the Tierhilfe organization told us there is no way she will allow us to move the dog anywhere, because the dog belongs to her. I don’t understand this. We paid to adopt the dog, we are responsible for everything related to him. He is our dog. He came directly to us from the Romanian rescuer and the people from the organization saw him no more than 15 minutes over a year ago. There was something in the contract about the organization owning him but this was explained to us as them wanting to check up on the dogs once in awhile, in order to ensure the home was still a good one. There is nothing in the contract that states that a person cannot move and take the dog.

 

The woman who runs this organization is unbelievably mean to her volunteers, foster families and people who adopt dogs from them. She has no compassion whatsoever and we have witnessed it numerous times, even before she did this with us. She states that she only cares about the animals but what she very obviously cares most about is demonstrating her power and exercising it over others. We had already decided to find a new Tierheim to volunteer for, because of this woman, but we decided to do this emergency fostering in order to help out the woman bringing the dog from Romania. We didn’t expect to fall in love with him and want to keep him.

 

She is refusing to let us take the dog, stating that she will do “everything” to make sure the dog doesn’t leave with us, which, of course, means she plans on taking him from us.

 

We have done some research online and there is evidence that these sort of contracts are an intimidation tactic and aren’t legal. There are German cases we have seen where the judge has found that pets are property and, as soon as the money changed hands between us and the organization, that is considered a sale and previous owners cannot dictate what new owners do with their property. There are other cases where the contracts have held up in court.

 

We have done nothing wrong. Our dog is a member of our family and we just want to be able to move and have him go with us, just as any other member of the family would. If one adopts a child, they wouldn’t be forced to leave them behind, if they needed to move. The same would be true if one bought a car. I don’t see why it would be different for a pet.

 

Has anyone heard of something like this or had any experience with such a situation? I assume we need a lawyer but we have no idea what type of lawyer we would need.

 

Thanks so much for any help you can give.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there an online sample contract of the organisation you could link to, to check the contents of the contract? I've adopted a rescue dog too, from Spain and the organisation has first option of taking the dog back if I'm no longer in a position to keep the dog or if the dog is being kept in unsuitable conditions. I even need their permission to euthanise the dog should it become necessary.

 

Maybe taking your dog out of the country means the organisation no longer has control of what happens to the dog. But if it's not stipulated in the contract what can they possibly do about it?

 

Legal advice for dog owners: Anwälte Hunderecht

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There isn't an online sample that I am aware of but, when I am home from work, I will look for our contract. Yours sounds very much like ours.

 

We have considered just taking him, knowing they can't do anything to us, but the problem is that my father-in-law is also on the contract and he will not be moving to the US with us. There is a 500 Euro fee for violating the contract, which we would happily pay, but it also reads that one would have to give back the dog, as well. We don't want him to get prosecuted (theft?) and we also don't want to find we have 'dognapping' charges against us when we come back to Germany to visit.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to your statement you are a very responsible dog owner and consider your dog to be part of your family. I have had dealings with several people who are similar to the woman in your description and they all seemed to let power go to their heads. Yes, she is in a powerful position and probably lays the laws down for her organisation but she should be thankful that one of her charges has found a good home. That is what her job is about, finding good homes for homeless animals.

 

Apart from acting upon the advice already given, have you thought about contacting the local press and telling them your story? People like the woman concerned absolutely hate publictity like this. As American citizens will your Embassy be able to give you some advice about what to do in this case?

 

Please let us know how things turn out.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Expat-Dog, since the information that you are sending in private can be useful for other members please share it on the forum. That's how Toytown Germany works.

Thank you

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I have just read your story and spoke with someone who is well versed with these issues...

First of all: Relax, they or this obvioously sick person don't have the law on their side.

Their right is limited to taking back the dog, if its physical or mental well-being is endangered. You were good enough for this org to look after their animals and you were good enough for them to adopt this dog. Thus, they can't claim that you are harming the dog. This Vertrag is 'Sittenwidrig'. Don't get into any correspondence or other means of communication with those people, and save all previous correspondence, just in case. If they stalk you or come to your house, call the police. I hope you have paid 'Hundesteuer' for the dog, as this too is proof of your legal ownership. Also, if not done yet, register him with Tasso.net . Ask your vet for a list of all bills that you have paid in the past and then just relax. There is nothing they can do to you and of course if they hassle your father in law, then he should get the police onto them.

Best wishes,

Expat-Dog

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that most contracts for rescue dogs are similar. So in the meantime I've had another look at my contract. It stipulates all sorts of things, all mainly for the good of the animal, which considering all the hassle, effort and expenditure these animal rescue organsations have to overcome to rescue these animals, I can fully understand. They are only ensuring that the dogs they have rescued are not to be resold to dubious people, are used as breeding machines, or maybe end up in labs or whatever. This is why in these contracts they stipulate that they have the right to check on the welfare of the dog anytime. But that hardly happens unless someone reports you. Noone has come round to my place to check up on my dog yet and I've had him 5 years now.

 

My contract doesn't say I can't move abroad with the dog, or that they can take the dog away from me if I do, only that I am to report to them that I'm moving. So, if your contract stipulates the same I hardly think that they have a leg to stand on if you choose to move abroad with your dog, which you can prove has been well treated in your care as Expat-Dog has already advised in his post:

 

 

Hello,

I hope you have paid 'Hundesteuer' for the dog, as this too is proof of your legal ownership. Also, if not done yet, register him with Tasso.net . Ask your vet for a list of all bills that you have paid in the past and then just relax. There is nothing they can do to you and of course if they hassle your father in law, then he should get the police onto them.

 

The only thing I can think of why they are acting up is because once you've moved abroad they can't check up on the welfare of the dog should they so wish. But there's nothing stopping them from transferring this option to a dog rescue organisation in America, is there, which you could propose to them to keep the peace.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take your dog, and head back to the US. Don't bother contacting the Rescue person again as they are clueless, and not going to budge

so Fuck'em. Do what you want. Once you are out of Germany, this person can't do shit to you anyway.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now