Questions Answered by Kristina M. Bergsten

Q: Can you adopt a pet if the owner goes to jail?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Mar 15, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Technically, under these facts, the answer is no. If the dog was taken to a shelter, then ownership would sever after 5 days under Colorado statute. However, for an individual person, the abandoned property kicks in after 5 years. So, technically, unless this guy sells the dog to you or agrees to gift the dog to you, he still retains ownership, in spite of his circumstances. However, with everything going on in his life, he might agree to give the dog to you or not ask at all.

Q: My boyfriend and I each have an esa dog and each have an additional dog. Is this allowed in Denver since half are esa?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Mar 13, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
ESAs do not have the same protections as service animals so it depends on what purpose you’re asking this question. For zoning/code reasons or for rental/housing reasons? Generally, ESAs are not considered as “pets” and so wouldn’t count as a dog for purposes of zoning/code regulations.

Q: Can you try and win custody over a dog that is obviously not treated right?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 25, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
You need to call animal control. This sounds like severe neglect. Even then, that does not necessarily mean the dog will be confiscated by animal control - although, if the dog's ribs are showing that is more likely to happen than not. If the dog is confiscated by animal control, after a certain period of time the dog will be up for adoption. You can adopt the dog at that time, but keep in mind that the dog will likely be adopted to whoever comes first.

Otherwise, you can continue to...

Q: Someones dog jumped into my yard and got my dog pregnant. Can I sue?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
You can always sue someone. Whether you will win or not is another question. You could sue for the cost of birthing the puppies and possibly related vet bills and care. Since the weather has been below freezing out for a while, now, i hope your dog also has access to shelter and warmth while being outside on a chain all day.

Q: I live in a rural part of Colorado. After 40 years of rescuing Siberian Huskies one of my dogs escaped the yard and

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 19, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Your question doesn't have so much to do with animal law as it does with business transactions, but probably the best way to determine a fair price for the chickens is to check your local newspaper or "craigslist" listings for the going price for a chicken. I know off hand they are not $500 piece - unless they are some kind of rare, special chicken, but I've never heard of even a rare, special chicken costing that much. Most chickens are between $5-20.

Q: Are pit bull/husky mix allowed in Costilla county Colorado ?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 16, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
You should call the local animal control to make sure, but the pit bull ban usually depends on whether or not the dog has 51% or more characteristics that resemble a pit bull. So if your dog looks more husky than pit bull, you are more than likely okay

Q: My dog is wrongfully accused of attacking a man in the park. On police report.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 16, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
They probably will not take your dog if they haven’t already. I would recommend getting an attorney before your court date though.

Q: Person found a missing dog, called to relinquish it... but now says his friends don't want to give her back.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 4, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
I am a little unclear as to who is who in your narrative but if the owners know who have the dog and can contact them they could ask for the dog back and if the people refuse, they could sue in county court.

Q: Took neighbor's hypothermic puppy but left a note. Can they charge me with theft? Dog was returned.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Technically, yes, you could be charged with theft. It would be up to the responding police officer whether to charge you or not. It would most likely be a misdemeanor unless they claim the dog is worth more than a few hundred dollars. I think your statement that you should call animal control next time is correct. Also, be careful about what you post online because IF you ARE charged, it could be used against you in court.

Q: A friend gave us a dog and now wants her back after 9 months. We have paid all expenses. He changed his mind.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 12, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
If he gave you the dog, then it’s yours. He would have to sue you and win to get the dog back. However, because there are clearly some details that you did not post here, it would be best if you met either an attorney to go over all the facts to get your best resolution.

Q: I really need to know if i can sue my dog because he is giving me a mean face and i am scared

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 10, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
You should probably speak with local, Georgia attorneys on this issue. Your pug sounds like he means business, so it's best to discuss it with an attorney from your jurisdiction.

Q: If I have an ESA letter from a LCSW who is from out of state and not licensed in CO, is my ESA Letter still valid?

3 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
It is legal. You could always call the company to ask them to add species information, but under the FHA ESAs are not limited to dogs and miniature horses like service animals are.

Q: i gave a dog to some people 3 years ago and 3 weeks ago they gave her back. Can she take her back?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 18, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
It is unclear from your question what you are asking. Who is "she"? If you gave a dog to someone and they are returning the dog to you, it is up to you whether or not you take the dog back. If they gave the dog to a third person, they can do that because you relinquished ownership (based on your question) to the "some people."

Q: I have an emotional support animal (dog) and I just moved into an apartment. I forgot to mention this to the complex.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Potentially. You will likely need to provide documentation from a medical professional detailing your disability/emotional disability and that your dog alleviates these symptoms.

Q: If I care(vet,food,etc.)for a dog almost its entire life(2 years), can the person who left her in my care take her back?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
He would have to sue you in small claims court and win to get her from you. Its possible he could call the police but they likely won’t get involved. You have a strong defense against his claims of Ownership, especially if the dog never lived with him and always lived with you.

Q: My bf gave me a dog over two years ago I had him micro chipped and his shots can he take him from me in Colorado

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Oct 22, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
He would have to sue you and win in order to legally take the dog from you. But again, he would have to sue you and win in court.

Q: Who legally owns a cat if one person has the vet records in their name and another has the microchip in theirs?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Oct 20, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Wow! That is quite the situation you are in! Since person B is the original owner, most likely the cat belongs to him/her. But if persona A and B made an agreement that person A is the new owner, then it belongs to person A. More facts are needed to properly analyze this question. Either way, it sounds like these people need to come to an agreement or take it to court to let the court decide who owns the cat.

Q: Someone broke my fence, stole my dog and then called me to come get her because she thinks she's neglected.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Oct 20, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
I’m confused by your last sentence whether you have your dog back, but if you do not you can call the police and ask them to help you get your dog back. You can press charges for theft, destruction of Propety (vandalism), and trespassing. The cops will likely ultimately decide what to charge this person with.

Q: Dog Advocate has posted online pictures of my lost dog. Refuses to meet me at animal shelter to prove he is not chipped.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Oct 18, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
You need to sue her in replevin ASAP! If she works for a shelter, then there is only 5 days before the dog is considered "abandoned" and legal title of the animal transfers to the shelter. It sounds like you have been in contact with her, and she should meet you, but if she is not, it sounds like she needs some prodding from the legal system to get her attention.

Q: If my dog got through the fence and into the neighbors yard and killed their dog can animal control take my dog?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Oct 5, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
It is possible animal control would confiscate your dog, pending a hearing on the criminal charges against you for the death of the other dog. I would recommend speaking to an animal attorney to go over your options and defenses and make sure your dog is not euthanized as a result of this case.

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