Skip to main content

My roommate disappeared. left his stuff and his dog in his room.

Los Angeles, CA |

I have a problem roommate. last week I started an eviction process by posting a 30 day eviction notice.
he is missing for 72 hours now. I entered his room to take care his dog several times while he was missing.
I work long hours, I can't take care a dog. And I won't be at home for 3 days next week. There's nobody else to take care the poor dog.
can I take his dog to a shelter? or give her to somebody else permenently?

Thank you for the answers. today I found out he was arrested for something related to drugs. and it's not his first time. I guess he won't come back anytime soon. I talked to one of his friends today, he said he can take his stuff and keep them in his garage. he was staying at my place with a verbal rental agreement. do I get in trouble if I give his stuff to his friend and change the locks? I'll make a list of his everything and make his friend sign it and take it away. I just want to save $395 court fees.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


Yes, you can treat his possessions (including the dog, which is according to law just a possession of personal property) as "abandoned" if you've acted reasonably to give this roommate/tenant notice of a deadline by which you're going to get rid of their property.

Think of what would happen if the roommate came back and found you had gotten rid of their dog and other stuff --how would you defend it? You'd show the court a copy of a letter sent by a provable means of delivery - FedEx, registered rPost email, certified US mail) to all their known addresses, families' address, etc., warning them of your deadline, and their lack of response. That way, they couldn't claim you didn't try to reach them and give them a chance to respond before you disposed of their property.

Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.


I agree with my colleague. You can contact animal control and tell them your roommate has abandoned his dog. They may be able to help.

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

Pamela Koslyn

Pamela Koslyn


Yes, just because the law doesn't treat dogs as anything more than "property" doesn't mean you shouldn't recognize that an animal companion is much more than property.

Landlord-tenant topics

Recommended articles about Landlord-tenant

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer