Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Kristina M. Bergsten
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can animal control give me a ticket for an incident they never showed up to and happened a week ago ?

My dog got out and was excited and jumped on a neighbor so they called animal control but I got my dog back inside and animal control nor police ever showed up. They called me this week and told me I have to go to court

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 7, 2021

Yes. They can file a criminal complaint against you with just a complaint (verbal or written) from the alleged victim. It would be in your best interest to hire an attorney to advocate for you at court. These dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog charges are serious, carrying with them a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: So my mom won’t let my dad have my dog over to his house cause my dog is comforting her new boyfriend who is bipolar

My mom and dad bought the dog and gave him to me my name is on his collar can I legally take my dog to my dads and leave him there? Also I would like for my dog to stay at my dads because he is diabetic and has kidney failure so I want my dog to be his service animal he wants that also. My dad... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 14, 2021

Yes legally you can take your dog to your dad’s house and leave him there.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Colorado on
Q: If I bought a dog from somebody and they weren't up to date on the shots and I wanted to return the dog and get a refund

And is it illegal to sell a dog without up-to-date shots to somebody

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 9, 2021

Depending on where the dog came from, it is very likely a PACFA violation. Age could also be a problem (a dog sold too young (i.e., less than 8 weeks old) to receive certain shots is a violation - although dogs do not have all their shots at 8 weeks due to boosters being necessary over a period of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Libel & Slander for Colorado on
Q: Can I sue for defamation for a neighbor spreading lies about our dog?

Our neighbor has been spreading lies about our dogs for years. Saying they were viscous, they have attacked them, etc. Our dog got into some trouble and their lies caused the situation to escalate quickly and resulted in our dog being taken away for 6 weeks, and going through a whole ordeal. In... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 8, 2021

Unfortunately, no because Colorado views dogs as property so that would be like suing for defamation for someone spreading lies about your couch. But you will need representation if you have been cited for a criminal violation by animal control. If you can prove your neighbors engaged in abuse of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Under abandonment and neglect laws what to do?

Friend drops off dog in January or February of this year. Since then the dogs anxiety of missing owner kicked in forcing us to purchase 2 dog cones by now to prevent excessive licking of paws. Both broke. We've contacted owner saying either to pick up the dog or schedule a vet appointment so... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on May 21, 2021

Take the dog to the vet and send the owner the bill.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: We adopted a puppy from a local rescue. We need to relinquish puppy but rescue is non-responsive. What are our options?

The contract we signed stated in the event of relinquishment, we are required to return the dog to the rescue. Legally, how long does the rescue have to accept the dog back? It's been 2 months since we contacted them. While they may be overwhelmed, this isn't a good situation all around... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 21, 2021

They are most likely overwhelmed. But that does not excuse them from their contact. Keep trying. In the meantime, if you’re reasons for relinquishment are behavioral, consider hiring a trainer or see if there’s dog has underlying health issues like an undescended testicle or something otherwise... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Are there laws to protect people who get attacked/chased by “service animals” who are not on leashes and aggressive?

The dogs are aggressive and chase me and my dog who is on a leash beside me. I’m afraid to leave my apt. What do I do?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 15, 2021

Yes. Service animals are required to be under the owner’s control at all times. So the dog cannot chase and attack you and be exempt from the law. Such behavior could fall under Colorado’s dangerous dog statute. If you are being chased or attacked by any dog, regardless of designation, you can... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: A man gifted my mom his dog after his wife passed away- a couple of months later he changed his mind and is asking for

The dog back now. My mom only has texts from him saying “she’s yours you can keep her” but she is afraid that isn’t enough and he may come for the dog either legally or by force. What do we do?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Mar 10, 2021

The text messages give your mom a very strong case. I would highly recommend she speak to an animal attorney to help her.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: I know someone who habitually kills their own animals, rather than pay for euthanasia. Is there a law against this?

This person has killed their own pets, for reasons ranging from genuinely putting a pet out of its own misery, to the pet peeing around the house too much. It's deeply disturbing, but is there a law in Colorado regulating what methods of at-home euthanasia are allowed? If so, how would this... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 5, 2021

Generally speaking, animal owners can dispose of their animals however they see fit, so long as it doesn't create unnecessary pain or suffering (i.e., shooting the dog and letting it bleed to death, instead of a "kill shot", or drowning). That said, I would recommend gathering... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: What kind of POA do I need for court

My roommate needs to file an appeal for a court case she has involving our dog but she is away at treatment and can’t physically be present at court. What power of attorney can I use granting me permission to file the appeal on her behalf?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jan 12, 2021

There is probably not anything you can do to get a POA for her if she is not suffering from a medical debilitation. She needs to contact an attorney to file the appeal. She can give you permission to do it for her, but the attorney will probably need to see something in writing. You should double... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Colorado on
Q: I legally purchased a dog from an animal shelter a year ago. The previous owner somehow got my personal information fro

from the animal shelter, name, phone, address, etc., and has called me wanting the dog back. I clearly said no. He claims his ex wife gave the dog away to the shelter and he didn’t find out until 4 months later. He has since sued me and the animal shelter for custody of the dog. The dog is... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jan 12, 2021

The regulation severing ownership from prior owners to the shelters should apply and give you rights. You definitely need an attorney to help you.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: I tried to purchase a puppy I found on the internet from a seller in pensacola florida. I paid for the puppy and was

sent a transfer of ownership certificate but never got my puppy

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Dec 3, 2020

A lot of puppies for sale online are scams. Your situation is, unfortunately, very common. You will have to sue this person - if you can find him/her - in Florida to get your money back. You might be able to call the local sheriff's office to report the crime, but that would mean you would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Alabama on
Q: Question about Pet custody.

In 2013 my husband and I purchased a family dog and of course let his daughter pick out and name the dog. Now she 17 and no longer comes to visit. Her Mother his ex wife is now suing us for custody of max the dog. she has no monetary ownership nor has the dog ever lived with her. they had been... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Dec 2, 2020

Probably not. She has no ownership interest. That said, people can sue for anything. The clerks at court do not have the authority (or time) to screen cases to see whether they are valid or not. The real question is whether the person filing the suit will win. Based on what you said, it sounds like... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Washington on
Q: Rehomed my puppy to a family, they only paid part the agreed amount and have avoided paying the rest, can I get my dog?

I chose to re-home my dog after suffering an accident and the reason was to help my family and find a better home for my best friend, I've heard every excuse in the book and all the promises that go with it... I miss my dog, he saved my life more than once and he's worth more than $350 to... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Dec 2, 2020

You can sue to get your dog back for nonperformance on a contract. Text messages will be sufficient to prove there was an agreement, if you do not have a formal, written contract. I would recommend contacting a local civil litigation or contract lawyer in your area to help you with this lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: I boarded my 14 yr old healthy cat and my 6 yr old cat at a vets boarding facility for one week. I called during the

week to check on them and was told they were fine. When they were picked up the older cat was visibly sick and died 2 days later. Any recourse?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 30, 2020

Yes, you’ll need to act quickly to get any surveillance footage from the facility. Most security footage is only stored for 10-14 days depending on the system. Having an attorney write a letter to preserve the evidence and a demand letter after an investigation into what happened can help either... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: I’m 19 and live with my mom and her husband. She got me a dog for my 19th birthday. I have had the dog for 6 months and

She is trying to get rid of it. Can she do that if she bought it for me in the first place?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 30, 2020

No, you are legally the owner. If this is a concern of yours, you should make sure your dog is licensed and microchipped in your name in case she tries to remove the dog without your knowledge and permission.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Texas on
Q: My boyfriend went to his moms house she has dogs there and one of them got out, can he get a ticket

He does not live with his mom he just went to visit . Can he receive that ticket ?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 30, 2020

Any person can be ticketed if the animal control officer finds your boyfriend to be the one present when the ticket is issued. The real question is whether or not he can be convicted of the criminal offense. He should speak with a local animal attorney or criminal defense attorney to go over his... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: If seller sells me a sick puppy and contract says they guarantee this puppy to be healthy do they have to reimburse vet

Contract says nothing about vet bills does address sick puppy and say we may return and recieve have total price and a new puppy.

I have spent $2800 in vet bills on this puppy.

The contract also says “seller gaurentee a this puppy to be healthy at time of sale”

When I... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 29, 2020

You need to speak to an attorney. There might be consumer protection laws in your state that entitle you to compensation.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Ohio on
Q: Can a shelter legally take ownership of a dog that has been brought to them?

My dog got out of my yard while I was at the store , he was taken to a shelter and when I called and scheduled to pick him up I was not made aware of a time limit that would give them ownership.. they then call me the day after he supposedly became their property to tell me he would be nuetered , I... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 29, 2020

In Colorado it’s 5 days, so it’s probably something similar in Ohio. I guess they should have told you, but they’re not really required to and most laws operate under the assumption that the owner will come immediately. Maybe they’ll let you re-adopt him

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Negligent breeder gave me wrong dog and wants it back.

Bought a puppy in Colorado. Drove a 1k miles (roundtrip) and they gave me the dog. Two days later they inform me it's the wrong one and want it back. I say no - family already bonded. They then reported the microchip on the dog stolen which is different from the one on the contract.... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 29, 2020

That definitely sounds like an awful mess! It sounds like you’re going to need an attorney to help you fight this because you have some good defenses if it’s in small claims court. You also have some good defenses based on what you described, no matter what court the breeder takes you.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.