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North Carolina Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: If someone tries to take their dog back after they said they needed to give him away, legally can they take them back?

My friend was giving his dog away, he is going through a lot of emotional stuff. His home when I took the dog was disgusting. I took this dog to get his shots, checkup and have bathed this dog myself as well as going to PetSmart. He has acclimated to my home and is in training. Now this friend... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 26, 2020

If he gave you the dog then it’s yours. Hopefully you have text messages or something of this gift, otherwise it might be possible he could take the dog back. But he’d have to sue you in court and win and it sounds like he doesn’t really have the bandwidth to do that.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: If a person steals my dog, can the police make me pay the thief for flea dip fees they incurred while having my dog?

My nephew asked a friend to watch his dog while he looks for a new place. He has been sending money for the care of the dog. While away for a weekend the mother of the friend went into his home and took the dog. They are refusing to give it back. The dog is registered and microchipped. We have gone... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 23, 2020

You might want to see if you can contact the chief of police to bring this situation to his/her attention. Otherwise, you’ll have to sue in replevin to get your dog back.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: Neighbor shot my dog in my driveway says was threatened even has his dog and self was over 100 feet away inside fence

Is the neighbor responsible for vet bills and other ways of dealing with this horrible situation.

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Nov 16, 2020

Depends on the local municipal code, but given the facts that you stated, yes it is likely that your neighbor would be responsible for all damage to your property (dog). I would suggest pressing criminal charges, as that is the best way to actually recover money in NC.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for North Carolina on
Q: If a dog breaks loose out of its owner’s house am I able to stop the dog by picking it up, pushing it, or kicking it?

My sister and I were walking my dog on the sidewalk past a house and their dog breaks through the door and runs at me and my sister. Are we able to stop the dog by physical means if it runs at us and is acting aggressive? I dont want to hurt the dog but if it stops me, my sister and dog safe I will... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Nov 7, 2020

I would have to read the municipal codes for Raleigh to know for sure, but as a general rule, you are allowed to defend yourself if you reasonably feel threatened. My strong suspicion is that you would be fine as long as you could reasonably claim you were defending yourself, sister, or your dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: Is it legal for someone to kill a muzzled dog?

My dog got loose one day and ran at my neighbor barking. He didn't touch the guy and I got him under control quickly. My neighbor said next time it happens he will kill my dog. I now muzzle my dog any time we go outside. If he gets loose again can the neighbor legally hurt/kill him if he is... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Sep 23, 2020

Your local municipal law will likely govern what your responsibilities are regarding your animal. But frequently after a certain time animals must be kept on a leash and if the dog is on your neighbors property he may be able to shoot it claiming self defense. This claim will be hurt by the fact... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: My mom is trying to sue me for custody of my dog, My name is on the adoption paper work and everything! What can I do?!

I have not neglected or harmed my dog in any way, ever! My mom wants to try to "control" me so to speak, she is willing to go to the fullest extent with this. Even if it does mean taking me to court. What legal standing does she have if she were to go through with suing me for custody?

Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow answered on Aug 13, 2020

This is semantics, but you can't sue someone for "custody" of a dog, but instead she could bring a small claims court action seeking the return of personal property (the dog). It is easy to get into small claims court, so I don't see any standing defenses being an issue here.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: In Raleigh, NC, can I gift someone a 6 month old puppy that was originally gifted to me when it was 7 weeks old?

The puppy is up to date on vaccinations, rabies shot, and heartworm and ticks meds. It is a mixed breed, but I am not sure of the exact mix and the vet could not tell me. I highly believe he is mixed with American pit bull.

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 27, 2020

There's no reason why you can't give a dog away to another good home. If there are restrictions on breeds where the person who is going to accept the dog lives, that would be their responsibility/liability. But, because the dog ends up being the victim in those sorts of situations, it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: Is it legal to shoot someones livestock for destroying a garden?

An officer told my neighbors to shoot my calf, sheep and goat that got out of their pen and into my neighbor's vegetable garden. This has happened just the one time.

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 15, 2020

This is a tough question. A person can shoot a dog for attacking his livestock. A person can shoot a wild animal for eating his crops. I've never encountered this particular situation before. I would argue that shooting your livestock for eating from a personal vegetable garden is not legal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: My ex left alittle over 1 month ago he left his dog & I’m taking care of her is she mine now
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 7, 2020

Not necessarily. If your ex hasn’t said anything, he could come back to get the dog at really any time. If you to settle the matter now, you can offer to buy the dog from him. If you get an agreement make sure you get it in writing!

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: what can I do about a dog kennel less than 50 feet from my bedroom in Pasquotank County, NC
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 6, 2020

This question is difficult to answer because you provided no details about what the problem is. I'm guessing it's either noise or smell or both. If that's the case, you could sue for nuisance, but you might have a "coming to the nuisance" problem, depending on NC law.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: What can I do if my neighbor will not come and get their dogs?

My neighbors dogs are always getting out and they come to our home. When I call them and tell them, they will not come and get them for days-weeks at a time. We have even taken them to the vet when they’ve needed medical attention. What are our rights in this situation?

Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman answered on Jun 17, 2020

Call Animal Control and report the loose dogs.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Car Accidents and Insurance Bad Faith for North Carolina on
Q: An ATT tech hit my dog in front of our house, on a private driveway. They denied the claim because my dog was loose.

The dog wasn't on public road, but on the side of a private driveway, defecating. The driver was going too fast, was not paying attention, and hit and crushed her skull with his truck. My understanding is that my dog can be loose on private property. She did not run to, or in front of the... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 7, 2020

File a claim with their insurance company. You can claim for the financial loss, and also may have a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. I'd suggest you talk to a member of the NC Trial Lawyers Assn/Assn for Justice --- they focus their practice on these types of cases, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: Hey if my dog bit a girl and the family is making us pay for the bill can we take them to court since they are not

They are not unsung their insurance can we take them to court and make them use their insurance since it will be cheaper

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Jan 17, 2020

If your dog bit their child then you are responsible and they do not have to use their own insurance, in fact most of the time their insurance may refuse to pay. What would likely happen is they will make a claim on your homeowner's insurance which should cover the claim unless you have the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for North Carolina on
Q: Should I expect to get reimbursed at least for medical bills at Urgent Care facility for dog bite - $175.00?

I'm riding my bicycle through my neighborhood (on the street) last night, and I come up on a lady with 2 German Shepherds loose in her yard with her. I hear her say "oh no", and the dogs start growling/barking, and then they attack me. As she's yelling "they don't... Read more »

Denise Anderson
Denise Anderson answered on May 25, 2019

Yes, you should be able to receive reimbursement for the medical bills you incurred. You can also receive compensation from the dog owner for the injuries you suffered. You need to show that the German Shepherds were pet dogs, and the owner did not confine them. Vicious dogs like German... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: Do I need court record and a written letter?

I was arrested in 2003 for animal cruelty. Main reason was a dog got behind me and I was scared so I kicked the dog and it ran into the streets and got ran over by a car. I have the right to protect myself is all I was doing. I stay a day in jail and was released the next day. I went to court a... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga answered on Aug 9, 2018

Regarding the animal cruelty issue: it will depend, first of all, on the statute under which you are charged. Also, you say you pled guilty and that your case was dismissed. If you pled guilty, your case was not likely dismissed, and there were likely charges. You will want to consult with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: In the seperation/settlement agreement,can I include the expense of the dog care I'm providing?

I'm trying to settle with a seperation agreement and avoid court. 50/50 split debt and equity. No kids. Minimal assests. I'm refinancing and keeping the house. Paying out her equity. Close to equal income. She is planning on taking 5 dogs. I will be keeping 1 dog, 2 rabbits, 1 goat and 6... Read more »

Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson answered on May 14, 2018

What makes you think the Court would award a 50/50 split? As to the agreement - you can set it up virtually anyway you want. The trick is to get her to agree to it and sign it. Of course, if you are doing your own agreement odds are you should be more concerned about properly drafting it instead... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Wrongful Death for North Carolina on
Q: Told vet to use harness when walking, will slip out of slip leash, she did , gate open, dog killed in road, can I sue

Have been going to local vet for 6 years, and they know our dog slips out of slip leash. Now I only use harness and told them to use this week. They didn't and dog got out os slip leash, and gate left open during walk. Our dog ran across 5 lane highway, made it, but then gone. Vet call me... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 26, 2018

You can only sue for the market value of the dog in most states. If your dog had a sale value of $80, that's all you get.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina on
Q: How do I get my neighbor to stop feeding my dog her leftovers? I've asked, given a letter she still puts in my yard?

I've asked her to stop in person a couple times, written a letter and given it to her and talked to her landlord. She stops for a while then starts up again. Is there anything else I can do? My yard is fenced in and I should be able to let my dogs out into it without any problems or having to... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 13, 2018

Set down and talk to her. Maybe with someone else --like a vet assistant --so she won't want to look bad by giving you an issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: Friend got kicked out of the house after coming out as trans; his mother kept his service dog. Can he get it back?

-He is over the age of 18 (enrolled in college, this happened over break) and currently staying with a cousin

-This is in North Carolina, USA

-He requires a service dog for multiple physical and mental issues; this has been certified by his physician.

-The mother paid for the service dog

Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson answered on Dec 21, 2016

It likely depends on who owns the dog as to who gets to keep the dog. However, there may be some legal options so he should consult with a local attorney who can go over the situation in more detail and lay out his options.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for North Carolina on
Q: vicious dog bite.

My wife was bitten by a dog a training facility in N.Carolina. They are not the owners of the dog. The insurance policy at this facilty does not cover my wife. The owners of the dog are another adoption facilty in S.Carolina,who sends dogs to this training facility who have a bad history of... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 11, 2016

It'll be a question of who had responsibility for the dog at the time. Suggest you contact a member of the NCAssn for Justice such as Doug Abrams in Raleigh--you can use my name; he'll give you a free consult.

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