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Michigan Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I was told you can’t stop someone from taking a non service dog into a grocery store. True or false?

I work at a grocery store and people bring their dogs in there. One was barking. I reported it to a supervisor and they told me we can’t do anything unless someone files a complaint. I thought you could ask people to leave if they bring a dog inside that doesn’t qualify as a service dog.

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Jul 27, 2021

Your employer might want to contact an attorney to consult with on this matter. In general, the Michigan Modified Food Code (MMFC) has a pretty broad prohibition of animals in food establishments, but there are exceptions for animals controlled by persons with a disability. The ADA offers some... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: What can I expect in court if I fight a dog at large ticket?

My dogs got loose this morning because they broke a hole in the fence and were running around for maybe an hour at max. They chased someone into a porter potty so police were called. Dogs were friendly, just looking to play and the officer acknowledged that. However I got a ticket for dogs at... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jul 15, 2021

First, you should always read the statute to see what exactly needs to be proved. I'm unsure you'll prevail in court. Offering an explanation isn't really a reason to go to trial, but could have an affect of any fines or costs the judge might order.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: My dad's partner of 12 Years passed away and was the owner of a mini Goldendoodle 3 years old.

Her daughter of her estate said my dad could keep the dog and if anything happens to my dad to where he can't care for the dog not to give him to anyone else but her we agreed, 2 months later her husband started asking for weekend visitations and my dad did not agree to that. then we get a... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 29, 2021

You might be stuck. Right or wrong, animals are considered property. And in this case, the dog is property of the estate, to which your dad has no claim unless they were married at the time or if a will directs otherwise.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: My ex stole my dog and I know where he is, I have all the paperwork showing he is legally mine, can the police get him

Can the police come with me and make her give him back to me or do I have to take her to court?

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on May 3, 2021

The police might, but oftentimes the police will say it's a civil matter and require you to sue your ex in civil court.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I am fostering a dog through a rescue and the director is not allowing me to follow through with the contract.

The contract states that I am committed for a a “minimum of 2-3 weeks and if you fail to follow through that commitment you are responsible for paying boarding fees”. She is now telling me I have to keep the dog until she is adopted which could take months. The dog is incredibly destructive to... Read more »

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Apr 21, 2021

More information is needed. You might call an attorney in your area for a review of the contract and perhaps an intervention, or alternative solution.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Dog breeder sold us an akc certified dog with a terminal genetic defect can we take to small claims?

Puppy is only 3 months old, verified by two veterinarians it’s genetic (renal dysplasia) life expectancy is 1 year. The dog breeder is denying it saying it isn’t possible

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Feb 25, 2021

From a practical standpoint, you might try working it out with the breeder. From a legal standpoint you can likley sue in small claims and at least be heard, that is the purpose of small claims, the result of the hearing may or may not be better.

It might be helpful to know.Pets have long...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Received dog from a breeder free. No papers signed nothing. 2 1/2 years later she wants dog back?

Dog is microchipped in my name. All vet fees payed by me. She has AKC papers. I didn’t care about those.

Marlo Bruch
Marlo Bruch answered on Dec 18, 2020

You can file a small claims court case that does not involve attorneys and use any evidence you have to prove the breeder gave you the dog for free and has no legal entitlement to it. Dogs are considered personal property so you would have to file a claim to be able to keep your pet.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I got ticketed and court date for a dog not mine. Is that legal when they know whose dog it is?

Animal control knows it’s not my dog but gave me citation saying anyone who sleeps at the house is responsible for the dog. I didn’t even know there was an issue with the dog and my brother who is the caregiver and provider for the dog.

Marlo Bruch
Marlo Bruch answered on Dec 7, 2020

If the dog is registered and has vet records tied to him, you need to provide those to animal control prior to the hearing. I would also have your brother providing a statement the dog is he and he is responsible. I wish you all well.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I live in a duplex and my dog accidentally killed my neighbors kitten in between our house doors in a “common space”

The common space is technically inside our property.

The dog picked up the kitten and dropped it immediately when she realized she hurt it.

Punctured its belly.

My neighbor called the police and said the dog has bitten her before and that is untrue.

I live in... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 24, 2020

The answers to your questions depend on what your lease says constitutes an evictable action and your landlord. This can be independent of the criminal process. I would highly recommend you to speak to an animal lawyer or criminal defense lawyer in your area.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a dog at large arraignment coming up but I don’t want to waste a date off work.

Can I plead guilty ahead of time and just pay the fine or do I actually have to go to court? My dog did get out, no one was bitten and no property was damaged.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 8, 2020

You should contact the court, or better yet, contact a local attorney to guide you through the process as to how that particular court handles things.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Can I adopt my previously owned dog from the shelter?

Me & my boyfriend were 17 and living with his dad when we got a puppy. Few months later down the road his dad found a gf and we all moved in with her but her male dog and our male dog didn’t get along and wanted to kill eachother over our other female dog so we had to get rid of our male dog.... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 10, 2020

I believe that is the policy of most shelters. I don't believe there is anything you can do about that.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: My roommate left his dog at my house and isn’t coming to get it can I get the dog removed
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 20, 2020

If it’s your roommate, doesn’t he live there? Won’t he eventually come back? You can’t just give his dog to the shelter because that would constitute theft or civil theft and/or subject you to a lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Neighbors got a pitbull puppy. Are they required to get a fence or some type of confinement system?

We have a dog and 2 small children. We had an electrical fence installed to contain our dog. We live in Michigan. Are there any laws that required pet owners to get a fence or containment system installed?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 22, 2020

In most areas dogs are required to be contained by either some sort of fence (invisible fencing is acceptable) or on a leash when not in direct control of the owner.

The ‘direct control’ is the tricky part. (Think hunting dogs For example, that are allowed to be off leash So long as...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Someone agreed to watch my dog for 30 days,it's been15 and now says she's going to take her to a shelter

What can I do if she takes my dog to a shelter without consent when the agreement was for 30 days and it's only been 2 weeks,is it illegal,can I press charges

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 9, 2020

Did you or are you paying her to watch the dog? If not, it's hard to say it's a contract. Obviously she doesn't want to watch the dog anymore. Your best bet would be to pick it up as soon as you can and be done with her.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I just bought a puppy for myself, but my mom doesn't want her living with us. Can she legally get rid of the puppy?

I bought the puppy because I needed her. She means a lot to me and I don't want to have to give her up. She has somewhere she can stay but obviously I'd like her at my house during the day to spend time with me. My mom said if she found her here she'd send her to the pound. Can my... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jan 9, 2019

A part of the answer is going to depend on your age. But more generally, Mom's house, Mom's rules.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: As a landlord who owns three homes in MI that are rentals, do I have to allow service animals or therapy pets?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Dec 26, 2018

I qualify my "yes" answer with you need to check into your compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and any applicable state or local ordinances addressing same. Very generally, you could not deny housing to an otherwise qualified tenant just because they make use of a service animal.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a management company change the amount due on your rental by raising the pet fee mid lease?

We have not violated any of their rules and have been great renters. The management company has been avoiding us, hanging up on our calls, and threatening to file harassment but will not explain to us or show us in our lease how this is legal. Our lease states that no changes will be made unless in... Read more »

David Soble
David Soble answered on Oct 2, 2018

I agree that changing rules regarding pets are not the same as changing fees. This opinion however is limited in scope as a competent real estate attorney would need to see a copy of a lease.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Divorce and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I've owned my ex girlfriends dog for 5 months. She wants him back now that I have a new girlfriend. What can I do?

He's licensed to her but she isn't his caregiver and doesn't take care of him. He lives with me. My new girlfriend and my family love him.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 18, 2018

I guess it depends on why you were allowed to keep the dog after you broke up with ex-girlfriend. Did she tell you you could have the dog? Or was the dog with you temporarily, with an understanding that she could have it back? You said you’ve “owned” the dog for 5 months, which implies... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Personal Injury for Michigan on
Q: If my dog is of leash and she approaches a person but does not touch or hurt them or their dog. Can they call the police

Can I get in trouble

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Aug 18, 2018

Anyone can call the police. I think you left out facts like possibly the dog was snarling and acting in a way that seemed like it would attack.

Does "is of leash" mean "is off leash"?

If so many laws exist that dogs are required to be on a leash

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