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California Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: service animal denied entry in the apartment the VOA paid for Even though her credentials were shown

Service animal denied entry to apartments provided by the VOA

Was told that the Americans with disabilities act doesn't apply

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

Sounds like a good case. Talk to a discrimination attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Ex boyfriend stole my therapy dog and then licenced him under his name. How can I get my therapy dog back?

Broke up in early November. Lived together as roommates until late December (due to a lease) when he stole my dog. Has refused to let me see him.

I called the police, they said that the dog was licenced to him now. Isn't he in possession of stolen property?

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

ANSWER: You can sue in Small Claims Court for return of the dog.

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)

Order on...
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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: my ex kept the cat I adopted. Am I responsible for her bills?

I adopted a cat in California in 2016. I moved to Oregon in 2018. My ex and I agreed that he would keep the cat but no transfer of ownership was made. Because my ex is shady and has tried to push his bills on me -even stole money from my account- am I legally responsible for the cat if he doesn’t... Read more »

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

It's his cat. You abandoned ownership or gave it to him. It is no longer yours. There is no formal "transfer of ownership" for a cat. If the cat was licensed and or chipped, you might consider contacting that entity and informing it of the new ownership.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My boyfriends sister abandoned her dog for a year and me and him want to take it

My boyfriends sister abandoned her dog for a year and we began taking care of her and buying her leash and tag. We were given her microchip forms by the sister and now she is saying she wants the dog back. She said she has the forms such as shots and adoption, but the dog has been out of her care... Read more »

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

It's unclear if she demonstrated an intent to no longer own the dog, or just left it with relative with the unspoken assumption that they would take care of it until she returned.

If she disputes ownership, you can't be "sure" that you can keep the pup until you are sued in Small Claims by...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I rehomed my dog, however they new owners didn’t pay the full fee and are reluctant on giving her back, what can I do?

They avoided me for a couple of days and stated that I had originally stated a different price verbally but I have the message stating otherwise. What can I do?

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 15, 2020

You can sue for breach of contract and recover the unpaid funds, or try for an Order to return the dog after you have refunded what they have paid.

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

Request for Court Order and...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Constitutional Law, Consumer Law and Criminal Law for California on
Q: My dog Cooper got away from me and turned in at the Humane Society. I had spent all early morning and the day looking

Emailed all local shelters , and posted advertisements in neighborhood and online to find him. At 5:00pm the same day he went missing I located him at the local SanDiegoHumaneSociety. They had closed , I was instructed to claim him the following day upon opening.

4 years prior he had a... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Jan 4, 2020

more info needed.

did you know he had a chip? did you make any attempt to "re chip" the dog?

you can retain a local lawyer or go to small claims to sue.

not the type of case we would accept but some lawyer might do that.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: How can I get my dog back?

My dog went missing on new years eve and we have spent the past three days looking for her by asking neighbors and putting up posters. Two of my neighbors have claimed that they seen my dog and one of them have stated that they were taken around the time I had mentioned to them and another neighbor... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 3, 2020

Call the police and report your dog stolen. Provide them pictures of your dog in the neighbor's back yard. You can also sue in Small Claims Court for return of the dog.

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

Request...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can I get my dog back?

Two weeks ago my dog got lost. Recently my dad found my dog but a man was walking him. He approached the man and told him the dog was his. The man stated a homeless person sold him the dog. My dog did not have a chip and so they implanted one on him. Now they claim the dog is theirs. We have... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 31, 2019

Call the police and report a theft and the neighbor who admits receipt of stolen property.

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Rights for California on
Q: If I am arrested for something while in the company of my service dog, can the police separate us? I'm legally disabled
David Stephen Kestenbaum
David Stephen Kestenbaum answered on Dec 30, 2019

Interesting question that requires more information. What were you arrested for? Where were you arrested (home, in a car, at another location) and what is your disability?

If you are interested in filing a lawsuit you need a lawyer specializing in ADA/Civil rights. If you want to see how...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can I be arrested if I cant pay my kennel bill

I have had my dog at a boarding place since October and I want her back but the place is not accepting payments or trying to work with me. I am nervous that any day now I could be arrested because she is still there.

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Dec 29, 2019

We do not have debtors' prisons in California. Your debt to the kennel is a civil matter. Under the facts you have provided you do not have a reason to fear jail time. If the kennel is telling you otherwise, they may be in violation of the law and you should contact a qualified attorney immediately.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: my 2 service dogs and i were staying at an airbnb in California. they both got out of the yard and were picked up by

a citizen and taken to the shelter, I did not find out they were there until they had both been adopted, I have a prescription from my psych and family doctor stating that i can not be without them. CAN I GET THEM BACK FROM THE NEW OWNER? I will reimburse them for any out of pocket costs they paid

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene answered on Dec 27, 2019

Someone would have to get many more facts from you to determine if you could force them to return the dogs. Instead you should contact the new owner (if you know who they are) and tell them your story and offer them the money you otherwise would have put into a legal remedy. If you don't know who... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: What is my legal responsibility for 2 dogs my daughter left behind when she moved 4 months ago?

She states that she can't afford a pet deposit, "but don't do anything to them. I want my dogs." How do we legally get her to take responsibility for her pets? Can we legally find them a new owner?

William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 24, 2019

You are not responsible for someone else's property unless you agreed to be responsible. If you are no longer willing to house the dogs, inform your daughter and give her a reasonable amount of time to find other accommodations. If she does not do so, surrender the dogs to a shelter and inform... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Our dog was impounded on 12/4 in colusa CA, we surrendered her 12/5, she was posted for adoption same day.

We felt owners remorse and tried to reclaim her, we were told she was already adopted. On 12/7 we tried to reclaim her before she was adopted out, we were kicked off the property and told there was nothing we could do. We watched her get loaded and shipped out to WA state. Do we have rights?

William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 13, 2019

No, you don't have rights. You voluntarily surrendered any rights you had. She isn't your dog anymore.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Ca tenet got dog against lease says it’s emotional support dog for adult son Rottweiler/pit bull? Can I insist dog go?

My home owner’s insurance won’t cover this animal. Worried laws with emotional support animals will force me to work with him. He has a letter from a therapist confirming the emotional support

William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 12, 2019

To begin with, Homeowner's insurance doesn't cover landlord liabilities at all, so not covering liability arising out of a tenant's Rottweiler/pit bull is just one claim of many for which you will not be covered. You will need Landlord Insurance. Confirm with your Insurance Agent.

Your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Is it legal in California to own a prairie dog?
William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 4, 2019

No. "To protect public health and safety, agriculture, wildlife, and natural resources, California's restrictions apply to many kinds of wild and domestic animals that are legal pets elsewhere, including hedgehogs, gerbils, degus, prairie dogs, sugar gliders, fur-ranch foxes, monkeys, and Quaker... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I was gifted a dog that was found.

The person who found the dog said they had had the dog for 3 days and looked for the owner, had taken him to the shelter and that there was no sign of the owner so they were trying to find a home for him because they couldn’t keep the puppy. Today the 5th day, we received a text from the guy who... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 4, 2019

Yes, you have to give him back. He belongs to someone else. You know that. You are basically stealing somebody's property. The person who found the dog had no authority to give him to you or anyone else. He was supposed to give him to Animal Control.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Justia, hi, I If my neighbors dog gets out of their back yard, on my prop. my dog bites his, would we be liable?

The neighbors dog crawled underneath their gate and walked over to our front yard, went to the bathroom on our grass. When our dog seen this behind a locked gate, he broke through the nylon built gate to bite the animal. My mom just arrived when this occurred. The neighbor and my mom somehow... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Nov 26, 2019

You are probably not liable if your dog bites another dog that enters your property without permission. If your dog exited your property and bit another dog, you would likely be liable. Strict liability applies only to dog bites on humans who are lawfully in a public or private place.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: neighbors dog broken multiple fence boards in attempts to attack my kids, authorities don’t seem to care, what do I do?

I’ve contacted the owner, animal control, city code enforcement and local police and none of them either seem to care or say there is nothing they can do, I feel the system is failing me here and leaving me no safe options. I need some advice on how to proceed.

William John Light
William John Light answered on Nov 13, 2019

It seems that you need a better fence. Six foot chain link or masonry so that the dog can't chew through it. If it's wood or chain link, beware. The dog can also dig under it. Neighbors have an obligation to share the expenses of a property line fence, assuming that you have otherwise complied... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can the DA or another lawyer start a class action lawsuit against Posh Paws Dog Groomers, hurt/killed dogs in Rocklin CA
Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 12, 2019

The DA wouldn't be the person to start a class action. Could a private individual? Probably not. A class action is only appropriate when the number of plaintiffs are too numerous for conventional for conventional joinder--as a rough rule of thumb, if you can fit them in the gallery on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: If my service dog is in pound . Do I have to pay the release fee. Or should they release to me because it's a service do

We lost our dog on Halloween evening when trick or treating since then . Then dog was taken in by somebody groomed and somehow landed her way to the pound where even though she is registered and has tags. The tags when lost were not currently be worn by our dog sheilla

William John Light
William John Light answered on Nov 8, 2019

As far as I am aware, there is no exemption from impound fees for a service dog. The pound will know. Ask them.

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