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Indiana Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Q: Can a landlord still charge me a pet deposit for my pet who is an emotional support dog?
Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on May 16, 2019

An emotional support animal is not the same as a service animal. Indiana law recognizes that service animals are not pets and therefore are not subject to 'no pets rules' or 'pet deposits.' However, as previously stated, an emotional support animal is NOT a service animal and are therefore still... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: My neighbors Pitbull attacked & killed one of my dogs & did $3000 in damage to the other.

The dogs still run loose in my yard and they have refused to cover my vet bills. Can I take his landlord to small claims court as well, since he allows his tenant to have dangerous dogs?

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Apr 30, 2019

Yes, you can include the landlord. Whether or not you will be able to recover against the landlord is another matter. You will have to show that the landlord was somehow negligent in renting to these tenants that allowed their dangerous animals to roam around or intentionally allowed these dogs to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: Rescued a dog w/out tags or a microchip. What documents can I request from someone claiming it's theirs to prove owners

Dog was found in an alley last night. Dog was posted to various social media sites and someone is claiming it is theirs. We have other information that makes their claim seem illegitimate. I want to make sure this dog goes to either the rightful owner or stays in my possession until I am legally... Read more »

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Mar 19, 2019

It's not unreasonable to request records of ownership, like vet records or vaccination schedules, from an owner when you have found a lost dog. Just be aware that if that is indeed the true owner and you're withholding their property, the dog, you could have negative legal consequences if you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Car Accidents for Indiana on
Q: My dog was hit by a car New Years Eve. He just brought the bill to us for damage to his bumper. Are we liable?

Someone let both my neighbors and our dogs out the same night. We discovered they were missing the gate open no later than 10 minutes. Dogs have seldom gotten lose in 10 years. The man who hit our dog never came to us, but another neighbor took him to the emergency vet, and they ran his chip and... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 7, 2019

See if your homeowners will pay as a casualty loss. Depending on your deductible that may not be worth it. Did you report it to the police? Many policies require it.

If the other guy sues you for the bumper it's not your fault if the dogs were set loose.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: My son lives with me and bought a dog. Can he sue me if I get rid of the dog

Son does not take care of the dog which is why I want to give to a loving family

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Feb 7, 2019

Yes, he can. It is not your dog. If you believe that the dog is being abused or neglected you can report him to the appropriate local or county authorities and they can remove the dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: Can I press charges against the owner of some loose dogs that came on to my property and killed my rabbit in the hutch?

These dogs were stated as being lost by the owner when the attack occurred. However, just a few days later my brother saw the dogs again after the owner stated that they were home. Also, some of the neighbors of the dogs complained saying that the owners do not control their dogs and frequently let... Read more »

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Jan 22, 2019

Yes, you can. Owners are responsible for the actions of their animals. You should consult with an attorney in your area who handles animal law or tort claims.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: If a dog comes onto my property, attacks my dog and then flees,can I shoot the dog the next time I see it on my property

I saw the dog attack my dog and then run off when I yelled, so there is no question about what dog attacked my dog. The attacking dog belongs to my neighbor.

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Jan 14, 2019

There is no straightforward answer to this question. Shooting a dog is generally considered animal cruelty. If you are being attacked by the dog or the dog is attacking another person, you may be justified in shooting the dog. It is a defense to a criminal charge of animal cruelty to shoot the dog... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: What happens if someone steals someone else's dog?

Im pretty sure my neighbor stole one of my dogs last night, I'm working on getting proof, but I need to know if there is anything I can do about it.

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Jan 8, 2019

Contact the police ASAP and report your dog stolen. If you find out that your dog was not stolen and has simply run away, be sure to update the police and inform them that you found your dog. If you have evidence that it was your neighbor (video recording of them committing the crime, picture of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: Can I get my dog back after I haven't had him since June 2017?

I gave him to a friend of my family and told her that if she ever didn't want him anymore that I wanted him back if it was possible. In October of 2018 she asked if I wanted him back. Her boyfriend gave him to someone else before I could give her an answer. The day after Christmas I get a call from... Read more »

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Jan 8, 2019

Once you gave up your dog to your friend, you effectively transferred ownership of the dog to someone else. You never intended to receive the dog back. Legally your friend owned the dog and could do with it whatever she liked at that point.

It is still possible for you to get the dog back...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: If a pet is left with you how long is it before that pet is legally yours?

I was asked to care for a pet temporarily but her place of living won't allow it so I have him. Things went south and I still have him. How long does it take before he's legally mine. Asking because I love this dog and if she's not going to get him back I want to keep him.

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Nov 28, 2018

There is no set time limit where an animal becomes your property. The animal can legally become yours if the animal is abandoned. At that point the animal has no owner and anyone can claim it. However, in order for personal property like an animal to be considered abandoned there must be intent on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law, Animal / Dog Law and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: Who to best seek help from concerning someone with mental health problems who is about to loose their home

metal health issues. Has gone through all her money. Own her own home but we do not believe paying any taxes. she has a bird and dog she does not take care of. Lives with poop and pee everywhere. will not believe anything we tell her concening her finances. when they kick her out of her house... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Oct 30, 2018

I am sorry to hear of your situation. Your question was listed for patents (inventions). You may have meant paRents but that is not a category.

You may want to post the same question under Family law or Elder law as this is a question of intervening when a family member may not be...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: Neighbor shot my domesticated cat-says she was trying to get in his baby bunnies cage--Never came and told me this b4

She was a stray 4 years ago--and had kittens on that property which was abandoned at the time---she has always gone between my property and his but stayed in this general area--- I had domesticated her -she does not like to be penned up for long.. I had gotten her spade and 3 yrs rabies shot--and... Read more »

Andrew L. Bennett
Andrew L. Bennett answered on Oct 9, 2018

If the police won't write up a report about the incident or investigate by talking to him, you should call the prosecutors office to see if they would do a citizen intake.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Q: Can a landlord refuse to renew a lease because now they choose not to allow my dog? I have been renting for 3 years now

Recently my landlord would not fix my smoke alarms my ceilings are 12ft tall and she said to just take out the batteries so it would stop beeping. So now she states I have to get rid of my dog because he "smells" which is false. The hall smells because the carpets are old.

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Sep 25, 2018

Your landlord can refuse to renew your lease for just about any reason as long as it is not illegal. Not wanting to rent to someone with a dog is a legal reason to not renew a lease agreement.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: Stolen pet returned home on own. Who has custody?

4 months ago my kids dog was taken from my back yard. Today she ran up to our front door barking to be let in. Just like the past. She still answers to her name and has all the same markings. I made facebook posts and kept an eye out on my side of town. I asked people when they posted lost... Read more »

T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky answered on Sep 23, 2018

Sounds that you actually answered your own question. If the pet was stolen, the people who stole the pet did not have legal custody of the pet. It was a stolen pet, owned by your family. You family is rightful owner of the pet, and your family has custody of the pet. If you haven 't done so... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Gaming for Indiana on
Q: My mom has dogs and they peed on my game systems and it fried them I was wanting to know if I could press charges on her
T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky answered on Sep 22, 2018

First, you cannot "press charges," only the local prosecutor can "press charges." You do have a civil case of "conversion" against the dogs. However, that is not going to help you very much. There is no question that you are upset; however, you have few legal options. The legal costs to pursue... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: If someone stole my dog kept her for 5 days, then returned her w/ a throat infection & pregnant,can I take legal action

She was stolen off our back yard. They have a lot of other dogs in their home, before she was stolen she had never had intimate contact with any other male dogs. She is only a year old and beautiful so we believe they were trying to breed her since she is also an expensive breed of dog.

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Sep 10, 2018

Yes, you can sue them in civil litigation for the theft, as well as the damage suffered to your property (the dog), including vet costs, the cost of the pregnancy and possibly even the cost of raising the pups. You should consult with an attorney in your area who handles civil litigation and animal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: I found a dog that was in the middle of a highway and I took her home and fed and bathed her. I found the owner through

her neighbor and she told him I could have her. Do I need her to sign something saying she gives the dog to me? So that she does not say I took the dog?

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Aug 24, 2018

You absolutely should have the original owner sign a transfer over to you, otherwise the owner could come back later and claim ownership of the dog. Additionally many vets will refuse to treat animals if you do not have proper paperwork showing ownership.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: Neighbors aggressive unrestrained dogs attacked my cat, what can I do?

I have spoken to these neighbors twice before about these dogs and their aggressive behavior and have asked them to keep them restrained, they still keep letting them roam free. On 8/06/2018 these dogs came into my yard and attacked and injured one of my cats. I want to know what legal action I... Read more »

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Aug 7, 2018

First step would be reporting the aggressive dogs to whatever your local version of animal control is, whether that is at a local or county level. Some counties require animal attacks to be reported.

Second you may be looking at a small claims case assuming that the damages are under...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: How can I get charged with animal cruelty foran dog that wasnt mines
Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Jul 3, 2018

Ownership of an animal is not an element of the crime of animal cruelty. That's why.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Q: Can others file to have your dog put down with a petition. The dog is not vicious and has no bite history, she just bark

My neighbors said they are fed up with my moms dog barking on the occasion and that they are going to have members of the home owner association sign a petition asking to put the dog down. What I'm wondering is if they can ACTUALLY do that since the dog is not vicious, has never bit anyone, and is... Read more »

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Apr 24, 2018

They could certainly try. I'm not sure when you say 'petition' you mean one to a court or one that is just collecting signatures.

Generally county law governs animal control and animal laws when it comes to animals that have to be put down. That's usually only after an assessment that the...
Read more »

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