An arrest affects an individual’s life in more ways than one may realize. Common concerns associated with being arrested include: how to pay bills in while in jail, how to care for apartments or houses, and what happens to pets while incarcerated. The third issue can be especially challenging, as many police departments do not have specific protocol in place for dealing with animals of incarcerated people. If you are arrested with your pet present and placed in jail, here is what you can expect to happen to your pet.
What happens when your pet is present during an arrest?
If a person is pulled over and arrested for any reason (i.e. for driving while intoxicated), and his or her dog is also in the car, this situation becomes a complicated problem. The police officer who pulled the person over, has ultimate discretionary power to decide what the best option is. Most departments do not have specific policies set in place for dealing with this type of situation. There are two key factors that will likely influence the arresting officer’s decision.
Taking care of pets during arrest period
An arrest can be a confusing process. Several individuals find it challenging to understand what is happening and consider this time to be a stressful and surreal blur. Despite all of the confusion that is associated with being processed and incarcerated, seeking accommodations for ones pet is an important issue to keep track of.
Most officers prefer to be informed of the situation as early as possible so that the issue can be safely addressed. If notified early enough, police officers can sign over the pet to a custodian of the arrestee’s choosing or the department may request that the arrestee sign the pet over to officials until the animal’s care can be determined. In the event that the pet is signed over to official, the animal may be temporarily boarded at a local shelter.
Returning home after an arrest
Returning home, even from temporary incarceration, can lead to several consequences. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for an individual to return home upon making bail to discover that their pet is missing. The local government may attempt to intervene and ensure that animals are fed and cared for, however, making sure that this happens is usually complicated and confusing. Without properly addressing the situation, the animal can go hungry, be hurt, or simply wander off. If the police handle the situation without an individual’s cooperation, the dog will likely be held in a municipal shelter where he or she will eventually be eligible for adoption if the owner fails to intervene.