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Georgia Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Health Care Law for Georgia on
Q: Does HIPAA apply to veterinary medicine in the state of Georgia?

A friend of a client asked about the client's dog's health condition. A receptionist gave the friend information regarding the dog's health, however the only information given was the diagnosis of the dog's health condition. The client was unhappy that her dog's diagnosis... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Oct 12, 2021

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) that governs privacy when it comes to human medical care does not apply to veterinary patients. However, Georgia has a statute on point, O.C.G.A. 24-12-31(a) which provides [n]o veterinarian licensed under Chapter 50 of Title 43 shall... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: can't have a dog where i live. The dog has been at my cousin's house for the past 6 months. Can he legally give it away?

Can my cousin legally give my dog away. He pays for the food and has for the past 6 months and I rarely have a chance to visit my dog. He can't take care of it any more and I can't take it with me. I have no one else who will watch it. I don't want to lose my dog tho.

Joshua Schiffer
Joshua Schiffer answered on Sep 27, 2021

Its really a question of "who owns the dog" and not "where is the dog allowed. You need to determine who is the actual owner and that owner gets to decide what happens with the animal. Animals are chattel/property in GA.

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: My daughter was attacked by dogs. The owner received citations. What is he liable for concerning my daughter’s injuries?

My daughter received several lacerations, puncture wounds, an ankle sprain, had to have stitches, is currently having to receive a series of rabies vaccinations, lost her glasses, and her phone was broken. The dogs had gotten loose from the fenced in area of property the owner inhabits. My daughter... Read more »

T. Andrew Miller
T. Andrew Miller answered on Aug 15, 2021

You have a claim against the dog owner. More information is needed to determine if that claim is likely to be successful. You should consult an attorney for more guidance in this matter.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: Predator chased 2 horses, jumped fence ran into highway, killed, no injury , moderste auto damage what's my best options

Gates were locked. Fence made from approved height specs for horses. Added electric was up and secure across top food water hay available. Ran in front of car killed one injured euthanized other. No bodily injury to driver, moderate vehicle damage . Cited 2 counts of animal at large. Whitfield... Read more »

Joshua Schiffer
Joshua Schiffer answered on Jul 31, 2021

I advise working out restitution with the owner of the damaged property and then asking them to support you in requesting. dismissal of the charges. You appeared to act reasonably and accidents happen. At the same time there is strict liability in most animal ownership issues. I imagine,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: I need to consult with an HOA expert.

I am being targeted by the HOA and they are finding me exorbitant amount for my dog being off leash along with other matters of misconduct and abusing board member Authority. I honestly need a pro bono attorney in Atlanta that I can talk to because this is going to get ugly. I have a medical... Read more »

Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh answered on Apr 14, 2021

If you are seeking a free attorney or one who will charge reduced rates, I would contact legal aid in your area or I would contact the local and state bar association and ask them if they have a list of attorneys in your area who would consider taking your case on a pro bono basis or at a reduced... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Car Accidents for Georgia on
Q: I was a passenger in a bkseat of a vehicle on Sat nt & I had my support dog with me, we both were in shock

We both urinated and had bowel movement & now he is scared to death to get in a vehicle, I didn't go to the er due to being unsanitary & in shock. Now I can't hardly breathe in, my chest plate is injured, I can't hardly move my right arm up to my breast plate.

My RT... Read more »

Tristan Blain Morrison
Tristan Blain Morrison answered on Feb 12, 2021

It sounds like you had a serious car accident that was not your fault. Given your injuries, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney immediately.

1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice and Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: Just how successful are attornies as far as prosecuting malpractice cases against veterinarian surgeons?

My dog had cataract surgery whereas the surgeon really screwed up his eyes and made him worse than before the surgery. My dog never recovered from the procedure and untimely passed away shortly after. I had made several complaints against the surgeon to the clinic and the surgeon herself after... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Jan 10, 2021

I have been practicing law for approximately 20 years and I am not aware of any attorneys who regularly handle veterinarian malpractice cases. In fact, I cannot think of a single example.

In your case, I suppose you could sue the veterinarian for malpractice but you would have to show...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Georgia on
Q: How should I go about getting money owed to me? I have contacted the person but they have not responded.

My sister purchased a puppy, unfortunately within a week the puppy was injured. To be clear the puppy was injured at her home in her care. My husband and I visited her home to which we found the puppy limping. Long story short we made an agreement that we would take the puppy off her hands if she... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 24, 2020

You will have to sue her in small claims court.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Re Georgia code, which should I reference for reimbursement of reasonable pet fees (vet, insurance, etc.), please?

My father died, leaving his pet without a designated owner in the Will; he mentioned to me before he died that the pet dog was mine; saying, "Blackie is yours." My father said that at least three times to me and other(s). I lived with my parents for the preceding almost three years,... Read more »

Seth Meyerson
Seth Meyerson answered on Oct 7, 2020

Unfortunately, your assumption of ownership of the dog will not entitle you to any more of the estate. The dog, according to GA law, is merely property.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law, Animal / Dog Law and Child Custody for Georgia on
Q: In the state of Georgia, if someone gifts you a pet (cat), when/how does it become legally yours? Gifter wants it back

Given a cat for Christmas almost 4 years ago cat was adopted in GA but person who adopted her from the shelter was an Alabama resident. He adopted her (official papers) and unofficially gave her to me as a Christmas gift, Times have changed and he wants the cat back. I have receipts where I’ve... Read more »

Homer P Jordan IV
Homer P Jordan IV answered on Aug 26, 2020

Going off of the facts that you have provided, it sounds as though the cat is yours. I would recommend holding on to the receipts for care that you mention, just in case he wanted to take this to court to try and get the cat back. -Homer P. Jordan IV, Esq. 404-620-1558

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: can a home owner of a house be fined for animal abuse even if the dog is not theirs?

My boyfriend is a homeowner, but the occupants who live with him refuse to take care of their dog and wont let us help the dog. Refuses us to be able to get vaccinations, flea prevention, everything. A few years ago, the people who live with my boyfriend, picked this dog up off the street, and has... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Aug 2, 2020

Georgia law provides "[a] person commits the offense of cruelty to animals when he . . . [h]aving intentionally exercised custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal, fails to provide to such animal adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, or ventilation that is consistent with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: What laws contain dogs killing a goat but not being a violent dog?

My dog killed the neighbors goat. She’s not aggressive towards people or other animals.

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 28, 2020

I don't really understand the question. Killing a goat is a destruction of property issue, so that may or may not be criminal. Whereas issues of vicious/aggressive/dangerous dogs are criminal. You might just be civilly liable for the value of the goat. Although, in some jurisdictions,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: My ex husband stole my dogs out of spite and gave them to an animal shelter and they already adopted them out before

I had the chance to reclaim them do they legally have to give me my dogs back or give me the names of the people who adopted them

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 22, 2020

I’m sorry for your loss! That is absolutely abhorrent what your ex did.

In Colorado, once a shelter has a dog for 5 days and the dog goes unclaimed during that period, the shelter legally owns the dog. That’s set out my Colorado regulation. You might want to check if that is also the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: My dog (on leash) bit my neighbors cat (roaming unsupervised) - should I get a lawyer to protect my dog? State of GA

Incident happened in the common area of my condominium complex. Same thing happened two years ago but she continues to let the cat out to roam freely. I want to make sure nothing happens to my dog as he's never been aggressive towards humans or other dogs. Additionally, my wife and I are very... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 21, 2020

It's unlikely she would pursue anything because the cat was unsupervised and, generally speaking, the law could care less about cats, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it...). It's unlikely animal control or law enforcement would press charges against you. That... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: I paid a pet deposit for my dog and in one area of the lease it states no indoor pets but then another part of the

Lease states you’re responsible for any damage they do and specifically list blinds(indoor item). My landlord will not allow my dog inside and forces me to keep her out side in extreme heat and she can only be inside if it’s below freezing. Is there not a law against leaving dogs outside when... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 19, 2020

Generally, no, most states don’t have laws about keeping dogs inside Unless the temperatures are extreme because dogs are property in most states. And because you signed a lease, you’re kind of stuck with the terms. Can you give your dog to a friend or family member during the day so he/she can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Georgia on
Q: I purchased a dog in Georgia. I paid 3000 I realized I’m to busy for a pet so I wanted to rehome him I was advised that

I couldn’t because I was only partial owner and I would have to give him back. I request only 2500 of my money back they agreed to give it back after I give them the dog back. Now I can’t get in touch. I had the dog for 5 day 3 of which I stayed in Georgia with him

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 18, 2020

I’m not sure I understand the question. If you have to give the dog back to the breeders, then you should do it so that way he can be rehomed safely to someone who can actually care for and about him.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: Is is against the law in Georgia to ask for money for our dog that was stolen that she has admitted to having

Our home was broken into and our dog was stolen we now have found him and the person that has him is requiring we pay 1000$ to give him back to us. Isn't this against the law. She has already admitted that he is ours and that the person we suspected that broke into our home did bring her the dog.

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 5, 2020

I’m not aware of how asking for a reward for a dog is illegal, necessarily. But if you suspect this person had to do with your dog being stolen then you should call the police to get your dog back.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: Am I in the wrong regarding my dog and property?

I have a temporary neighbor, or at least I believe she's just moved in with her family that lives half of a mile down our dirt road due to COVID-19. Anyway, she walks everyday and has called authorities about my dogs. The thing is, they walk to a light pole in front of our property and our... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 2, 2020

You can’t really stop someone from calling the police. If the police haven’t done anything and haven’t issued you a ticket or summons, then you might just have to deal with it until she gets tired of calling with no results. If you have been issued a ticket or a summons, then you’ll want to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: Is it illegal to walk your horse down street in subdivision. It is not a gated community.

No lawns or sidewalks are involved. Lady was stalking and filming my daughter telling her she was committing criminal trespass.

Priscilla T. Upshaw
Priscilla T. Upshaw answered on Jun 1, 2020

It depends on your city/municipality and/or county ordinances. It may be best to check with your city or county ordinances to determine what is permitted.

Criminal trespass occurs when someone “intentionally damages any property of another without the consent of that other person.”...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Rights for Georgia on
Q: How do I file for adverse possession on house that has been abandoned for several years. I have occupied it since 2016 a

Prior to that the owners had died and told my mom she could have the house because she cared for them when they needed help for shopping and healthcare. I have keys to the home and have painted inside and put a wood floor down and was in process of roof repair. But last week the house was boarded... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 28, 2020

It does not appear that you have any legal or equitable interest in the property. You did not mention taxes being paid by you or any type of deed conveyance. In fact it looks like you do not even have possession which a new owner would have to evict you from. Adverse Possession cannot be filed... Read more »

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