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Florida Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: I need help getting my cats back that were given away by someone else who has no rights to them surrendered them an

They got adopted. I called the shelter asking if they were there multiple times days after day and was told no but they were and now I'm being told they were there so I was lied too when I was trying to claim them within the 5 days they lied saying they weren't there so they wouldn't... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

It sounds like you're facing a difficult situation with your cats, and it's understandable that you're feeling frustrated and upset. It's essential to gather all the evidence you have that proves ownership of your cats, such as vet records, adoption papers, or photos. This... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: My Dog, Jack, had TPLO surgery 12/22/2023. During the procedure, the Surgeon fractured his tibia. I was never advised.

I only found out from the referring Vet 2/12/2024. After we had complications about the wire which was inserted during the procedure. TPLO do not require a wire, but tibia fractures do. When I asked the Surgeon about the wire, he said it is used to stabilize the leg. Again, he never mentioned... View More

Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
answered on Feb 15, 2024

The first and only priority at this point should be getting a second opinion from an independent veterinarian surgeon as to your dog's condition and whether or not this is a viable treatment plan and whether any corrective action be taken. This is not only required for your dog's health... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can my husband be fired from his job if we sue his employer for a dog attack on her property?

I was attacked by a pitbull in the mobile home park I live in and my husband works for. If we attempt to make a claim, can his employer fire him? Can we be evicted? I've already been threatened by the landlord/employer. Due to the park managers negligence and lying claiming the dog was a... View More

Roberto M. Vazquez
Roberto M. Vazquez
answered on Jan 9, 2024

I handle landlord/tenant and dog bite claims statewide.

As for the landlord/tenant aspect of your question, your lease should protect you. If you have a one-year lease and are in compliance with all of its terms, then the landlord has no justification in trying to evict you. Florida Statue...
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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can my husband be fired from his job if we sue his employer for a dog attack on her property?

I was attacked by a pitbull in the mobile home park I live in and my husband works for. If we attempt to make a claim, can his employer fire him? Can we be evicted? I've already been threatened by the landlord/employer. Due to the park managers negligence and lying claiming the dog was a... View More

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Jan 9, 2024

Anyone can sue for anything but they won’t win in your fact pattern. A person fired from a job can sue based on a theory of “retaliatory discharge”. Additionally, a tenant can defend against an eviction based upon the defense of “retaliatory eviction.”

If you want to be sure that...
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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Landlord - Tenant and Personal Injury for Florida on
Q: Can u landlord evict u for suing them over a dog attack they r liable for. Is there anything legally I can do to avoid

I was attacked by a pitbull in the mobile home park I live in and my husband works for. The landlord is liable and she has already threatened me. I want to sue for the lifelong injuries I've sustained and the horrendous pain I'm constantly in. I don't want to be evicted for something... View More

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Jan 8, 2024

No, your landlord cannot threaten you with eviction because you have the right to sue him for your damages. If he did start an eviction case, you could defend with the “retaliatory eviction defense” under Florida law. You should retain counsel here in Central Florida for contingency fee... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Landlord - Tenant and Personal Injury for Florida on
Q: Can u landlord evict u for suing them over a dog attack they r liable for. Is there anything legally I can do to avoid

I was attacked by a pitbull in the mobile home park I live in and my husband works for. The landlord is liable and she has already threatened me. I want to sue for the lifelong injuries I've sustained and the horrendous pain I'm constantly in. I don't want to be evicted for something... View More

Gregory C. Maaswinkel
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Gregory C. Maaswinkel
answered on Jan 9, 2024

Short answer is No. The relationship between you and your landlord are governed by both Florida Law and the terms of your lease. You may also have a claim against the landlord and the owner of the dog (if it is someone other than the landlord) that attacked you for medical expenses, lost wages,... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: If criteria for giving a dog as a gift are met, but the chip is in the gift-givers name, who owns the dog?

My mother and I met the dog when we transported him for a rescue group. We both loved the dog but he was being adopted by “C”. About a year after the adoption, “C” could no longer care for the dog. She reached out to my mother to ask if we were interested in adopting him. I said I was,. I... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Nov 22, 2023

It appears that C gave the dog to you. Your mother acted as your agent when she picked up the dog for you.

Registration of the chip doesn't mean much. It has no relation to ownership (as in the case of vehicles or land), but rather just a system to establish a point of contact in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: íf i am a groomer and a dog dies, am i liable for it?

I am a groomer and a dog died while doing his nail, after a necropsy we found out that the dog had a health condition that could cause his death at any time, but I received an animal cruelty citation before the results. What should I do? can I remove the citation from my name without going to court... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Nov 11, 2023

Contest the citation and explain what happened. You could try to explain to the authorities who are charging you, but you probably will have to go to the court hearing.

It is unclear what you mean by "transfer it to the company [you] work [for]". If you mean the results of the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: Is there a remedy for refusing to return an animal as stated in a contract?

I have a purebred horse used for equine sports. We listed the horse for sale through a broker. A couple agreed to purchase through a “lease to own”. They wanted a one month trial at lease cost then full purchase price if they kept her. The month ended but they haven’t purchased or returned... View More

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Nov 1, 2023

I'm assuming you had your lease/sale arrangement in writing and signed by the couple, that you have demanded return of your horse in writing, and the couple has either refused to return her or has completely disregarded your demand. In that scenario, this likely constitutes a THEFT, so you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Business Law for Florida on
Q: Just curious if a waiver I was pressured to sign is legally bounding or mean anything. Thanks

Just curious if a waiver I was pressured to sign is legally bounding or mean anything. Thanks

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Sep 27, 2023

You signed a waiver AFTER they injured your dog?? A waiver that explicitly provides that you cannot make a claim against them for injuring your dog??? If it's really that kind of waiver, it may be enforceable in a court of law, with you letting them off scot-free - but you must show it to a... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My HOA in Florida is demanding me to get rid of my registered service dog after he launched at a valet guy while muzzled

He didn’t injure him or anything

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Jul 25, 2023

If the dog is deemed a nuisance, the HOA can demand removal of the dog. You might want to see if you can negotiate with the HOA for the dog to stay if the dog undergoes additional training. Even a muzzled dog can hurt someone based on the size of the dog and the person if the person gets knocked... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My HOA in Florida is demanding me to get rid of my registered service dog after he launched at a valet guy while muzzled

He didn’t injure him or anything

Michael  Mayoral
Michael Mayoral
answered on Aug 2, 2023

You should consult with an attorney experienced in representing homeowners against their HOAs. There are several different defenses to this claim based on the language of the governing documents. Also, there are DBPR opinions on this issue finding a dog not to be a nuisance depending on the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Florida on
Q: A dog attacked my cat on my property. Now my cat is missing. What all can I do

My neighbors on the side of her dog viciously attacked my cat. I have video proof of the dog in the cat in the altercation. My neighbor behind me was the one that broke up the altercation. I confronted my neighbor on the side. Showed her video documentation that it was her dog that attacked my cat.... View More

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on May 17, 2023

The dog owner is legally responsible for the vet bills, which you should first present to the owner to try to amicably resolve the matter, and if not settled, you can sue the owner in small claims court, assuming the amount is $8,000 or less. If the dog is owned by a couple, you would sue both... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Florida on
Q: A dog attacked my cat on my property. Now my cat is missing. What all can I do

My neighbors on the side of her dog viciously attacked my cat. I have video proof of the dog in the cat in the altercation. My neighbor behind me was the one that broke up the altercation. I confronted my neighbor on the side. Showed her video documentation that it was her dog that attacked my cat.... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on May 18, 2023

You can sue for the fair market value of the cat. A pet owner has a legal duty to confine their pet with a leash or inside a fenced enclosure sufficient to prevent the pet from escaping. You might have to address why you can’t find your cat, but the video may be sufficient to persuade a jury... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability and Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: Are there any attorneys that would take case against a company regarding a recalled product that killed my bulldog?
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Feb 19, 2023

So sorry to hear about your loss. Unfortunately, the measure of damages for the loss of your pet, as provided by law, would likely be only the fair market value of a bulldog of your dog's age at the time of his/her death and any vet bills associated with the incident. So the money that you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: Am I liable or my boyfriend for a dog bite while at dog boarding?

I book my dog and my boyfriends dogs through an online portal for dog boarding in Florida. I sign the yearly terms and conditions as an anuthorized representative of a legal owner as it is through my online portal account as we live together and use it as one household. Within the document it... View More

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Feb 13, 2023

Your boyfriend as dog owner is likely liable, and regarding yourself, that may depend on what "authorized representative" means as mutually understood by the parties - but regardless of who, if anyone, potentially has liability, the bite victim can and probably will file a lawsuit against... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: What can I do with a dog I cannot afford that has paperwork that my mother bought without asking if it was okay?

My mother decided to take it upon herself to buy a purebred Great Pyrenees (huge dog) and ship it to my house for my family. The dogs papers have my moms name on it and a lot of agreements, one which is to never give the animal to a rescue. I cannot afford this animal at all and when I told my... View More

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jan 16, 2023

You are not a party to the contract with the seller which your mother signed. Thus, you are not bound by the terms of the contract and don't owe whatever your mother may still owe. And she gave it to you; it's yours to do with as you please.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: What do we do about the new neighbors dogs and verbal abuse?

Our neighbors who moved in recently have two Great Danes. We have a Catahoula Leopard. Our dog is super friendly and social with people and other dogs.

The dogs were okay at first, just sniffing and barking. Then their dogs started digging under our fence and barking aggressively every... View More

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Jan 11, 2023

If Animal Control won't help you with this issue, you could hire a lawyer to send a cease-and-desist letter, demanding she stop the abusive conduct, or else. What is the "or else"? You could sue to enjoin the nuisance (seek a court order to stop specified acts). That would be... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death for Florida on
Q: On December 22nd 2022 my dog was hit and killed by an Amazon driver on my property,Amazon left and never said anything.

Amazon driver dropped off a package roughly in between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. and upon leaving struck my dog with the vehicle. And left my property without saying anything or contacting amazon. When I came back to my property minutes later my neighbor informed me that Amazon delivered a package and I... View More

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Dec 28, 2022

Sorry to hear about the loss of your pet. I have a dog, too, and can imagine your pain. If the death was accidentally caused (that, is caused by ordinary negligence), you likely have four years from the accident date to take legal action to recover (A) the fair market value of your dog at the age... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: The Hoa allows pets to reside in the condo with restrictions as to weight and breed. Can they restrict visiting dog?
James Clifton
PREMIUM
James Clifton
answered on Nov 30, 2022

It depends on the wording of the HOA declaration of covenants and restrictions. If it states that no dogs of a certain weight and breed are allowed, then it would apply to all dogs regardless of the owner. If it states that no property owner or member of the HOA may keep dogs of a certain weight... View More

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