Actually, since the dog owner could have sworn out a warrant for the return of her dog (registered to her) the police chief should be OK. Anyone can sue anyone anytime, it's the winning that counts, and the police chief will probably be granted summary judgment by the court.
And while it is always best to have everything in writing (and the emails that the owner had convinced the police that she was telling the truth, didn't they?) parole evidence (oral) is admissible in court.
Police officers can be called to "keep the peace" in civil cases, such as when people break up and the guy or woman needs to get his/her clothes and possessions out of a house or apt, and also to help with retrieving horses. I got one to go with me to get my friend's horse, so neither she nor the BO would end up in jail or worse. And so the horse wouldn't be killed.
Actually the police chief in this case did a good job, IF he just said the owner could get a warrant. Hopefully he did not say that there was a warrnat sworn out when there wasn't one.
$37000 dog, and some of you complain about paying that for a horse.
And, some cases can have both civil and criminal remedies. This case would have been "theft by taking" or "theft by conversion" in my state, both felonies over 500$, and a civil remedy would also have been avaiable. Swearing out a warrant, btw, is a good way to get something back without hiring a lawyer.
While getting into a situation like this is pretty dim, it's not that unusual, and I don't see anything silly about asking the police to help. It's what they're for. I think there are a lot more cases like this than there are giant SWAT team stakeouts & violent drug busts.
Anyone can sue for anything. Whether the judge will do anything but giggle at them is another story entirely.
I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09
PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
How does their contract read?
And if there's no contract both parties are fools.... This should be a simple breach of contract, or not.... Can you tell I've been watching the court shows during the day?
Had there been a contract in place this fiasco need never had occurred. If I were this policeman I would never have acted on repossessing the dog unless and until a contract was produced for my reading pleasure....