Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Careless owners


If an owner is careless with his property, one is not required to return it to him. For example, one who sees a person leave his dog in an unfenced yard is not obligated to chase the dog and return it, when it leaves the yard.

However, others are not permitted to take advantage and collect the property for themselves.

(Code of Jewish Law Choshen Mishpat 260:4; Shach 260:10)

Have a great day,


  1. Just wondering:

    In the example you gave, if you happen to come across the dog (without seeking it) after it left the unfenced yard, are you obligated to bring it back to the owner?

    If not, what are you expected/supposed to do with the dog?

  2. Hi Fruma,

    You are not obligated to return it, although that might be a nice favor to do.