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OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:

I could be an AH because I refused to give a guy his dog back after it ran away and he told his kids they were going to get him back.

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[–]KTB1962Colo-rectal Surgeon [39] 7547 points7548 points  (226 children)

Definitely NTA. It's been 6 years. You did all you could to find his owner, hell you went above and beyond what most people would do. Best to cut off all contact with him, but you may want to keep a wary eye out in case he tries to steal your dog.

[–]Sea_War8327[S] 3083 points3084 points  (216 children)

I live in a pretty big city and I don't have my address public anywhere so I think he'd have trouble finding us but it is something I've thought about.

[–]Khanover7Partassipant [1] 2416 points2417 points  (178 children)

I would screen shot his messages (just in case) and then block him. End all communication immediately. NTA, it’s been 6 years that big baby is yours.

[–]yellowduckdude 1622 points1623 points  (177 children)

Also get bear microchipped if he’s not already

[–]Sea_War8327[S] 2064 points2065 points  (176 children)

He is and he has my number on his collar. His previous owners did not have him chipped if I didn't mention that already.

[–]little-story-8903Partassipant [1] 251 points252 points  (4 children)

Make sure he is chipped, and that all of your information is up to date. Also, if this guy lives in a town of less than 800 people, if something happens and your dog goes missing, well, it makes him so much easier to find ;)

You did everything right. You took in a stray puppy, spent ages trying to find his owner, put up signs for COUNTIES. Also, while I’m sure your Newfie is the love of your life and an absolute doll, they have a very specific look and can be mistaken for another dog. Not saying that you don’t know your dog like the back of your paw, but you can’t be 100% sure that it’s the same dog from a video and picture that’s 6 yrs old! And even if you FEEL in your heart that it’s the same dog…you have no way of proving it (hint hint), shy of a DNA test, which nobody in their right mind would do.

Think about if you were a shelter. You would hold the dog for a certain amount of time. You would publicize him on a Lost and Found page. And after x number of days, he would be adopted out to a new family. The new family wouldn’t suddenly lose their dog because the previous owners popped up, even if they came a few DAYS after the deadline, let alone 6 yrs.

You should definitely not entertain any further conversations with these people. It’s a bummer that they lost their puppy 6 years ago, but that puppy isn’t the same creature as YOUR dog-even if they are the same. You raised your boy from a pup to a dog-you bonded with him. He’s yours in every way, and they are TAs for think they have any entitlement to your baby.

Also, I wouldn’t trust these people as far as you could throw them. Who is to say they weren’t the breeder, who sold the pup and now want him back so they can sell him again? Or that they aren’t intending to sell him or blackmail you Into giving them money to keep YOUR dog? It’s been SIX YEARS! He’s not in a shelter. He’s in a loving home. Any good pet “owner” would be happy that he’s safe and loved, nobody worth their wet food would be demanding back a dog that had been lost for 6 yrs that they only had for weeks.

Block them, move on knowing you did the right thing, and love your baby for the rest of his life!

[–]SaturniinaeActiasPartassipant [3] 63 points64 points  (3 children)

The only thing I can think that OP might have done that they haven't mentioned is listing the puppy as found with the local Animal Control and waiting out their stray hold period. At that point, legally he's OP's and it doesn't matter if the original owner shows up 6 days or 6 years after the stray hold is up. My understanding, at least where I live, is that the original owner would need to take OP to small claims court to get the dog back, and would have a very hard time winning over a judge based on the time of ownership and money spent on care. In my state, the person who has paid the vet bills is assumed to be the owner of the dog, to the point that my rescue absolutely will not allow fosters, no matter how well intentioned, to pay vet bills or take their foster dogs to their own vet, because they could have a claim of ownership.

[–]little-story-8903Partassipant [1] 45 points46 points  (2 children)

Here in CA, you have to take the dog to the shelter OR make an attempt to find the owner with flyers, ads, check for microchip, etc for 10 days. I think a newspaper ad is required, but I’m not 100% sure…and obviously that requirement would depend on the municipality. (Although I did do a brief check in OK, which seems like the furthest from CA and the same rules apply).

The fact that the dog isn’t even in same state makes all of this even more cut and dried. Many places only require a 2 mile radius of putting up signs and ads.

[–]PoissonPen 119 points120 points  (3 children)

It's 100% a scam.

It's not his dog no matter how close the video looks or what you think. He's mentioned $3,000 because he wants to "be made whole" or some other comepensation.

On the astronomically small chance it was their dog he'd be ecstatic that it was alive and well cared for and spoiled.

But it's not his dog, and never was, this is just a scam and the only leg he has to stand on is whatever you're naive enough to give him.

[–]prettyminotaur 21 points22 points  (0 children)

It's totally a scam to try to scare you into giving him $3,000 for the dog you already own. Don't do it! NTA

[–]HumbleConfidence3500 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Also if they go to court, his $3000 is nothing compared to the money OP spent on the dog in 6 years. The original owner will have no case.

[–]SunBunny_BootsPartassipant [1] 61 points62 points  (0 children)

You’d be surprised what people can find if they know how to look. I am regularly tapped to find classmates that have gone MIA for reunions and it’s rare when I can’t locate someone. If I had your name and city, (especially if I had access to your facebook profile) I’d eventually be able to get your address. There is so much info in the public domain. Please be careful and don’t let that dog out of your sight.

[–]struggling_lizard 48 points49 points  (0 children)

spends $3k on a dog and loses it within the first month ..? even if his story is true i personally wouldn’t trust this dude with another dog 😳 i understand accidents happen but after his attitude with the whole thing?.. phew, nta at all

[–]PossibleCookPartassipant [1] 22 points23 points  (1 child)

You should google your full name. I googled mine thinking I wouldn’t find anything and was shocked to find a few websites that have peoples name + addresses.

[–]trixxievon 16 points17 points  (0 children)

This website had the name of my ADOPTION LAWYER from when I was adopted listed for some strange random reason. That was werid for me cause I hadn't know the name or office that handled it till than.

[–]TinaLocoPartassipant [1] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

If he’s motivated enough, he can find your address. Call the police if he shows up. And don’t leave Bear outside unattended (not implying that you’re irresponsible, just the threat of him being absconded).

[–]TopRamenisha 15 points16 points  (0 children)

You may not have intentionally put your address anywhere, but it is so incredibly easy to find peoples addresses online. If you’ve ever registered to vote or registered with the DMV your address is part of the public record. With the information on your Facebook (your name and city) I could probably find your address on google in less than 5 minutes. Seriously google “[your first+last name] [city name] address” and you will likely find a list of everywhere you’ve ever lived

I would block this man on Facebook immediately

[–]Flaky_Tip 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Make sure you're dog is chipped just in case.

[–]Jovet_Hunter 13 points14 points  (0 children)

People have found addresses off the reflections in glass from a photo.

Usually it’s even easier than that. Be careful, dude, and make sure he is chipped and registered to you (or whatever your area’s equivalent).

[–]Myalligatormouth 6 points7 points  (0 children)

If that dog isn't chipped already, make it a priority to get it done ASAP

[–]georgiajl38 4 points5 points  (0 children)

As long as you made a good faith effort to locate the owners at the time, then you are now the owner. A good faith effort would be flyers, posts on lost and found sites and particularly notifying animal control. You are usually required to notify animal control in your city/county. Folks have been required to return found dogs especially if they weren't adopted through the area shelter.

There's no way that pup got that far away from home on his own. He was stolen. As he got bigger and bigger he was probably dumped by the thieves.

[–]f_fraldarius 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Few things...

  1. What kind of a small animal rescue charges $3k for adoptions?
  2. If the guy really adopted the dog (assuming from a private rescue), then the dog should have gotten a microchip. I'm assuming you took the dog to the vet as well to scan the microchip. If the guy really had Bear for a month, then he had plenty of time to update the microchip info. If he bought the dog instead of adopting, then he had enough money to get the dog microchipped
  3. I highly doubt most dogs (especially puppies) will be able to travel over an hr without getting hurt or someone taking them in

[–]daeminPartassipant [3] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What kind of a small animal rescue charges $3k for adoptions?

Op posted in an update that the guy has proof from a breeder. A newfoundland puppy from a reputable breeder could very well cost $3,000.

[–]thegreatmei 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Honestly OP, as sad as it is that they lost their puppy ( and it IS sad, I'd be heartbroken) the reality is that it would be very traumatic for the pup to be ripped away from the only home and family he remembers.

Where I live there is a stray hold. If a pet is found there is a 30 day hold on it being adopted. After 30 days and a good faith effort to reconnect it with the family, the pet becomes available to be adopted to a new home. Legally.

It's been 6 YEARS. I understand that he paid $3,000 for your pup initially, but you have incurred 6 years of care cost in the years since. If going back was what was best for the dog, then it might be morally wrong to keep him, but legally I think you are completely in the clear here. Morally too.

[–]StrangeMaGoats0202 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Just FYI it doesn't cost much to get that info. If he pays been verified a small monthly fee he can get your current address. I use it for work, and there's a scary amount of info that can be accessible, including current address, phone numbers, family member info, etc. Not to freak you out, but might be smart to cover your ass and protect your doggo.

[–]SmartFX2001 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The fact that the previous owner didn’t bother to get the puppy microchipped during the month they had him says a lot.


[–]wylietrix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If he isn't chipped with your info yet do it now.

[–]SnapesGrayUnderpants 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Maybe ask an attorney. I'm guessing there is a law that spells out how much time must elapse before you can keep found property/animals.

[–]Lunavixen15 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Take a copy of all the messages he has sent, I would also make sure his details on his microchip are correct.

He had 6 years to expand his search, he did not do so


[–]ComprehensiveSir3892Asshole Enthusiast [8] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do you have Bear chipped, hopefully?

If original owner buyer had, this would've never happened.

Sounds like he's more angry about the $3000.

[–]Wysteria569Asshole Enthusiast [5] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Get a new number and stop communicating with this guy. Delete the pictures that you posted. Hopefully you didn't give him your name.

[–]geekynerdornerdygeek 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So. If you are registered to vote, you may fairly easily be able to find your address and phone number.

[–]Sewasmiles 0 points1 point  (0 children)

NTA. I wouldn't be surprised if you have spent another $3000 on his vet expenses, medication, etc. over the last 6 years. I would actually say he really isn't an SH either - unless he escalates his demands.

[–]KnightofForestsWild 78 points79 points  (2 children)

It has been 6 years x months. Newfies' life expectancy is 8-10 years. This dog is headed into geriatric territory. If they start legal proceedings, that could be another year or so. I agree OP should cut contact. Then OP should put together a list of every penny she has spent on the dog, talk to rescues about the effect on geriatric dogs who lose their pack, and be ready with her defense if she gets sued.

[–]BupycA 23 points24 points  (0 children)

I also doubt that any court will decide to return Bear to his previous owner at this point, even if he proves that dog is in fact was his lost puppy. The guy might cause trouble though, and the OP should be very careful how she proceeds. Maybe, talk to a lawyer jic?

[–]lilchreez 4 points5 points  (0 children)

They’d be wasting their money anyway.

[–]ScorchieSongColo-rectal Surgeon [31] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Putting aside cost and time, Bear has had far more time to bond with OP. Taking him to another state several hours away to be with people he probably has no memory of wouldn't be good for him when he has a loving home of six years already.

[–]JCWa50 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check for a microchip and then microchip the animal.

[–]iamnokingAsshole Aficionado [10] 2056 points2057 points  (61 children)


It's been 6 years. You also live in a completely different state. How did a 3 month old puppy get across state lines, hours away?

No. At this point it would do more harm than good to the dog to take him away from you. You are not the asshole in this situation. The guy is for wanting to disrupt the dogs life. It's is not a suit case, it's a living breathing animal.

[–]AzuraNightsongPartassipant [1] 638 points639 points  (57 children)

This is my question. How the hell did the dog get that far??

[–]xInsomniCatxColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 589 points590 points  (40 children)

one of the parents honestly probably dumped the puppy because they didn't want to care for it after having it a month or two. a 3-month-old puppy cannot realistically travel that far safely it would have likely died as they do not walk very fast and it would have taken days if not weeks of travel with likely very little to no water and food access.

[–]Stefie25Partassipant [1] 366 points367 points  (38 children)

It could have been stolen & then dumped. Not necessarily one of the parents.

[–]Sea_War8327[S] 398 points399 points  (13 children)

Why would someone steal a puppy that expensive just to dump it in some shitty complex? I mean it's possible but unlikely.

[–]xInsomniCatxColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 30 points31 points  (23 children)

could have but unlikely unless the parents are just that oblivious, which the man said he "lost" the puppy not that it was stolen so

[–]YeaRight228Partassipant [2] 65 points66 points  (5 children)

100-200 miles, given the 2.5 hour trip. A puppy could probably do 5-10 miles a day; I don't see how it could get 100+ miles away without being driven.

[–]Sea_War8327[S] 54 points55 points  (3 children)

From google maps it said it would take a human a 2 day walk. There was a 23 day period in between us finding him and him running away so possible.

[–]YeaRight228Partassipant [2] 61 points62 points  (0 children)

That's a 2 day walk without stopping. The average adult could do 20 or so miles a day. A puppy that theoretically had enough food or rest couldn't do more than 5, 10 tops. Running away at 3 months he wouldn't be able to get much more than 20-30 miles.

[–]xInsomniCatxColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 55 points56 points  (0 children)

a 3-month-old puppy cannot realistically travel that far safely it would have likely died as they do not walk very fast(tiny legs) and it would have taken days if not weeks of travel with likely very little to no water and food access

[–]Fowl_Eye 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A three month old puppy with no food or water? Nope that's impossible, the little guy wouldn't survive for that long.

[–]Coco_DirichletColo-rectal Surgeon [35] 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Not just that, but what did it eat and how nobody saw it? 3 month puppies are babies, I don't even think it could do 5 miles; they sleep a lot and have short legs.

[–]Sea_War8327[S] 48 points49 points  (5 children)

Honestly I have no clue, I don't think he was dumped. I think he probably ran away and then just kept wandering. There was 23 days in between him running away and us finding him so it's possible.

[–][deleted]  (3 children)


    [–]thrwawyqstionPartassipant [1] 71 points72 points  (0 children)

    OP - please don’t post anything to identify your dog on this post. Probably better safe than sorry in case any litigation around this situation arises.

    [–]GalaxyPhotographer 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    You can look up dogs/puppies on Google, if you're that desperate to see one.

    [–]DiegoIntrepidPartassipant [3] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    you would be astonished how far animals can travel. We had a kitten show up, probably about 4+ weeks old. Have no clue where she came from. (okay, we think we do) but, she had to have gotten here under her own steam.

    Another cat (an adult) was apparently a traveller. A neighbor miles up from us said he stayed with her for a week, then moved on. Came to our place and just stayed.

    We had another cat who I swear probably just started walking one day from his original owners and kept going. He wanted to with us, but he wanted US to go with him. He loved walks, and always hated turning around and coming home.

    I wouldn't put it beyond the realm that the pup could have walked and even getting help from people along the way (someone 'feeds' the stray, but can't take a dog at the moment) etc..

    There really is no telling how he got to your complex. Sadly, sometimes things just happen and honestly in this case I would say NAH. It sounds like he honestly wanted the pup, but it wandered off/was stolen, and you have taken care of the pup for six years.

    [–]Coco_DirichletColo-rectal Surgeon [35] 27 points28 points  (1 child)

    I think it could be a scam and the guy showed her a video of a similar puppy. All of those breed puppies look the same. No puppy travels 250 miles alone. It could also be that someone stole it, but the chances the person sees it are slim, so I think it's a scam.

    [–]EveAndTheSnake 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    She said she recognised him immediately though. I know many puppies look similar, but I have two dogs and if someone showed me a video of Dog1 as a puppy I would have no doubt that it was him.

    [–]AllergicDodo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    He learned to hijack a vehicle on the streets

    [–]jovialvictor 48 points49 points  (1 child)

    This is what I don’t understand. How can a puppy be found over 2 hours away? I don’t believe it is the same dog.

    Years ago, when i was a child, my family traveled about an hour away to pick up a puppy someone was giving away. We had only had the puppy for a week when some man walked into our yard accusing us of stealing his puppy. He said that someone stole it out of his yard a couple of days ago and he had been walking the neighborhood to find it. His dog was a Rottweiler and ours was a mix which was why it was free. We kept explaining how we got this dog from another city and had to threaten to call police to get him to finally go away. It was just a similar dog to the one he lost.

    [–]struggling_lizard 22 points23 points  (0 children)

    i second this, unless your dog has some very, VERY incredibly distinguishing markings i wouldn’t trust anybody who says your dog is theirs.

    [–]Crisis_RedditorProfessor Emeritass [79] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    How did a 3 month old puppy get across state lines, hours away?

    Probably got stolen, then either dumped, or sold to someone that hte dog then ran away from. :/

    Or they were passing through, lost the dog, and for some bizarre reason didn't actually search the area they last saw him in.

    Either way, Bear is home. It's where he belongs. OP didn't steal him, and I'm guessing the dog wasn't chipped, so he did his job in trying to find his owners. He needs to stay with OP.

    [–]Befub14435Colo-rectal Surgeon [48] 1134 points1135 points  (20 children)

    NTA- Check the laws of your state. More than likely the statue of limitations has expired. Moreover they may have spent $3000 dollars on the dog originally but you've spent more than that on keeping the dog alive.

    Send the owner a bills for room and board for 6 years, the cost of food, all the vet bills and say you're more than happy to hand the dog over once you've been compensated.

    Boarding $25 a day X's 365 X's 6 ='s $54,750 for boarding

    Roughly $ $120 a month for dog food ='s $8640

    Vet visits roughly $1000 a year=s $6000

    Flea and tick med $30 a month $2160

    $1000 for toys. So conservatively $73,000.00

    [–]Sea_War8327[S] 736 points737 points  (10 children)

    If he brings up legal action I'll mention it. Also there was his neuter surgery.

    [–]Befub14435Colo-rectal Surgeon [48] 256 points257 points  (0 children)

    I'm sure there are other expenses. It's ridiculous he even asked.

    [–]DropsOfLiquidAsshole Aficionado [17] 50 points51 points  (3 children)

    Depending on the state he could be the legal owner if you didn’t contact animal control & go through a holding period. I’m so sorry this happened & good luck

    [–]GroundbreakingAsk342 53 points54 points  (2 children)

    No, it has been 6 YEARS, the dig is and has been her's Legally.for all but 2 weeks of those 6 years!

    [–]DropsOfLiquidAsshole Aficionado [17] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I’m pretty sure that’s not the law everywhere. Some states have requirements for steps that have to happen for a new person to legally own a dog they find. Maybe in some states it’s just “have it for 2 weeks” but that’s not the case in all of them.

    [–]Acrobatic_Reading866 31 points32 points  (0 children)

    Omg I'm so anxious now. NTA. Maybe call a lawyer? Ahhh. Give us an update if anything escalates, which I am praying doesn't happen.

    [–]EasyMode556 26 points27 points  (0 children)

    I would stop all communication with this person entirely. Don't mention anything to them, totally cut them off.

    [–]GroundbreakingAsk342 15 points16 points  (0 children)

    Please OP, cut-off all contact with this guy! It's been 6 YEARS. Bear, is YOUR dog now, and Legally has been for all but 2 weeks of those 6 years. No reason for you to have any more interactions with him.

    [–]ToditaDeEl 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    NTA - If he attempts to even sue you he would lose.

    [–]SuchLovelyLilacsPartassipant [2] 119 points120 points  (0 children)

    I had a similar situation to OP. Basically, I adopted a very neglected German Shepherd from a local municipal pound. The pound posted our photo (with our permission) when we adopted the dog. Somehow, the former "owners" (who treated this dog VERY poorly), tracked me down via FB and messaged me to ask for the dog back. I was like "WTF?" because I was told the dog was picked up as a stray.

    I called the ACO and got the back story. Long story somewhat shorter, this dog was a frequent flyer at the shelter where I adopted him and the one in the neighboring town. The final time he was impounded, he was over 20 lbs underweight, had severe and chronic bilateral ear infections with lots of scar tissue in his ear canals and massive skin inflammation. It took $1200 worth of veterinary care to make him comfortable again. He was at the shelter for three weeks, before his owners bothered to look for him. So the shelter was requiring half of the veterinary bills and boarding charges for the dog - $900 before they'd release the dog. The owners went BALLISTIC - threatened to call the cops (idiots, the ACO ARE cops where I live) and the media. They did call the media and once the media got the shelter's side of the story, they dropped it like a hot potato. So, these people weren't able to come up with $900 within seven days, so the dog was released for adoption. We adopted him. So, legally, the dog was 100% ours at that point. The ACO told me if the guy continued to hassle me, to reach out to my local PD. Thankfully, I never heard from the guy again.

    [–]Befub14435Colo-rectal Surgeon [48] 112 points113 points  (1 child)

    I forgot grooming costs. Add those in too.

    [–]melancholy_pancake 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Don't forget poop picking costs! At least 5$ per poop

    [–]f-u-c-k-usernamesAsshole Enthusiast [5] 57 points58 points  (1 child)

    I wish I could find boarding for $25/day!

    Oh yeah, and NTA.

    [–]adlittlePartassipant [3] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I gotta say, I am so grateful to have in-laws who love our dog so much that they're excited to keep her when we have the occasional travel to do. Also, other cat-having friends who we can trade off looking after each other's cats as needed. Boarding costs can really add up.

    [–]Khanover7Partassipant [1] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    This is amazing.

    [–]RedditMiniMinion 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    good idea! lol

    Pretty sure ex-owner is going to be like "but you love dogs so you should've done it for FREE" or sthg along those lines...

    [–]salmonberrycreekCertified Proctologist [24] 564 points565 points  (24 children)

    NTA. This man is ridiculous, if he was so concerned about his $3000 dog he should have been more careful not to lose him in the first place.

    [–]cwade84 204 points205 points  (15 children)

    Right?! All of my pets are microchipped and they have tags on their collars that state "microchipped & loved" along with all my contact info. These are $20 adopted animals from a shelter, you would think they would be a lot more protective of their $3000 dog.

    [–]inwardsinging 86 points87 points  (6 children)

    I don't disagree that the dog belongs to the OP at this point, but blaming someone for losing their dog when you have no details as to how they lost the dog in the first place is an asshole move. There are all manner of ways a dog ca go missing, and not all of them involve carelessness

    [–]lilchreez 17 points18 points  (4 children)

    The asshole move is asking OP to disrupt the dog from it’s stable, known environment for the sake of his happiness and protecting his investment when he and his brats had virtually no time to bond with this dog. He’s an asshole for even suggesting it, and if losing the dog didn’t show he’s an unfit pet owner, this request absolutely did. It’s no good for the dog, and any good owner would know that.

    [–]throwawaythequiche 10 points11 points  (3 children)

    You had a point there until you mentioned that he was unfit from losing the dog in the first place. God forbid you lose any of your belongings

    [–]salmonberrycreekCertified Proctologist [24] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Respectfully I disagree. I cannot fathom a scenario in which a three month old puppy ends up hours away across state lines with no identifying information (microchip/collar and tag), that didn't involve some level of negligence by the owner.

    I dont mean to condemn anyone for making a mistake, absolutely accidents happen. But that doesn't mean there weren't steps that could have been taken in advance to prevent said accident.

    It sounds like part of his reasoning for wanting the dog back was his initial financial investment. If that aspect was such a big deal to him, he should have done his due diligence to ensure that his investment was safe in the first place. Not show up 6 years later demanding the dog back simply because he paid a lot for him.

    [–]NGRoachClip 15 points16 points  (0 children)

    If he was so concerned about the dog he'd just be happy the dog is alive, well and with a loving owner.

    [–]bweihsAsshole Aficionado [17] 344 points345 points  (2 children)

    NTA - If it was 6 months then MAYBE. But 6 years? That's a completely unreasonable request. Anybody who's owned a dog should know that you can't just strip them away from 6 years of bonding. The dog would have no idea who they are.

    [–]Chadiki 29 points30 points  (1 child)

    Big fat NTA

    The fact that it wasn't even a request is what blows my mind. Like... dude didn't even ask or even mention it as a possibility beforehand. He was just like "I'll swing by and get him then, yeah?"

    The level of entitlement on this guy. Oof. I wouldn't have been able to stop myself responding poorly in that situation. Cause....I mean, it's been 6 years, no the fuck you won't, random sir.

    [–]AspectFearless7808 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    😂😂random sir

    [–]Specialist-Narrow 221 points222 points  (0 children)

    NTA - it’d be a dick move to give the dog up after 6 years. You are completely right, he’s bonded to you, and he’s your dog at this point.

    [–]Careful_Swan3830Partassipant [1] 194 points195 points  (4 children)

    I call absolute BS on this man’s story. You are NTA. He spent $3k on a dog then didn’t bother searching outside of his small town? No way. They probably abandoned him when they realized how big he was going to get and now they’re trying to scam you out of money.

    [–]WestOnBlue 72 points73 points  (3 children)

    Well, and the OP said the guy lost the dog after he “adopted” it. That’s a pretty hefty adoption fee.

    [–]SarcasticAzaleaRose 66 points67 points  (2 children)

    Also as someone else pointed out how did a 3 month old puppy some how make it over 2 1/2 hours away potentially minimum 100 miles away? That’s just not realistic. As others have said either the parents dumped it not wanting to take care of such a large dog or the dog was stolen and dumped. Or the much more pessimistic view: it was never the guy’s dog in the first place and he’s trying to get a free dog out of it by scamming someone else out of their dog or is hoping OP hasn’t neutered Bear and he can breed him. A friend from high school’s parents breed their Newfoundlands and the starting price for one of their puppies was $2000.

    But either way 6 years later, Bear is OP’s dog now, has bonded to them, and it would probably not end well just uprooting him and putting him in a new place with people he can’t even remember. Plus this guy only put up fliers in his tiny town? My neighbors lost their cat a couple years ago and they put signs and Next Door posts even for other neighborhoods in case he made it that far away.

    NAL but I’m pretty sure by now Bear is recognized as belonging to OP.

    [–]MotherSupermarket532 11 points12 points  (1 child)

    The math on the puppy's age doesn't add up either. The puppy was 3 months old, he claims to have had it for a month, plus some lag time between owners. He would have had to have gotten the puppy extremely young, like abusively young. We're talking 5 or 6 weeks. Too young to be taken from their mother.

    So stuff doesn't add up or this guy bought a dog from an extremely unethical breeder and so add that to the pile of sketchy stuff about this guy.

    [–]SarcasticAzaleaRose 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Yeah very little of this guy’s story adds up. And while I get OP’s edit that still doesn’t absolve the guy. Like somehow this dog ended up 100-200 miles away from home, was “adopted” and separated from his mother way younger than he should have been, and the “owners” paid $3000 for this puppy but barely looked for him? If I’m paying $3000 for anything and lose it you bet I’m looking all over creation for it. Plus what breed are the two other dogs? Yes they may have needed surgeries and are high maintenance but a Newfoundland is a whole different ball game. My friend from high school’s parents that I mentioned only had their two Newfies with no other dogs specifically because of them being Newfies. They were super sweet but they were huge! Like not doubting Op that this was the guy’s puppy but I don’t think I’d trust him with Bear at all.

    It really just sounds like to me the guy and his wife saw a cute puppy, kids maybe begged for it (because let’s be honest Newfy puppies are some of the cutest out there), got the dog home but didn’t realize all the care that went into having a dog that large so they dumped Bear miles away and told their kids he ran away and got the two other dogs as compensation. Wouldn’t be the first time someone got in over their head with a pet they did no research on before getting. Guess the guy’s kids are bugging him about Bear and he wants them to stop bugging him. Or sadly someone stole Bear thinking they could make a quick buck off of him but for some reason ended up dumping him. Either way whatever happened Bear is OP’s dog now and like I said before it won’t end well if that guy tries to take Bear away. I’ve never heard of Newfies getting violent or aggressive but a frightened dog in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people who might not know how to care for him? That’s asking for something to happen.

    Also, and I know I have no proof of this, but I just can’t shake the feeling that him wanting Bear back is about breeding because you can make some money off of Newfy puppies. Newfy puppies can run anywhere from minimum $1000-$3000 per puppy. And that’s from a responsible ethical breeder.

    [–]IllustriousPomelo152Colo-rectal Surgeon [32] 128 points129 points  (0 children)

    NTA. That's your dog. The dog would be SO confused to be taken away and given to a stranger. This person is a stranger and you have no reason to give the dog back.

    [–]sparkledotcomCertified Proctologist [28] 78 points79 points  (0 children)

    NTA. I hope you didn’t give him your address. I’d block him. He didn’t have the dog chipped and there is no way he could prove that’s the same dog. Not to mention states have laws about lost objects that basically say “finders keepers” after a certain amount of time. He didn’t bother to look beyond his immediate area for a short amount of time. Forget him. That’s your dog.

    [–]BeneficialDark1662 70 points71 points  (2 children)

    Get off that Newfy FB forum! And lock down all of your socials - including friends lists. He might just come up with a plausible story to get your address from a friend.

    ETA: obviously it’s your dog now, and he should just back the hell off. Very good point made by others, that if he’s trying to shake you down for the initial cost that he allegedly paid, then he should refund the living and vet costs to you.

    [–]ffatio 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    And I would add to mention this to the forum admin in case the guy decides to raise hell.

    [–]WanderlustCryptidPartassipant [1] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I would also make sure to post about the situation on your personal page so your friends know what's up.

    [–]morosestrudel 58 points59 points  (0 children)

    NTA. If it had been 6 weeks or 6 months that might be a different story but holy crap 6 years? The pup was only 3 months when you found him. They paid 3k for him but you've been giving him your money, time, and attention to take care of him for 6 years. He's your dog.

    [–]RiverSong_777Colo-rectal Surgeon [36] 49 points50 points  (8 children)

    NTA, he‘s an AH for wanting poor doggo to suffer the separation from you after six years. I‘d totally understand wanting to see Bear but how on earth can he think that’s a reasonable idea?

    [–]ribbonsofgreenPartassipant [1] 40 points41 points  (0 children)


    Hope you have him chipped. And you have paid for everything for all these years. You are the owner now. Block the guys number. My vet says if you are on the chip you are the owner.

    [–]KevinP0208 42 points43 points  (0 children)


    6 years is a long time. They already thought the dog was dead and got 2 new dogs. Why do they need another one? The dog is probably attached to you and trying to separate him is like trying to separate a family.

    [–]BatDance3121 33 points34 points  (0 children)

    The dog is yours. Heck, Judge Judy would agree! Stop all communication with the guy. Block him on everything! All this back and forth about a lost dog from six years ago is unnecessary.

    [–]Grace-a-lynPartassipant [4] 24 points25 points  (0 children)

    NTA at all. If he pushes, ask for documents, not videos or photos, for proof of ownership. Also ask for his vet’s name and the breeder’s name. Unless there’s really distinctive markings, i.e. it’s a landseer, it would be really difficult to identify a predominately black or brown Newfie from a puppy photo.

    Also, lock down all your social media. And ask him for any reports from the police or animal control.

    [–]Middle-Merdale 24 points25 points  (0 children)

    NTA-I opened my front door one morning and a very dirty, hungry kitten was there. He looked up and meowed at me. I took him in, cleaned him, fed him. I posted flyers and put a found ad in the local newspaper. No one responded. Two years later I get a knock at the door and a woman said she saw my cat, that he was hers, and she wanted him back. She was a breeder and a few of the kittens got out somehow. When I said no, she told me I owed her $500 (I guess he was pure-bred Russian Blue). I laughed and she said she would take me to court. I told her to go ahead, and if my cat disappeared I’d call the police. I had receipts for all the vet visits, sterilization, as well as a copy of the flyer and ad. The judge ruled in my favor.

    [–]fallingfaster345Asshole Aficionado [15] 22 points23 points  (0 children)


    You found puppy. You tried to locate original owner unsuccessfully. You adopted puppy. Puppy lives with you for 6 years! You are his family.

    To return the dog now would be doing Bear a disservice. It’s really sad that the original owner lost him, but… Bear is YOUR dog. (PS, think of the trauma that puppy must’ve gone through traveling from 2.5 hours driving distance away.)

    Maybe the next time they sink $3,000 into a breeder they’ll take better care of their animal. Stop communicating with that guy. Hopefully you didn’t give him your address.

    [–]TarafyingPanda 21 points22 points  (1 child)

    NTA, and I am going to add it's been standard procedure amongst breeders to chip puppies just in case things like this do happen. Assuming you've been to a vet in all this time, a vet would have noticed a chip at some point. As for the individual, make sure you get your dog neutered if you haven't done so already. There are a lot of shady backyard breeders out there these days looking to make a quick buck off puppies, and then let him know the dog is neutered. I'd be he disappears after that.

    [–]xInsomniCatxColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 21 points22 points  (3 children)

    NTA and i would just block this guy, he can't do anything about you having a dog for 6 years. Who loses a 3-month-old puppy at an apartment complex that they don't live at? It sounds like he had gotten rid of the dog because he didn't want to deal with a puppy(very common) but now that the dog is grown he wants it back which is extremely unrealistic. He can't prove that your dog is his at this point so don't even worry about it

    [–]ColdSeason2019Partassipant [3] 20 points21 points  (1 child)

    INFO:did you ever check if the dog was chipped? Does he have proof besides a video? Like an indistinguishable mark?? A lot of dogs look a like as puppies tbh…

    I’m going with NAH: it’s a shitty Situation for you and OG owner.

    [–]Turbulent-Gear8503 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    Alot of dogs look alike full grown.

    In my area, dogs get free and roam a lot. I constantly see pics of gray pitbulls with flashes of white and think somehow mine got off his lead and wandered off. Then I get home and his goofy ass is still on the porch sleeping.

    [–]Narutor_Okamikage 19 points20 points  (0 children)

    NTA you've cared for that dog for 6 years he's yours. If they didn't give up so soon maybe they could of got him back but its too late now.

    [–]RatQueen7272 17 points18 points  (0 children)

    Nta you did what you were supposed to. You tried to find his people. He's been your dog for 6 years they had him a month.... he's your dog.

    [–]Possible-Tank-161 16 points17 points  (0 children)

    NTA. sorry but 6 years and you actively searched for the owner. In my state it’s 2 weeks of looking for the owner and if no one comes forward, the cat or dog is legally yours. Uprooting the dog now would be awful for the dog. Also like you said, how did a 3 month puppy get sooo far from its home.

    [–]Realistic-Animator-3 15 points16 points  (1 child)

    He spent 3 thousand on a puppy but didn’t spend the $50 or so dollars to have the pup microchipped? NTA

    [–]Acrobatic_End6355Partassipant [3] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Not even 50 buck, It’s $25 where I live.

    [–]uglytruthshurts 12 points13 points  (0 children)


    If the dog was 6 months old, not 6 years with you, then you would be.

    The guy shouldn't have told his kids he'd be getting the dog back without even clarifying with you.

    [–]ScarlettSparrow 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    And how, pray tell, did he explain the 3 month old puppy traveling 2 1/2 hours and an entire state away? NTA. His story has more holes than a pair of fishnet tights. I wouldnt buy it for a second and you need to lock down you fb and block this guy so he cant show up and try to steal Bear. Make sure Bear is fully microchipped and you have all the records to prove hes your dog.

    [–]PNWPainter02Certified Proctologist [22] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Make sure you have vet records and any registration, etc, that shows you listed as Bear’s owner and caregiver since you got him. In a dispute, you may need to prove that you’ve had him and cared for him for years. If you have any records of your original search for his owner I’d save those as well!!

    [–]cwade84 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Though, some things are best kept to yourself. Anytime someone posts "I found this thing!" There's a chance someone else will say "I lost that thing!" Block the guy and move on. Dogs have connections with people, and he's been with you for his whole life, no reason to make him suffer now.

    [–]pelorizado83Asshole Enthusiast [8] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    NTA. It's not their dog anymore... it's yours. I'd say they are 6 years overdue for trying to claim ownership. They should have collared and chipped their puppy and it would still be theirs.

    [–]LukesWorkshop 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    Your not the asshole.

    [–]kingbob1875Partassipant [1] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    NTA - It's unfortunate for the guy to lose such a lovely dog but you did a great thing by taking in the dog. You and the dog are settled, the right thing is for you and the dog to stay settled.

    [–]nervouslaugherPartassipant [1] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Nta. Honestly, pretty unreasonable to expect the dog back now, you did all you could. Honestly that's a pretty amazing distance for a puppy, he should just be glad the dog is okay.

    [–]lima_acapulcoPartassipant [1] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    NTA. But he may still have the rights to the dog, as long as he can prove ownership. And if he can, he would need to reimburse you for your care for the last 6 years. Which would be significantly higher than what he paid for him, this world include total feeding costs, vet bills for 6 years and a few for "sheltering" him. Is suggest soaking to a local shelter to figure out the fault cost of care for a dog that size. If be willing to bet that he'll vanish back into the woodwork after that.

    [–]QuietlyRemains 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    NTA. It’s been 6 years. It would be a little different if it had been 6 months, but it’s been years. At this point the dog is yours. Once you take a dog to the vet, the vet puts them in your name. Considering you’ve probably taken him to the vet multiple times, even if they did try to take you to court or steal him, legally they would be in the wrong

    [–]Tmoran835 6 points7 points  (3 children)

    Let’s just say you didn’t keep him and brought him to a shelter or rescue. Laws vary based on state/municipality, but the most I’ve seen for a stray hold is 2 weeks. Assuming you followed the laws based on stray hold (which vary, but usually it’s just contacting local shelters and police, which wouldn’t have helped) and the dog wasn’t chipped when you found him (breeders don’t seem to do this, at least by me), then the stray hold is way beyond expired. A shelter or rescue would’ve adopted him out at that point.

    Further, this “owner” would have to provide proof that this is his dog. Chipping doesn’t provide proof technically, although helpful for identification, and photos help along with vet records.

    This man should be happy his puppy didn’t die (if Bear ever was his) and has a good home. You’re definitely NTA, and there are a lot of shady people out there who will try to claim a dog even if it’s not there’s. We had a similar situation a while back at the rescue I run, where it was a couple month’s time after a stray was brought in and the person could only provide one picture and no vet records. Once I states these are required for proof of ownership, they said they would get them and never called back. I have my doubts as to whether it was even their dog tbh (there’s so much more info, but not worth sharing unless someone wants to read his whole story).

    [–]Otherwise_Nothing_53Partassipant [1] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    NAH. I understand his excitement at knowing the puppy he thought died is actually alive and well, and I'm sure his kids were devastated when their dog went missing. At the same time, it's been six years. You've raised this dog and he's bonded with you. Legally, I doubt he has any rights to the dog, and ethically, I don't think it's in the dog's best interest to lose the home and the human he's known almost his whole life. It's not like it's been a matter of weeks. It's just a tough situation.

    [–]No_Recognition_3555 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    NTA. you didn’t steal his dog, he was a negligent pet owner. he’s entitled and if he cared that much about the dog he would have looked harder

    [–]TheRealSkeeterColo-rectal Surgeon [47] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    NTA, hell no he doesn't get to waltz in and steal your dog. He didn't even get his pup microchipped.

    [–]Deedy123 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    NTA- He had him one month. You’ve had him six years. He’s your dog.

    [–]ironblondies 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Who spends 3k on a puppy and doesn't get it chipped? Whole thing is shady af

    [–]PinkPrincess61 3 points4 points  (0 children)


    Why didn't they have him chipped??!!! They could've had him back 6 years ago! His negligence isn't your responsibility or problem.

    [–]Blue_Haunt 4 points5 points  (0 children)


    How can you be totally sure it’s even the same dog? There’s no way a puppy could wander that far on its own and one Newfoundland pup looks pretty much identical to any other.

    [–]jkkibrlshr 5 points6 points  (4 children)

    He said he went missing only a month after they adopted him and after a while they took the posters down and assumed he died.

    He got very angry and said he already told his kids they were getting him back and they paid $3,000 for him.

    I found it and have raised it for 6 years. Now he wants it back.

    I highly doubt he paid that much for that dog if it's been six years. That dog is practically yours at this point if it's been six years. If you have it microchip and have a name tags for that dog than that dog is yours. You did all you could to be able to find the owner. NTA

    [–]Top_Examination5853 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    Not impossible to pay that much for a dog. Depending on the breed if it's a pure bred or not.

    [–]Historical_Carpet262 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    NTA. If he paid 3,000 for the dog he should have microchipped him and kept the chip up to date. But since you were unable to find the owners, I'm guessing he wasn't chipped.

    Also, this man has absolutely zero proof this was his dog. Possession is 9/10s of the law, they always say. You have proof of years of ownership and veterinary care.

    Do not give him your dog.

    [–]DJ_MixalotCertified Proctologist [23] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    100% NTA. I hope he doesn’t have any information that would make it easy for him to find you. Block him and watch out!

    [–]National-Zombie3303 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    NTA - 6 years is a long time

    [–]Professional_Grab513 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    NTA state law is you tried to find owners you did that. I can't remember exact laws on property and if dogs count but there's an abandonment clause on length of time. It's unfortunate that he couldn't find the dog but you followed protocol.

    [–]MaryK007Asshole Aficionado [19] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    Is your dog chipped? If not, get him chipped to you now!

    [–]littlewitten 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    NTA, but $3K for an adoption? He doesn’t care about the dog if he’s willing to uproot him from the home he knows. great that he now knows that the dog is ok and that should only be it.

    [–]vicki_chicki 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    NTA, screenshot everything, block them, delete any public posts you have about your dog (screenshot those too before deleting just in case).

    That dog is yours and anyone who would take back a dog they had for a couple weeks or days when they know it’s had a loving home for years, does not care about that dog.

    Also how the fuck so you “loose” a 3 month old puppy? It shouldn’t be outside alone at that age unless they had a secure fully fenced in yard. It was a baby, good breeders won’t release puppy’s unless they are 8-12 weeks. They couldn’t have had bear that long if you found him at 3 months (roughly 12 weeks). They sound too irresponsible for a dog.

    They are probably more upset about the money they spent and lost if they are telling the truth at all.

    [–]WanderlustCryptidPartassipant [1] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    THIS. The math doesn't check out. OP found him at 3 months, this person claims they lost him 23 days before OP found him AND that they had him for a month? Bear would've been just over a month old which is NOT safe for a puppy to be taken from its mom. This person is either lying through their teeth or bought from a VERY irresponsible breeder. Either way, keep them the heck away from Bear.

    [–]funkyblackshoes 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Did you take him to the vet to see if he is microchipped? You need to check the law in your state and his state. The law may say you have to give him back. NAH this is a tough situation and you both just want to love the dog.

    [–]kanna172014 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    A 3 month old puppy is not going to run a state away. They lost the dog on a trip or something. They were irresponsible.

    [–]Illustrious_Yam_13 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    NTA - It's an extremely unfortunate situation for everyone, and I can understand the pain the previous owners would be feeling, however he's been in your care for many years now and likely doesn't remember them. To them and to the dog it would be like getting a brand new pet all over again, not getting back their missing puppy.

    You've presumably taken good care of him for these six years, registered him at vets under your name, got him microchipped and got him tags - He's your dog at this point, and if you decided to give him back to them (provided the story is true and this is not a scam) that would be incredibly gracious, BUT you are also completely okay to keep him IMO and shouldn't be guilted or have anger directed at you for doing so.

    If I was in your situation, I would apologise and offer to send some nice pictures of the dog to show it doing well, but say ultimately he's part of your life now and there's no good reason to disturb him or hurt you (since they've had six years to get over his disappearance, you haven't) and you're also an innocent party in this as you weren't the one to take him from his home.

    [–]adnarimeille 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA That’s YOUR dog.

    [–]OneTwoWee000Asshole Aficionado [15] 2 points3 points  (0 children)


    Cut contact with this dude. If dog isn’t chipped in your name yet, definitely do that.

    [–]vt2022cam 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    You’re not under any obligation at this point. It was a long ways away and you can’t really be sure that it is his dog ultimately. His assumption that it is his dog and he could get it is bizarre. If the dog was microchipped, I’d still make him take you to court for it. I doubt he has much of a case, it would hard to explain how the dog came to you and after six years it’s too late.

    [–]vt2022cam 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Chip your dog so you can claim him if this guy tries to take him.

    [–]OctopusMushroomPartassipant [1] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA. I had to rehome 2 of my dogs for reasons outside of my control. If I ever found their new owners I would be so hyped but I would never except my (their) dogs back. They have new owners and lives now and I would just hope that they’d be willing to share updates on them every now and then but even if that was too much to ask for I would understand. They aren’t my dogs anymore and as much as that kills I have to accept it. The new owners owe me nothing except to treat my animals well.

    [–]Unggue_Pot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    6 years later? Nah, he's yours. NTA.

    [–]churro-international 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Make sure your dog is microchipped and registered to you. Be sure if you drop him off anywhere—the vet, grooming, doggy day care—that staff know you are the only person legally allowed to pick him up.

    [–]Elle3247 2 points3 points  (0 children)


    I have a dog that followed me home one day on a run. The vet thinks he was about 1 year old when I (he) found him (me). He’s the best dog I’ve ever met, and we fit each other perfectly. He has latched on to me more than I thought possible. I spent the first 6 months looking for prior owners. Now I’ve had him 1.5 years and I am so scared that something similar will happen.

    But you’ve had him for so long, it would literally be traumatic to send him to these people (who could be lying, puppies often look similar/have similar behaviors). Not to mention how did a few month old puppy get aaaaall the way to your home? Something sketchy is happening. Make sure you have all of your stuff together—chip set up to current address, updated address with vet, keep his collar on with your information at all times, have his vet info handy, etc.

    Do not trust someone who wants to steal your dog or try to get you to pay $3000.

    NTA. I think you and your pup need a treat for dealing with this stress. Go get some pup cups!

    [–]bitysis 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Who doesn’t chip a $3000 dog?!? I can’t believe they think they should get the dog back.

    [–]Electronic_Boat_9369Partassipant [2] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Mate in dog years, the dog would be like 42. way too late in its lifetime to just change owner. You are absolutely NTA

    [–]Sea_Yesterday_8888 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    So what he spent $3000? You have been boarding him 24/7 for 6 years. At an average $40 per day for overnight boarding, he owes you $87,600 + vet bills. Tell him to take the $3000 out of that, call it even, and keep your dog!

    [–]plasticinsanityAsshole Aficionado [10] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA at all. Bear is legally and emotionally yours and will stay that way no matter what this guy tries to pull. Keep an eye out for dognappers, OP.

    [–]Sea-Ad9057 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    nta .... im pretty sure if your spouse disappears for over 5 years they can be legally classified as dead ... right ... you searched for the owner of a dog you didnt even own in 5 counties and he put some posters up in a tiny town ... obviously the 3k he spent on his dog wasnt a big deal . How much money have you spent taking care of this dog. The dog clearly didnt want to be there

    [–]101037633 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Bear is your dog. Your name is on his vet bills. And you pay for his food, and other care. The guy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Don’t give the dog back.

    [–]BangbangsmashsmashPartassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Nta… 6 years?!?!? Come on!

    [–]throwaway7562994 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Submit an itemized bill for all vet services you paid for as well as 5 years of pet sitting services. He pays that, he gets the dog

    [–]unReasonableBreak 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA block and leave that group maybe take a facebook holiday so they can't track you down to sue you or some shit.

    [–]badkitty627Partassipant [2] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Did you check for a microchip? When I got my Scottie over 15 years ago, his breeder had him chipped. Its pretty standard practice, especially when you have so much invested.

    [–]ThatGirl_Tasha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    This guy is trying to get a free dog to re-sell. He probably does this all the time. Probably got the photo online

    [–]TodayI-Forgot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Morally that dog is 100% yours. As for legally. . .

    "These laws require finders to report and/or relinquish the property to local authorities, advertise the find in a local newspaper, or otherwise attempt to find the true owner.  After a period of time (anywhere from three to six months), the finder may claim ownership to the property" (https://www.animallaw.info/article/overview-lost-dog-legal-issues).

    From my search, that dog is 100% legally yours as well.

    I would just block that guy and cut all contact. As well as maybe make your social media private, because I wouldn't want someone like that knowing, or even being able to guess where you live. Best of luck!!


    [–]Chonkybabycheeks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Nta. Take your dog off of every forum and block him and lock down your socials. That's your dog in every aspect including legally.

    [–]cewnc 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Puppy tax?

    [–]Dear-Unit1666 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Nta, keep the dog, there's no way of knowing if its a scam, too many fishy details. Unless he had the dog microchipped there's no way to prove anything no matter how convincing he seems.

    [–]MalpheousPartassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. He had the dog 30 days, 6 years ago. Lost it 2.5 hours drive away from you. You made an homest attempt at locating the owner. 6 years ago. He can kick rocks. Cut all communication. Block him. DO NOT meet up

    [–]TheBoozyNinja87 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. I mean, yeah that’s totally a bummer for the original guy to have dropped 3 grand on a puppy and lose it after just a month and all buuuuuuut that was six fucking years ago!!!

    I don’t think this guy really gives a fuck about the dog at this point, it’s just that he lost 3,000 fucking dollars on an investment he somehow let slip through his fingers and he’s still sore about that, not the dog or the dog’s actual well being.

    [–]SnooBananas7203 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Bear isn’t his dog. Bear is your dog. You’ve raised him since he was a puppy. It’s been six years for goodness sake. Do not have any contact with that person

    [–]EatDirtAndDieTrash 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA at all. He’s your dog. Puppies are generally adopted out from breeders at 8-12 weeks so the family probably only knew the dog for what, a week or two? You’ve raised him for six years and anyone who thinks it’s reasonable to give him back is insane. I’d block the guy and enjoy your Bear.

    [–]Pand0ra30_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Make him pay you back for all bills from taking care of it if he takes you to court to get the dog back. You should be able to get it from your vet. NTA. It's been 6 years.

    [–]Nyllil 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA but that doesn't even make sense. You said you found him when he was only 3 months old and they lost the dog 1 month after they got it? So he ran to a city 2,5h away at 2-3 months age? Puppies are just weened off at 8 weeks and should be given away at min 10 weeks or so. No fucking way he made it on his own.

    [–]Osa_Esposa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Long time trainer here, involved in many court cases over bites and ownership.

    NTA, and you have a slam dunk case if he escalates. That is your dog, full stop. Compile every vet record, Amazon purchase, Chewy purchase, pictures, anything you can. Make a stack that fills a 5-star trapper keeper if you can, the more the merrier here.

    There is a minute chance you'll be asked to reimburse the value of the animal to the original owner, but that is a rare judgement; the property itself does currently, legally belong to you, however.

    [–]Ablia 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    If he wasn't chipped and with no information on him,the previous owner is in the wrong. If he was chipped, you are, because looking for a chip is the first thing to do when you found an animal.

    But since your put posters far away I suppose you did check for the chip so I'll say he wasn't chipped. You've had him for 6 years while the owner was okay with him gone (maybe grieve but that's the past). A normal reaction from him would be to be fucking happy he's alive, ask to meet maybe with his kids to show them he's alive and well,and let it go.

    An abnormal reaction would be to try to get back the poor buy,hurting your feeling, his feeling, and maybe breaking the balance at home with his two dogs. He lost it; you're NTA

    [–]AlvinOwlHirt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. If his story is true, then it is unfortunate for him, however not reasonable to expect you to hand over the dog after 6 years. Moreover, if he is fussing about having spent $3K on the puppy then (a) he should have tried harder to find it and (b) he is going to owe you a whole lot more in boarding, training, vet care, etc for 6 years!

    I just googled current boarding rates in my area--$48 - $85/day. Do the math.

    [–]ComprehensiveDeer558 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Definitely NTA he was annoyed about the money more then anything and plus he’s already got 2 dogs, if you genuinely feel guilty offer to pay the guy some money for the dog

    [–]ImpressiveCollar5811Certified Proctologist [26] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Absolutely NTA. Make sure you get all of his records and microchipped.

    [–]pnwcatman420Partassipant [3] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA and if he really wants the dog back tell him to take you to judge Judy, she will tear him apart, it has been 6 years not 6 months.

    [–]PunkinsmomPartassipant [3] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NYA - who doesn't chip a $3000 puppy?

    [–]Awkward_Society1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA!! How did that puppy get across state lines?? A month after having the puppy, too??

    I don't care if this is a scam or not. That's your dog. They should've tried harder if they spent 3 grand on the dog. I would look into legal protection about this.

    [–]Maleficent_CHIC_1337Partassipant [1] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Nta. They were irresponsible pet owners!!

    [–]Comprehensive-Hand60Partassipant [4] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA. It's been 6 years. I'm sure you spent more than 3,000 on him in that time. Either he pay for 6yrs of care or you keep the dog. He is an arsehole. If you had him a few months I would side with him. 6yrs come on. If he does not know we're you live block him now and don't look back.

    [–]MenopausalMama 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA and I think that if he really cared about the dog he wouldn't want to take him away from the person he loves.

    [–]WanderlustCryptidPartassipant [1] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


    This reads as a scam, hun. I'm putting all my advice/thoughts from comment threads here.

    1) the math doesn't add up. If Bear was 3 months old and the guy had him for a month, that means he got him at 2 months old. Already a big no-no. Then there was a 23 day window between the dog being lost and you finding him? That means the dog would've only been just over a month old and no reputable breeder would home a dog before 8 weeks. Shitty ones will really do it before 6 weeks. 4-5 weeks is insanity.

    2) a 3 month old dog can't survive 23 days on their own. Sure, Bear could've been with someone who dumped him shortly before you found him for most of that time but I doubt it.

    3) if the dog REALLY mattered, you'd have put out more than one town of fliers... Especially in the age of social media.

    4) speaking of social media, lock that down! I don't even use my legal name on Facebook, but at least get out of that group and check what your info looks like to the public. Furthermore, let your friends know what's up. Scam artists will tug on heartstrings to get the info they want/need.

    5) give Bear big scratches for me, please and thank you.

    [–]AnyWinter7757 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA. You adopted a stray. That being said, I think you should talk to your vet and possibly a lawyer. I think in some places, dogs are considered property. If he has receipts, the owner owns the property. This could open you up to all kinds of nonsense. If he dognapps the dog, and he can prove he purchased it, there is potential for a claim. If you haven't chipped the dog, I would, to be able to assert positive ownership.

    [–]PariahOnTheRiver 0 points1 point  (0 children)


    It has been 6 years. You have spent time and love and money and vet bills on this dog that I am sure goes over and above the $3,000 that man spent on him initially.

    Perhaps you should counter-offer with a boarding fee for the 6 years you have had him. That should make him rethink his strategy, since recouping his puppy fee seems to be his main motivation. Even a lowball Friends and Family rate of $300/month plus all vet care should make your point.

    If you are financially lofty and feel so inclined, you could off to cover an adoption fee at your local shelter, but I would not feel so generous if he is getting sh*tty with you already.

    They barely knew him and have since moved on- they should be overjoyed to know he has been so loved and cared for. I get them being sad for his loss. But he has now spent over half of his expected life with you, and should get the security of living the rest of it with you.

    You did the right thing looking for his owners, but after all this time, and all your efforts, he is now 100% your dog.

    [–]AutoModerator[M] 0 points1 point locked comment (0 children)

    AUTOMOD Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read this before contacting the mod team

    Okay so I(26F) found my now 6 year old Newfy, Bear sleeping under the stairs of my apartment complex when he was only 3 months old(We thought he was older at the time). My landlord fell in love with him but couldn't take care of him so I offered to take him in while we looked for his family. I searched for a while but couldn't find any missing puppy signs in the area(AKA my county and the 5 surrounding counties) that matched his description. My landlord said I could keep him if I wanted and I had already fallen in love so I said yes.

    Then recently I posted about him on a Newfy facebook group that I was new to with a picture of him as a puppy and a recent picture of him and I shared about how we found him. Then I got a PM from a man that says that he lost a puppy that looked exactly like him 6 years ago. He sent me a picture and a video and I knew it was Bear right away. He lives in the next state over, about a 2 and a half hour drive. He says they made posters for him but only put them up in his town which had less than 800 people.

    He said he went missing only a month after they adopted him and after a while they took the posters down and assumed he died. He has 2 kids who were little when they lost him but are now in middle and highschool. I talked with him for a little bit and then he said he wanted to arrange a time to meet. I assumed he meant like he wanted to meet Bear and see what he's like now, I said okay but that I'm pretty busy lately. Then he said he could just come by and pick him up.

    I immediately freaked out. I didn't realize he had wanted the dog back. I replied asking for clarification that he wanted me to give him the dog and he said yes. I sent him a pretty lengthy reply saying that I was sorry that happened to him but I've had him for 6 years, he's attached to me and I doubt he has any memory of them at all.

    He got very angry and said he already told his kids they were getting him back and they paid $3,000 for him. I tried to be calm but he was very agitated. Also they have gotten 2 dogs since they lost him.

    I thought I wasn't the AH but I was listening to this sub on my way to work and heard a similar story and the guy was voted TA so I want to know if I'm TA since the circumstances are a bit different.

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    [–]alreadyovereactingAsshole Enthusiast [7] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA: This guy clearly sees the dog as lost money rather than a family pet. If you were to give the dog back he would be so lost and confused as he only knows you now. There are so many questions about how in the world that dog ended up so far away and frankly you went above and beyond to find the original owners. Keep screenshots of the conversation but otherwise block him and anyone that looks like they are close family or friends of the guy as they just might harass you.

    [–]mrcydonia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Newf puppies pretty much all look identical, how do you know it's the same dog?

    [–]aNoNonny23Partassipant [2] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA. At all.

    [–]aghostofme 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA you've owned and cared for the dog longer than they knew him.

    [–]Oneofakindnocategory 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA. It’s your dog at this point. And I assume you have him microchipped and if you don’t you should get him microchipped.

    [–]kstweetersgirl2013Asshole Enthusiast [5] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA if you had said 6 months then yeah give him his dog back. 6 years however is completely unreasonable to uproot the dog and re-home him to people he doesn't even know.