Horse and Dogs Lost Due to Poor Care.

In this case, a veterinarian noticed that the plaintiff's horse and dogs were not being cared for properly and were living in deplorable conditions.  The veterinarian notified the state police who searched the plaintiff's premises and took a horse and three dogs with the assistance of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).  The veterinarian fostered one of the dogs, which later died, and also adopted the horse.  Other parties adopted the remaining dogs.  The plaintiff brought a replevin action and some of the defendants asserted counterclaims based on Lien Law Sec. 183.  The city court granted the plaintiff's motion for replevin and dismissed the counterclaims.  On appeal, the court reversed finding triable issues.  On further appeal, the court held that the plaintiff had established the inapplicability of the lien law because there was no agreement for services rendered before the animals were seized.  On the plaintiff's claim that the SPCA was required to bring a forfeiture action to obtain possession of the animals, the court disagreed.  The animals were seized pursuant to a search warrant due to improper care and plaintiff then had five days to redeem before SPCA could make them available for adoption.  The court held that the plaintiff failed to redeem the animals or establish that she had not abandoned them, and had not established that she was entitled to possession of the animals.  Gonzalez v. Royalton Equine Veterinary Services, P.C., et al., No. 266 CA 14-01289, 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3600 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 1, 2015).