Redding, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: Can i get in legal trouble for rehoming these animals before my baby is born?

I live with my mom since she wants to help my fiance and I save money for a better place as cost of living in california is high. She tells me and my older brother to not pay rent. I have two cats i got that she wanted to pay the cat food and litter for which i accepted as well as a small dog she got me as a gift. However a year ago they stopped peeing in the litter box and the little dog along with his brother started choosing to go to the bathroom inside. Weve tried everything to stop them and its gotten worse. One of the cats recently peed in our baby bassinet and it was not cleanable so we threw it away. The little dogs will pee on anything. I know her dog i cant do anything about but when i talk about rehoming the cats and the little dog that is mine she says i cant do that and theyre hers and threatens to kick me and my fiance out when im on the lease. I love animals and wish we didnt have these issue but my child comes first and am concerned about the safety hazards they pose.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I understand your concerns and agree that your baby must come first, the problem is that your mother wants to put the animals first, probably because when you move out, that is all the family she will have. In legal terms, this is a property question, because no matter how much we love them. pets are property, the same as a table or couch. So look at it that way, if it were your furniture, there is no question that you have the absolute right to do whatever you want with it. Likewise, you have the right to dispose of your own pets through re-homing. The issue will be how will mom be proving that the pets were hers, because if she protests about your disposal of your own pets, when it comes to baby vs. pets, baby wins. Most police departments have an animal control officer and most counties have animal control divisions. You might want to call them and discuss your situation to request a recommendation from them.

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