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Michigan Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: My dog was bitten by another dog and is currently at the vet. What should I do

My dog and I were at a dog park when another dog, out of nowhere, ran up and bit my dog's leg. My dog did not provoke the other dog as she was in my arms when this happened. My dog is currently at the vet and is being checked on, but they're saying it could cost $1,500 or more and I feel... Read more »

Michael Zamzow
PREMIUM
Michael Zamzow
answered on Mar 14, 2022

You could sue the owner of the dog who bit your dog, small claims might be an option. It might also depend on the rules or standards of practice at the dog park.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I am being sued by my next-door neighbor because of dog bite

I called the police as soon as it happened. Animal control came over we made a statement. It’s all in writing.He swatted at my dog from his side of the fence and then my dog bit him

Michael Zamzow
PREMIUM
Michael Zamzow
answered on Feb 1, 2022

Sounds to me like you'll want to notify your homeowners insurance and hire an attorney ASAP. Your homeowner's policy and, generally, a lawsuit has very strict timing requirements of response following service of process (receiving notice of the lawsuit).

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: What can I do when I stud my dog to a neighbor and we had a verbal agreement that I would get pick of the litter

And they are trying to charge me a fee for it when that wasn’t to the agreement

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jan 23, 2022

The problem with verbal agreements are that they are usually worth the paper they are printed on. You would need to prove there was an agreement and what the terms were. Tough task when the other person is probably going to deny it.

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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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.

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