[Ellen] DeGeneres explained on her show that the Brussels Griffon terrier mix didn't get along with her cats, so she gave it to her hairstylist's family. The owners of Mutts and Moms claimed that DeGeneres violated the adoption agreement by not informing them that she was giving the dog away and removed Iggy from the hairstylist's home Sunday. . . .
[Rescue agency operator Marina] Batkis rejected DeGeneres' plea to give the dog back to her hairstylist's family.
"She (Batkis) doesn't think this is the type of family that should have the dog," said Fink, who is not legally representing the owners but is authorized to speak for them. . . . DeGeneres had said her hairdresser's daughters, ages 11 and 12, had bonded with Iggy and were heartbroken when the dog was taken away. [Co-agency operator] Fink said Moms and Mutts has a rule that families with children under 14 are not allowed to adopt small dogs.
"It's for the protection of the dog," he said.
I've actually had a dog repossession case myself once, although that involved a "dog share" agreement. In a dog share, a dog breeder retains stud rights in a pedigreed prize dog, while another family gets the pet rights in the dog. One of the parties breached their side of the deal, so the other sought to repossess it. In those cases, the potential for unauthorized self-help is particularly great. Neuter the dog and the breeding rights become worthless (and for pedigreed dogs of this caliber, most the value is in the breeding rights). Furthermore, there is room for retalitiation in the forum of the pedigree registries, as well as in the courts.