Return of Dogs from Private Trainer

UPDATED: May 20, 2009

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Return of Dogs from Private Trainer

We allowed a lady to take our dogs to train them for 4 weeks. We paid her $460.00 so far and she has had them for almost 2 months. She will not bring our dogs home. She keeps putting us off. Is there any legal action we can take to get our dogs back? We are not concerned about getting our money back. I have all the emails of her promising to bring them home and stating that she is not charging us for the extra time they have been with her. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Business Law, North Carolina


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

It's probably best to send her a certified letter, return receipt requested, giving her a short deadline, and email her the text of the letter as well.  Most judges will look at email as evidence, although there are still a few old-fashioned ones out there.

The dogs are your property, period.  When somebody else has possession of your property, with your permission, that is called a "bailment."  That other person has an legal duty to return your property to you, especially when the bailment provides some benefit to them (the money you paid for training), that has very few exceptions.

If you don't get your dogs back by the deadline, see an attorney.  One place to find a lawyer to help you bring this woman down is our website,

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