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Michigan Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I'm being summoned to court which is 3 hours away for an arraignment about my dog biting another dog. What should I do?

While out in public, my leashed medium-sized dog got entangled in a crowd, while trying to unentangle him, he attacked a small dog that was being walked toward our direction. My dog hasn't had any issues previously which makes me believe that the little dog did something that my dog reacted to... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jun 17, 2024

Hire an attorney in the location of the arraignment. They may be able to arrange for this to be done by zoom or resolve it by some other means.

If this incident happened in your location, I'm unsure how you would be arraigned in a court 3 hours away. You also need to look into that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Gave someone a puppy and was suppose to return if didn't want her and they gave her away and now they won't return her

What to do if they won't give my dog back

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Apr 12, 2024

Not sure anything can be done. Presumptively, this was all done verbally; you have nothing in writing. Generally, when you give someone something, it becomes theirs once they accept the gift. There are no "give backs" under the law. Nothing would prevent them from giving the dog away now... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I need help with questions about a stolen pet cat..

I rescued this kitten little over 2 months ago and took it for his first vet visit. Before finding him, I had plans to go over seas for a month. So i made an agreement with my friend that I would be back in a month to get him back and pay for everything in the time being that they've done. Now... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Nov 20, 2023

Domestic animals are considered property. You could file a claim and delivery action. However, you really need to assess whether it's worth your time and effort. Even if you prevail, it would change the verdict you now should have that this friend is no friend of yours.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Libel & Slander for Michigan on
Q: Can you sue someone for making a false report to animal control?

Someone told animal control that we keep our dog chained up in our garage and muzzled at all times, which was completely made up as I have about half an acre backyard and garage is basically he's dog house, there was no chain and no muzzle because I have huge FENCED IN YARD!

the animal... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Aug 27, 2023

Absolutely. Even though you apparently don’t have any compensatory damages, you may be entitled to recover nominal damages if you prevail.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Criminal Law for Michigan on
Q: I pled guilty to Animal abuse. My case has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Can the court put me on alcohol testing?

I pled guilty to misdemeanor Animal abuse because my lawyer said the prosecutor would drop the misdemeanor and charge me with a felony if I didn't. This case has ZERO to do with any type of drugs or alcohol. Now the court has put me in a veterans treatment court and is trying to make me... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jun 7, 2023

I understand what you're saying but look at it this way: probation is in lieu of jail. You wouldn't be drinking alcohol in jail, would you?

And if you're in veterans treatment court, the counter argument would be made that drinking is contraindicative of the treatment and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: My neighbor walked on to our property about 5 yards without our consent, reached over our fence and was bit by our dog.

Police and animal control were called that day. Report was filed, and they stated the dog was not at fault because he was provoked and in a confined area on our property. She continues to threaten getting a lawyer unless we pay money to get a privacy fence. Do we have anything to worry about?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on May 18, 2023

A Michigan attorney could answer best, but your question remains open for three weeks. There's no controlling whether someone will sue or not. But based on your post, you have a strong defense. Keep all records and reports that support that your dog was not an aggressor. They'll be useful... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Michigan on
Q: If i am the victim of an attack, and want the attacker to pay for damages, is the attacker entitled to itemized receipts

This was a dog attack. my dog sustained most of the injuries.

Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh
answered on Jan 10, 2023

In a court of law, you will have to prove each and every element of your case, which in this context means that any monies/reimbursement you are seeking needs to be proven to be related to the incident. If the attacker contends that what you have provided is insufficient (and a Court agrees) then... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a non jury trial regarding a dog I saved running at large for the owner appearing well after and wanting it back

I found a dog running at large and saved it from being struck by a vehicle. He had no collar, identification, or microchip. I did everything in my power to find his owners, multiple ads, including taking him to the shelter and them posting their own ads. Well after a month after having this dog,... View More

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

I know being subject to a trial can be scary and intimidating, but I must say, you have a story, and the way you just told it suggests that you're probably more prepared for trial than you may think.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: Can a friend who i have been living with and paying rent stop me from recovering the bodies of my pets from a home fire

Trying to find my dog who was trapped in a burning house so I can bury him along with a cat and another dog and I am being told not to come on property or will be arrested for trespassing by a friend i was living with. Also I am not responsible for the house fire the home owner caused the fire that... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Oct 28, 2022

I'm unsure you have a right to go on that property. And depending on what's going on, it could be a secured scene for criminal or insurance purposes, so you definitely would not want to enter uninvited.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Contracts for Michigan on
Q: I have a written agreement that made a number of animals mine after a certain date. I rehomed them, can I be sued?

I housed a large number of exotic animals in an emergency situation. They were reptiles and insects, mostly snakes. The written agreement had a specific time frame for the animals and after that time the animals became mine. Since the animals were in poor condition (mites, respiratory illnesses,... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Aug 13, 2022

Certainly, a lawyer would need to review the actual written agreement, but if it says, as you're indicating here, "I agree to care for the animals for this period of time, and if you don't come get them before that time ends, they are mine", then I think you are on solid legal... View More

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... View More

Michael Zamzow
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
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
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... View 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... View 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... View 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
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... View More

Michael Zamzow
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.

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