You will have a hard time retrieving your dog. You will also likely find legal help only if you are willing to pay a couple hundred bucks an hour to an attorney.
This is a losing battle. I am sorry to tell you that.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
Does she have a chip to identify her? If so call the police in area or vets where she might be living. For some of us our pets are our children and it can be devastating to lose them.
My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced 39+ yrs. I can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practicein Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. I give only appointments over the phone., these services do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ and I would appreciate it if you feel like marking my answers helpful or best. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are court documents , less expensive.
First, your relative should be ashamed.
Getting a lawyer involved in this figures to be financially unreasonably burdensome unless you are wealthy. I suggest that you gather up whatever evidence you have that this dog is yours, photographs, documents, or anything else, identify the person who has possession of the dog and prove to that person the dog is yours. Hopefully, the person will be both convinced of your veracity and sympathetic and will, therefore, voluntarily return the dog to you.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
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