Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers

Q: What are the liabilities of hitting a service dog that was not on a leash that died on the way to the vet?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Whether or not the dog was a service dog, if she sues you and wins, she could collect damages for the value of her dog. The fact that it is a service dog means it has a lot more training and therefore more intrinsic value, so if she uses and wins, you could be liable for more money.

So, if you choose not to push this through your insurance company, if she takes you to court, you could be liable for damages. The fact that the dog was off leash is the only factor that really matters in...
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Q: stepdad legally owns our puppy,moved out,didn’t take, doesnt care about and didn’t raise. how do i get “custody” of him

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
You will have to work this out with your stepfather. If you can buy the dog back from your stepdad, that would be the best solution. Your stepdad sounds like a real jerk, but getting the dog back should be your main goal. Hopefully, he will not injure the dog. Good Luck.
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Q: Is it possible to get a kitten back after surrendering it

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 16, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I have never heard of the "pay or surrender" policy, so that is new to me. I would think if you now have the money to pay the vet fee and get her back, you should ask them to do so. I am a cat lover, so I know how it feels to "lose" a cat, especially a kitten. Call them about this. I don't think it is against the law for them to tell you what happened to the cat. Hopefully, they did not destroy it, which would be a shame. Good Luck.
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Q: Are 3 person accounts and a little photo evidence enough to prove animal abuse?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jul 16, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Yes. You can report this person for animal abuse. Whether or not animal control can follow up and serve her with a summons all depends on whether you or they have a new address for her.

If she left the cats without a word and no forwarding address, there’s a very strong argument she abandoned them with you and they are now yours.
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Q: My original question was addressed by William Light. I don't see how to respond to him. Pls see below my reply to him.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 15, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I, Thomas Grossman, partly answered this question a couple days ago. Insurance companies are in business to make money, not to help people resolve claims. This case is more complicated than most, because it was not a typical car v. car case, but instead a car v. dog case. I don't know which part of your coverage your insurance company is basing its decision on. Perhaps you can find out. They appear to be treating this case under your liability coverage, when they might be able to apply...
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Q: Given a dog who was malnourished. we've had for over 30days. they want her back now Do i have any right to keep her?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Louisiana on
Answered on Jul 15, 2018
Ellen Cronin Badeaux's answer
Refuse. Tell her see you in court. Your vet bills are proof she was a gift. Tell former owner if they make a stink, then you will file a criminal complaint of animal cruelty.
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Q: How do I appeal/challenge a reversed Ex Parte order?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Appeals / Appellate Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Jul 15, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I don't know enough facts about your case, but I don't understand why the police, or an animal control agency, doesn't immediately arrest this woman for animal cruelty. Something doesn't make sense. You should get a lawyer ASAP.
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Q: is the landlords homeowners responsible?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jul 15, 2018
Salim U. Shaikh's answer
You must consult Attorney of your local jurisdiction so as to sue homeowner and their tenant causing damage to your fence and recovery of vet bills.
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Q: can I sue the person who sold me a sick puppy?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 13, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
That's a sad story. If you can prove that the puppy was sick when you purchased him/her, I think you should go to small claims court on this. Good Luck.
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Q: If a cat is left in your possession for 9 months and you give them 30 day notice your keeping it. Is that’s stealing?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 11, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I think the fact that you were left with the cat; that you gave notice to the owners; and that they never came to pick it up, gives you possession of the cat. It may be a close call, but the "owners" would have to go to Small Claims Court over this, and I doubt that they would. If the cat is now not with you, it makes it even more difficult for everyone to sort this out. In my opinion, you did not steal the cat.
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Q: my ex is trying to get the dog he gave to me, back after ive taken care of the dog for over 4 months.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Answered on Jul 10, 2018
Alex McClure's answer
Pets are personal property in FL. You would want to show the court what you can about your care and support of the animal (financially) and then its up to the judge to decide who the owner is. Obviously, there can be only one prevailing party in the claim because there is only 1 animal.
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Q: My dog got loose and jumped on a neighbor. No bite, no scratch. But neighbor claiming emotional distress. Can they sue?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 10, 2018
William John Light's answer
Yes, they can sue. Strict liability does not apply since there was no bite, but you are liable under the theory of negligence.

You are responsible for any physical injuries and, pain and suffering and emotional distress caused by the physical injuries. Emotional distress, without physical injury, would not be recoverable in this situation. The California Supreme Court has allowed plaintiffs to recover damages as “direct victims” in only three types of factual situations: (1)...
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Q: Best recourse for a breeder who sold a puppy that died of defect,had health contract, and fraudulent paperwork?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jul 10, 2018
Kristina M. Bergsten's answer
Filing in small claims is your best bet and also reporting him to PACFA or the equivalent agency in the state he is in.
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Q: Have dog 5 years. Family agreed to watch our dog until we got back on our feet-6 months, he chipped him & won't return

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Products Liability and Animal / Dog Law for Alabama on
Answered on Jul 8, 2018
Mr. James Parrish Coleman's answer
A dog is property. You can sue him. You are going to have to show that he agreed to keep the dog temporarily and that you didn't give the dog to him. GOod luck.
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Q: My moms boyfriend is trying to call the dog pound on my dogs just b/c he doesn’t like them. can he go to court for it?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Kentucky on
Answered on Jul 8, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
Not unless your dogs are violating the law. Keep him away from them nd you should be fine.
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Q: While walking my protection trained GSD, people often touch the dog without asking. What are my rights in this case?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 8, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
Most people love dogs, so I am not surprised that they would want to pet your dog. And, most people will probably ask your permission to pet your dog. If people pet your dog without asking your permission, ask them politely not to pet your dog. I believe mot people will respect your wishes.
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Q: My dog attacked neighbors cat in our enclosed backyard.Cat bills significant and cat died.Dog had bills too.Am I liable

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 7, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
If the cat was in your backyard when your dog attacked it, I would guess you are not responsible for that. Many cities have leash laws, but I believe you don't have to keep your dog on a leash when it is in your backyard. If that happened on the street, with your dog running around, that would be a different story. I feel bad for both the cat and the dog, as I am an animal lover. My guess is that each of you must bear the costs of your pet's Vet bills. I'm curious as to why the cat was in...
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Q: My boyfriend of ten years broke up with me in 2016. We have a 5year old daughter.Both child & I were abruptly forced out

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Jul 6, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I do not handle family law matters. You need to find a good family law lawyer to represent you. Unfortunately, they are usually expensive. However, it is very hard to sort these things out without an attorney on your side.
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Q: I was given a 5 month old puppy the previous owner now tells me he is coming back to get her. Do I have to give her back

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Answered on Jul 6, 2018
Alex McClure's answer
Animals are considered personal property in FL. If you were given the dog as a gift, then generally no it cannot be simply taken back.

If the disagreement is important enough, a lawsuit may be appropriate to resolve the dispute.
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Q: Cited for 1 dog off leash, officer got upset for giving mothers name & rewrote tic for 2 dogs. Abuse of authority?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 6, 2018
William John Light's answer
Go to court on the date given on the citation. Plead not guilty. Get a trial date. Show up for trial. Testify about the truth of what happened. Wait to see if you will be found guilty.
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