Above link is to an article in yesterday's Dallas Morning News. Some of the 20 cases have been filed against the shelters or rescue groups that adopted away owned dogs, and in other cases the lawsuits are filed against the individuals with the dogs.
I would hate to be among those not-yet-sued, harboring Katrina dogs, wondering when the other shoe will drop, wondering when the subpoena will arrive. Yes, this would be the dark side of being a martyr.
But I also imagine that this would be a really good time for those people to find some escape route that allows them to return the dogs in whatever way they can find to save face. We have already seen that it's impossible for any of these people to say "I'm sorry, I made a mistake and I want to give you back your dog." But there are lots of varied and creative ways that someone can do this, such as Lynne Welsh having declared that the Dog Whisperer told her that Rocket needs to be returned to his family in New Orleans (of course she changed her mind again after that and decided not to return Rocket).
Here are a few suggestions.
1. Say that you were just diagnosed with a terminal illness and given the extenuating circumstances decided it would be best to return the dog to its original owners. Be sure to allow yourself to maintain your martyrdom to possibly even evoke some sympathy in the process.
2. Announce that the unexplained symptoms you've had for the past ___ months were recently diagnosed as an allergy to Chow mixes/poodles/St. Bernards/Shih Tzu/Yorkies...and that your doctor ordered you to get rid of the dog. Better yet, say that your child developed the horrible allergy to the dog.
3. Claim that your job is relocating you to Beirut and you thought it best to find a new home for the dog here.
4. Another good one that hasn't been tried yet is to announce that you have recently been saved and declared Jesus as your personal savior, repented all your sins and have come to see your evil ways. Beg for forgiveness. If this can work with mass murderers I imagine it will work quite well for Pam, Lynne, Biannca, Elizabeth, Lisa, etc.