How long can you leave a dog alone legally?

Dogs in this scenario only have to stay with you for 1 night. They are not guilty of criminal negligence just for being here.

However, for animals that spend lots of time with people or for dogs that are socialized well (especially in captivity), this is quite a stringent time frame. If an owner was worried about breaking this law, he can still bring the dog into a shelter.

Can I take a dog outside? Can I get a dog to come back home to me?

Absolutely not. You would be breaking this law. In the case of a dog that has had a long time to acclimate by someone else, this may even be illegal. In some cases, the animal could be dangerous and would want to come back.

However, in the case of a dog that has been socialized well and gets along fine with its human, it is perfectly legal and even encouraged. It is a good idea to get more experience with this behavior and learn a bit more about the dog you want to adopt as well as the animal that could potentially become a good pet for you. This can be done by looking at websites such as, and

Can I adopt a dog from a shelter?

Yes, but only if you have received permission from the staff. This is because it is not unusual to have dogs put up for adoption from shelters just hours or days before they are found at a shelter. The animal may not know that it is going to be taken right away. Often, these animals come with all their health issues already in hand and may not understand that a home was actually going to be set up for them.

If you have already adopted a dog from a shelter, and it is no longer available from that shelter, then that is one thing, but it doesn’t make sense to keep waiting and take the dog back for adoption.

Can I get rid of my pet?

No. This has absolutely no legal basis. A dog can not be given up for adoption. It would give that dog a legal license to do so.

If you do wish to sell your pet, you must bring documentation to prove that it is yours. If not, it could be considered fraud and you could face fines.

If you do have to leave your animal and are unable to find somewhere else to place it then you’ll want to take pictures to