Indiana Family Devastated After Neighbor Sells Their Dog Online

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Jason and Tiffany Huston from Goshen, Ind., are trying to get back Prance, their Shih Tzu, after a neighbor sold the dog online. However, police say there is little they can do to help the Hustons because the online transaction was made legally and no laws were broken.

Prance became a member of the Huston family three-and-a-half years ago when the couple got married and decided to get a pet. The family moved to a mobile home community in Goshen, Ind., but Prance got lost last month while the couple was away and the dog was left with a family member.

 

Prance
Prance

 

“[The dog sitter] lost sight of [Prance] for a moment — she tends to want to sniff around and see what’s out there — and when we got home she was gone,” Jason Huston told NewsCenter16.

As soon as Prance went missing, the family member posted “Lost Dog” fliers around the neighborhood and visited local shelters trying to locate the dog to no avail. When the pet owners came back home they joined the search efforts. A Mishawaka Pet Smart adoption worker suggested the couple look online in the Michiana “Lost and Found” Facebook pages, and it was there where the Hustons found a “For Sale” announcement of a dog just like Prance.

Surprisingly, the online announcement was made a neighbor from their own community.

“The original for sale post had a separate picture and I knew immediately it was our dog ,” Jason Huston said. “It had our collar, it was shaved but had identical markings. It was our dog.”

After contacting the seller, the seller said she thought the dog was a stray and she was helping it by selling it online. The Hustons learned their four-legged family member was sold to a Fort Wayne man for just $50.

The buyer was suspicious of the $50 sale of such a nice and healthy dog, but since his granddaughter’s dog had recently passed away, and the price of the dog was a bargain, the man went ahead and purchased the pet.

The Hustons have tried giving the buyer the $50 he spent on the dog plus an additional $100 as a reward, but the buyer has refused to accept the money and return the dog.

Authorities say that because the dog was purchased in good faith, the case is a matter for civil court. Now the Hustons will need to face a pricey court dispute to get back the dog that is rightfully theirs.

0 thoughts on “Indiana Family Devastated After Neighbor Sells Their Dog Online”

    • I was wondering about that myself. How did the neighbor even have access to the dog? At first I assumed they must have been dog sitting and decided to act like snakes, but it sounds as though the dog was stolen out of the yard or something. Two morals here: don’t leave a pet outside alone, especially a small one, and have your pets microchipped.

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    • How is stealing a dog not a crime? the fact that they sold the dog for $$$ , when you cannot legally profit from a crime, makes it actionable. The original dog owners need to go after these people – even contacting their ISP- because they committed fraud online selling ‘property’ that was not legally theirs. I’d also lodge a complaint at the FBI web site for internet crimes. After which, the local sheriff will contact them about the complaint.

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  1. How could it be legal when they sold there dog without permission. Isn’t that called stealing? Maybe I’m wrong but that is illegal to me.

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    • It’s actually called “conversion”. You had the property “legally” (took in a “stray” or loaned an item) but had no right to sell it or give it away as it was not legally determined to be abandoned and no good faith effort was made to return the property to the rightful owner. (e.g.: I borrow your car with permission then sell it… or you park in my driveway and so I have the car not only towed (ok) but sell it and pocket the money.

      But it IS a form of theft.

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      • Exactly! If I found a lost bicycle I must make a good-faith effort, that I can document, to find the rightful owner. This neighbor saw an easy buck and committed a crime. If the neighbor did not have legal ownership of the property, then the sale is invalid. (This is why making dog owners into “doggy guardians” is so dangerous – it usurps our property rights.)

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  2. What about stolen property?? It wasn’t their dog to sell. Get them on theft. Hopefully the family who bought the dog will realize how much it is hurting the rightful owners and will return the dog.

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    • Obviously not. They offered to buy the dog back for the $50 PLUS an extra $100 as a reward but the man refused. He’s an ass.

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  3. How can this be legal, like everyone said this sounds like theft. It sounds more like the police think it is not worth their time to look into which, if true, is sad.

    Reply

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