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California Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Ex roommate stole our cat, and is threatening to go to police over something something illegal my bf did a month ago

She said that if I don’t give her my cats ownership that she would go to police over what my bf had done. I had to move away and my cat was left to my bf. My bf then moved and asked her to watch the cat for a few week and he would come back to get her. Once he had called to let her know, she... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Apr 6, 2020

more info needed.

you are between 2 hard choices. A lot would depend on what your boyfriend did. What does he say?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My 82 year old sister can no longer afford misdeneanor victim restitution payments, owes $172,000.

She has been making pmts for many years and would like to be rid of this financial burden. Needs help. I wasn't sure of category.

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 30, 2020

Consult with a Washington criminal defense attorney for modification of the restitution order, or with the Public Defenders Office.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: my sister was watching our dog until we were able to get into a place that allowed pets, since then we had a falling out

and she refuses to give the dog back. I have offered to pay her the cost of care for the time she had him, I have all paperwork showing im the owner, what can be done?

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 29, 2020

Report the dog stolen. It is unlikely that the police will get involved in this dispute, but you should begin there. If that doesn't work, you can sue sue your sister in Small Claims for the value of your dog or its return. If you sue, bring all evidence of the existence of your dog, and its... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I found a dog running around in my neighborhood with a chip May 2019.

I took the dog to the vet to be scanned and there as a chip. I generated a found dog alert. I posted on Pet Harbor, Finding Fido, notified local animal shelter, posted on Several FB groups, and also next door . Called animal shelter several times to see if anyone lost dog. Searched lost dog on... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 29, 2020

Yes, they can. Despite all of the things you did, you did not do what the law requires.

Under Civil Code § 2080, when you take possession of a lost thing, you are a “. . .Any person that. . .saves any domestic animal from harm, neglect, drowning, or starvation, shall, within a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My gf and I adopted 2 dogs registered to her. She left over a month ago. Now says she's coming to get them. Can she?

She did nothing but complain about them. She never wanted them I did. I have been the sole provider for them, also she moved to an apartment with no yard.

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 23, 2020

The fact that her apartment has no yard is completely irrelevant to whether she owns the dogs. The fact that you can provide a better home is completely irrelevant to whether she owns the dogs.

With respect to ownership, your post is unclear. You say that the two of you adopted the dogs,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: RE: ANIMAL SERVICES COMPLAINT FORM

Hi William,I contacted you previously about the mistreatment of a horse.The wife has emotional narcissistic issues & only cares about herself.There is a global pandemic, but all she cares about is finding out what i said in my report.I am shocked my detailed and sensitive information can be... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 23, 2020

FYI: Your post to me is public. If you want to direct your question to a specific attorney, click on that attorney's profile to find their telephone number or email address.

With respect to your comments, if a suit is threatened or filed against you, make a claim with your homeowners...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Hi, Animal services has just given my complaint records to the owners of the animal.

I would like to know if the owners of the animal i complained about, can sue me over the information i provided in my complaint? Everything in my complaint was true, concise and to the point. I am now very nervous about the situation.

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 22, 2020

Anyone can be sued for anything, for the cost of a filing fee. The question is whether a suit can be won. The type of claim that might be brought against you is for libel (written falsities) or slander (spoken falsities) that damaged the subject's reputation. If, as you have noted, spoke the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Help! My sisters ex stole her puppy?

I had a litter of puppies, my sister and I had an agreement that she would make payments to me for the puppy I sold to her. At the time she was in a relationship and living with this person, things got ugly he kicked her out and is now trying to keep the dog from her , however the dog was never... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 19, 2020

Sounds like your sister owes you money. You sold it to her and she agreed to pay. If you want to sue, you can sue her for the unpaid purchase price. It doesn't sound like the dog has been stolen from you.

Your sister can sue the ex for the value of the dog and/or its return. She can...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My neighbor claims that his dog ate my weed in our shared backyard and wants me to pay vet Bill's am I at fault?

The dog was in the back yard un attended

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 12, 2020

Impossible to say. Did he know the weed was in the backyard and let his dog back there unsupervised? Did he, or you, know that his dog would eat the weed? Was the weed legal? Is there any evidence in the veterinary records that treatment was provided related to consumption of weed? It's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Consumer Law for California on
Q: Can I take legal action against my doggy daycare for my dog being injured under their care, twice?

I take my dog to daycare during the week, she was injured during their care and had to have ankle surgery, they explained that they weren't sure what happened and it was a complete accident, I said fine, paid a few thousand $$ for her surgery and moved on to recovery, she was doing perfectly fine... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 12, 2020

The facility has an obligation to exercise reasonable care in conducting its business in a safe manner. You haven't pointed to any unsafe practices or incident. The fact that your dog was injured is not evidence of negligence. Dogs run, jump, play, wrestle, sometimes snarl and fight. Sometimes... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Ex-boyfriend left his dog and now he wants her back

My ex-boyfriend got a dog for his daughter, but when he moved out he left his dog with me saying he couldn't take her. It's been over a month since he left. The puppy is now bonded to my dog, me and my daughter. I'm the one paying for all the food, vet and care. He says his daughter wants it back... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 12, 2020

Maybe. Depends how he "left" the dog. If he said he couldn't take the dog, and that meant he was permanently abandoning it or giving it to you, you have an argument that the dog is now yours. Under Civil Code 1146 "A gift is a transfer of personal property, made voluntarily, and without... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: want to know what i can do to have my vet bills reimbursed and vet program cancelled dr ordered unecessary treatments
William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 12, 2020

If you want to claim that your vet bills should be reimbursed, you will need to find another veterinarian to examine the records of the first and give you a detailed declaration, under penalty of perjury, that the first veterinarian's treatment was below the standard of care (i.e., that no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can I keep my roomate's cat?

I am the property manager of the house I rent. 2 roomates J and R. R is great. J has not been. She's loud during quiet hours and has brought shopping carts onto the property. But the cat situation is the worst part. I helped her rescue Katy Kat when her ex abandoned the cat to spca; J has... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 8, 2020

No, you can't keep somebody's cat because you don't like how they care for it. Paying for food and litter is not ownership. Brushing a cat is not evidence of ownership. Owning several cats does not give you ownership of somebody else's cat. If you want the cat, offer to buy it. If you are... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can I file suit against my neighbor whose two dogs broke through my fence and killed my cat
William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 5, 2020

Yes, but the your damages are limited to the value of your cats (at least in California), so monetarily there isn't much to be gained.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can a vet adopt your dog out without you knowing
William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 4, 2020

Maybe. If you left your dog with the vet or didn't pay your bill. Under Civil Code sections 3051 and 3052, a veterinarian may keep an animal if the bill is not paid. If the amount due has not been paid within 10 days after the payment was due, the veterinarian may sell the animal. Otherwise, it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: So I have two cats both 2 years old and had them since they were 8 weeks old. They were both indoor and outdoor cats.

So they loved to go outdoors and come back home as they please. Unfortunately me and my husband had to move to a place where pets weren’t allowed to roam outside, so I tried to keep them as indoor cats, but they were very unhappy locked indoors all day. So I felt so bad so I posted them on... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 4, 2020

Nothing. You sold your cats. They don't belong to you. You have no agreement that stipulates that the cats go outside, or for how long, or how frequently. You have no evidence that the cats are not allowed outside, ever, even if you had a contract that specified outdoor access for the cats.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I own a kennel and was keeping 45 labs for a friend.she was paying me 500. Per week! + Price of one pup sold per litter.

can I keep the dogs.?I'm in calif.what do I need to do.i filed a small claims for 10,000 but it's more like 13,000 she owes

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 2, 2020

You might be able to continue to file new Small Claims actions as new charges accrue. You should have a lien on the dogs for the value of your charges. You might propose a written settlement agreement with her to extinguish the debt in exchange for ownership of some or all of the pups/dogs.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Child Custody for California on
Q: my former roommates stole 2/3 of my cats while I was not home. what do I do?

on all of the cats microchipping, vaccinations, neuter, I am the owner listed, not them. the day I came to move my things out of the home, they took the cats before I could do anything even though they are not the owners. no written agreement about what happens to the cats when one of us moves out.... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 2, 2020

Call the police. Sue in Small claims Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: Can a vet be sued for extortion when they force surgery on an animal that the owner cannot afford?

Dog jumped out of window injuring leg. Brought to urgent care vet which charged over $1000 up front just to see dog. Vet claimed dog needed $3000 surgery. Could not afford this and took dog home to care for myself. Splinted leg. Vet put on a cone and fentanyl patch and asked to bring dog back in 3... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Feb 28, 2020

more info needed.

it would appear the vet is following the law.

3 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: I'm a construction worker and I was on a job in Lake Forest .Home owner was gone and dog got out.

That dog was in the house and got out the front door and hit by a car. They are trying to blame me. I'm an independent contractor

William John Light
William John Light answered on Feb 25, 2020

Whose fault do you think it is?

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