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California Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: What can i do to get my dog back that was taken by my friends coworker without my knowledge or consent?

I had to leave town for a few days for work and during my absence i had left my dog under my boyfriend's supervision. When i got back my boyfriend told me that he had asked a mutual friend of ours to watch my dog for a night because my boyfriend (due to a critical accident involving a family... Read more »

William John Light answered on Sep 10, 2019

Make a written demand to your friend, his coworker and the new "owner" that they return the dog and/or pay its fair market value/replacement cost (set a specific amount), plus punitive damages for theft (set a specific amount).

If the dog isn't returned, sue in Small Claims for your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: I purchased a puppy from a site on the AKC for $1500 & now the person is refusing to give me the puppy.

I was emailed a receipt for the puppy with a pick up date after Sept 15th. She is now wanting to break the deal but is not wanting to give me my money back. What recourse do I have?

William John Light answered on Sep 8, 2019

Sue in Small Claims for Specific Performance or for your monetary damages.

Plaintiff’s Claim and ORDER to Go to Small Claims Court; Form SC-100 (Lawsuit for monetary damages)

Request for Court Order and Answer; Form SC-105 (Request for Return of Property, filed with SC-100)...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: I voluntarily gave my dog to San Francisco Animal Shelter; and now, I’m trying to get my dog back.

Now they are saying that my dog needs to be neutered, before they can release him to me.

I’m requesting them to not get him neutered, and they are saying it’s a policy...

is there anyway I can request to not get him neutered? And to get him back ?

William John Light answered on Sep 4, 2019

You aren't trying to get your dog back. You are trying to adopt a dog from the shelter that you previously owned. The shelter owns the dog now. It can impose whatever restrictions it wants on adoption.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: My new neighbor placed a dog pen on the fence near our bedroom. Is it legal to keep a dog in an 8 x 8 enclosure 24/7?

I also worry that it will start smelling like urine and feces to the point where we can't open our windows.

William John Light answered on Sep 3, 2019

Locking up an animal 24/7 could be a violation of Penal Code § 597f, which provides, in part: "Every owner of any animal, who permits the animal to be without proper care and attention, shall, on conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor." Failure to clean the area could also be a violation.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: If I rent two rooms in my house and eachnown a dog and I have three dogs of my own. Can they keep theirs too 3 dog allow

In my city you can only have 3 dogs . but have renters that have a dog each

William John Light answered on Sep 3, 2019

Probably not. Check the city ordinance to determine how the 3 dog limit applies. Is it 3 dogs per residential address? 3 dogs per person? 3 dogs per tenant?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Roommate found stray that is ruining our space

We are subletting. Our roommates found a very sweet stray puppy and chose to keep it, but he makes a huge mess and they don't seem to care. We have to pick up after it. My partner if furious and wants to take it to the pound. Is that a legal course of action?

William John Light answered on Sep 2, 2019

The rule for finding lost property is that the person who finds it is a depositary for the owner, but is entitled to be compensated for caring for the property. Civil Code section 2080.

If the true owner cannot be located, the property must be turned over to the police department of the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: A Lady didn't want her dog anymore gave it to me i got him chipped and vaccinated now she's threatening to take him

she had him abandoned many people were complaining about how no one was taking care of him and she ended up giving him to me because she was looking for a new home for him. She never got him vaccinated or chipped she got him from a breeder and payed 2000 for him, I started taking care of him and... Read more »

William John Light answered on Sep 2, 2019

Your question says she gave the dog to you, but your description indicates that you simply started taking care of it. A completed gift cannot be revoked. However, taking care of someone else's property doesn't make you the owner. Her being a bad owner doesn't make you the owner. Decide what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: If my dog has bitten the neighbor she said it was an accident don’t worry about it and now has decided to sue.

I just rent with no renters insurance. What are my options

William John Light answered on Aug 26, 2019

Pay, negotiate or file bankruptcy. Don't give anyone any money without simultaneous exchange of a signed settlement agreement and release.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: can a trailer park say what size and breed your allowed to have?

William John Light answered on Aug 25, 2019

I believe that the trailer park can limit size and breed, except for service dogs or support dogs. Any exclusions that impact those dogs have to be based upon that specific dog's safety concerns - not breed or size.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: I watched neighbor's in heat dog for 3 days. My dog is not neutered. They got preg. Am I entitled to 1 of the puppies?

My dog got her dog pregnant while I took care of her in heat dog. She said her dog is at tail end of in heat time. She told me when puppies will be born but will not include or even talk to me now. Am I entitled to a puppy when they are born?

William John Light answered on Aug 25, 2019

No.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Can who ever gives you a dog come in your house and steal it back the woman breeds Boston terriers. She is my step daugh

We have 2 dogs but the one she didn't give us found a Wellbutrin pill on the ground. Makde her test positive for meth/ amphetamine so the daughter assumed it was meth and came into our house and took the puppy without owners consint

William John Light answered on Aug 25, 2019

Generally, if the dog is yours, she would not have a right to take it back unless specified otherwise in the purchase/sale agreement. You can report to the police that the dog was stolen. You can sue in Small Claims for its return and let the judge decide who the owner is.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: what should I do to help a dog that I believe is still being neglected by its original owners?

So for the past 3 weeks this dog that we believed that was a stray, ie. it had no collar, has been visiting us at all hours of the day, 24/7. Around the third week, we took him into our house as we did not want him to get struck by a car during his daily trek to visit my dog. This stray was... Read more »

William John Light answered on Aug 23, 2019

Call Animal Control. He's off leash so the owners are in violation of the leash law, and possibly mistreating him. You can attempt to adopt him through Animal Control if that's what you want.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Is there a limit to how many dogs a household can have

I found an article that states CA says it is unconstitutional for a county to limit the number arbirtarily because it vary by individual, is this true

William John Light answered on Aug 23, 2019

There is likely a limit set by your County and/or City.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: We found and cared for a sick dog then found a home for it. 1 month later the owner wants it back. What do I do?

I found a sick dog. Had mange and malnourished.

We paid for vet care. It was chipped and the vet contacted owner. One number was disconnected. And the owners were emailed.

We found a home for the dog and the owner finally reached out and wants the dog. She was in jail.... Read more »

William John Light answered on Aug 16, 2019

You had no right to give away someone else's dog. If the owner could not be located, the dog should have been given to Animal Control for it to put up for legal adoption. If the owner decides to sue you and/or the new "owner", s/he stands a good chance of success. You and/or the new "owner" may... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: My neighbors have my guinea pig and are refusing / lying about having him. What can I do about it ?

My guinea pig was in my backyard and wondered into my neighbor’s back yard once we asked them about my guinea pig they lied about having him... When my brother saw them w my guinea pig i’m extremely worried about my guinea pig because they weren’t properly taking care of him...Please help

William John Light answered on Aug 16, 2019

Call the police and report him stolen. Ask for it back or for its value, in writing. Sue whomever has it now in Small Claims for the value of the animal or its return.

If you sue, bring all evidence that the animal is yours, along with some kind of proof of value (receipts, offers for sale...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Can the my landlord make me provide ASCPA access to my dog?

ASCPA is calling the property owners and having them make me give them access to my dog.

William John Light answered on Aug 15, 2019

If ASPCA is part of Animal Control (i.e. law enforcement) in your City/County, it can enter your property with a warrant, or under exigent circumstances. Your landlord could give access to common areas.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Is there a statue of limitations on unlicensed dog citations? I got one in 2008 and now collections is harassing me.

Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Aug 15, 2019

If you're being harassed by a third party debt collector, it's an issue where you don't have to sit back and take the abuse. You would have a right to proceed under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act ("FDCPA") and likely also under the analogous state law. This does not necessarily mean that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: my ex boyfriend said too me it was a good idea if the animal stayed with him. until we found our own place i agreed to

THAT THEN I WAS BEING FORCED TO MOVE BACK TO WASHINGTON STATE AND PEOPLE AGREED NOT TELL ME ABOUT THE AGREEMENT. SO I WAS FORCED IN TO LET HIM CARE FOR THEM. i WANT MY AMINALS BACK HELP

William John Light answered on Aug 14, 2019

First, report the animal stolen. The, make a demand upon your boyfriend he return your animal. If your demand is refused, bring a Small Claims action.

If you could convince a Small Claims judge that the animal was stolen from you, you can recover the value of the animal and/or its return....
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: My mom gave my dog away behind my back what are my rights?

My mom had agreed to care for my dog for me until i got on my feet i would still come and visit regularly. One day she decided out of nowhere that her boyfriend was all of a sudden allergic to her. Her Knowing full well I couldn’t take her back right away . I asked her to give me a few days time... Read more »

William John Light answered on Aug 14, 2019

Report the dog stolen. The, make a demand upon the family friend that they return your dog. If your demand is refused, bring a Small Claims action.

If you could convince a Small Claims judge that the dog was stolen from you, you can recover the value of the dog and/or its return. If you...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Can i file a suit against an emergency vet hospital if so how?

I would like to get information or advice as to what steps i should take to request my pets medical records. I feel the attending vets didnt inform me of the risks of procedures done they also missed a diagnosis that i had to bring to their attention. The vets were very short and npt informative.... Read more »

William John Light answered on Aug 14, 2019

You can file a lawsuit for veterinary malpractice. You would need to obtain all of the treatment records and have them reviewed by an independent vet who would testify how your vet committed malpractice. Malpractice is not just attempting a treatment that was unsuccessful. Medical professionals... Read more »

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