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New York Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Hello, What are the laws in NYS regarding finding a dog and potentially keeping?

A stray dog made its way onto my property. Very friendly, no collar or tags. I have posted publicly on Facebook and have walked around with the dog to see if anyone knows him.

How long is it before a dog is considered abandoned if im also making reasonable efforts to locate the owner?... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Apr 4, 2020

You should contact a local vet or the local humane society or animal shelter to scan for a microchip and to report that you found it. If there is no microchip there is a waiting period before you can legally adopt if you want to. Considering the current crisis the animal shelter would probably... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: i have a dog for over three years and someone reported me. can they evict me although workers in the building knew ?

This is a coop apt and i got the dog for my daughter who has OCD and mild depression. I removed the dog now her symptoms are worse especially the depression

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 28, 2020

It sounds like you need to speak with a mental health professional about having the dog prescribed as an emotional support animal. They can be kept even if there is a no pets policy. As far as eviction, if you have openly had the dog for 3 years and the building staff knew there is a NYC law that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My husband or I can not get in touch with the man who is selling is our puppy

My husband went to look at our dog at 4 days old . Decided what one and on a price . He freaked out two weeks ago saying we had to come get her bc of his living situation. Then he was getting help form the neighbors so all five puppies could now stay with the mother . I have reached out to him so... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 21, 2020

From what you described, you have no legal rights to the dog. Under New York law puppies should not be sold or adopted out until they are at least 8 weeks old.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My ex wife is being difficult, wont let me see our dog...

Good evening,

My ex wife and I share custody of our two dogs, the dogs are a mother, daughter pair. The mother was mine before my ex and I started our relationship. Our 10 year relationship ended two years ago and due to my circumstances and schedule she has had the dogs for a majority of... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 16, 2020

If there is a written agreement about the dog, you can seek enforcement in court. I suspect you will not get much help from the police.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Adopted a puppy, had it for five months. I ran on difficult times, someone took Him. I want him back

It’s only been two days and I have said I multiple times I made huge mistake and need him back. I offered money, and I’m trying to be civil. They blocked me

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Mar 11, 2020

If you voluntarily gave up the dog there is little you can do. You can try to sue for replevin but your liklihood of success is small.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: my dog jumped in another stranger

I had left my dog for a few minutes in my backyard with the gate closed. When I came back my landlord informed me that my dog had gotten out somehow and jumped in a random man. He wants to press legal charges. What can happen

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 9, 2020

If he was injured, he may sue you for his medical expenses. He can also ask that your dog be declared “dangerous”, which may impose restrictions on it. In a severe case of injury your dog could be euthanized.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Woman won't return puppy

A woman bought a puppy from me and a week later decided she didn't want her. I offered to buy her back and we met and she took off with the puppy. She now has me blocked and has listed puppy for sale. What can I do?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 26, 2020

It appears that she changed her mind. If you still have her money then there is nothing left to do. If you refunded her money, call the police and report it as a theft.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: ¿Can I take the dog I’ve been taking care of the last three months and it’s under my name, from my sister’s house?

Here’s the thing, my sister has several problems with alcohol abuse, I care from other country and been here the last 3 months, the thing is that I’ve been taking care of the dog, feeding her, taking her for walks, etc, I’ve paid for everything this last 3 months, but according to my... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 12, 2020

It appears that the dog legally belongs to your sister. But it depends upon how she got the dog and how long she has had it. If you feel it is being mistreated or neglected there are steps that you can take but there is no guarantee that you will be able to get ownership and it would take some time.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Can someone claim rights to a pet registered to me?

My daughter lied to me and handed my baby to a stranger, this man refuse to return my boy

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 28, 2020

You can sue him to recover your dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My parents are getting a divorce. How can I legally take the dog with me without trouble?

My parents are going through a nasty divorce and I want to move out of the house. I currently live with my mom. How can I take the dog with me, legally so she cannot say no? I believe that he is registered to me but what if he's not? My parents got him for me as a gift.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 23, 2020

It sounds like you are the owner. See if you have records showing you as the registered owner. Vet bills, NYC license papers, bill of Sale etc. However, even without those documents, if it was a gift to you, it is yours. If you can get your parents to acknowledge it in writing you can avoid trouble... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Someone gave their dog away do I have to give back if they want it?

I drove to pick a dog being given away due to not be able to take care of it anymore. Now being threathen wanting her back. Then calling me late night then writing apologies they were stress because of the family issues which has nothing to do with the dog or me and said can we be family. Now... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 21, 2020

If someone voluntarily gave their dog to you, they are not legally entitled to the dog back. That may not stop them from trying.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Adopted a dog out to an out of state customer. Wrong dog was sent, now they won't exchange. Dog was already adopted.

They received the wrong dog, now they won't exchange for the correct dog. Other customer had already adopted that dog and would like the one they adopted.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 19, 2020

A properly drafted purchase agreement should deal with this possibility. If not, it is up to you to provide a reasonable replacement or refund their money.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: what happens if u leave Vet without paying the bills? They do not have my pet.

Hello

I went to Vet and they quoted me 150 dollar but the bill ended up being 425 dollars with food and medicines, so i did not take food and medicines and i left vet without paying bills.

What is the law against this?

They have my name and address.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 14, 2020

I am sure they will send you a bill in the mail. If you don't pay it they will most likely take further collection efforts. Further efforts after that may include hiring a collection agency, reporting it to the credit bureaus and possibly suing you to get a money judgment.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: how long before i can legally claim a dog as mine if i was just suppose to be taking care of it for someone else

someone put a ad on craigslist due to losing her job she cant take care of the dog so i offered to care for it but now its been 2 months and she wont respond to anything when i ask her when is she coming to get the dog am i able to just keep the dog as my own now

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 27, 2019

Unfortunately, it is not simply a question of how long before you can claim ownership.

Since you agreed to care for her dog, you are considered a bailee under New York law similar to how an attended parking garage takes responsibility for a car. If you have a written agreement with a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: I have dogs trespassing on my hunting land. How do I force the owners to restrict this? DEC wont do much, wrote 1 ticket

numerous pictures of the dogs, all over my property. Owners were asked numerous times to tie their dogs up. That didnt work so I had DEC go speak to them and they were given a warning. Didn't work, so DEC went back and issued a ticket. Didn't work, now DEC is telling me they cant do anything but... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 18, 2019

You can sue the owners civilly and also seek a temporary restraining order to get immediate relief pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Who would consider the owner and what determines ownership in New York?

State of New York

A friend and I share a dog. She originally got the dog and it started out as me going to her house to let the dog out.

Than I started keeping the dog. Days turned into weeks and week turned into months. She can go weeks even months without seeing the dog (she... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 16, 2019

This is a fairly common situation that I deal with. Although New York State recognizes pets as personal property, recent trends have been to determine what is best for all concerned when determining ownership and custody. What you have described is strong support for a judge to find in your favor... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Who has ownership over the dog in this situation?

A friend and I share a dog. She originally got the dog and it started out as me going to her house to let the dog out.

Than I started keeping the dog. Days turned into weeks and week turned into months. She can go weeks even months without seeing the dog (she admitted this over text). I... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 11, 2019

Each state has different laws and court decisions to guide judges in making ownership determinations. Since you live in Massachusetts, you would need the advice of an attorney there.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: 10 yr old dog, been splitting custody, time & visitation EVENLY with an ex for the past 5 years. Now ex is withholding.

I recently moved out of NY state, and have been traveling to transport the dog for the past 1.5 years via plane. Recently, my ex has asked (emailed) that I give full custody "because it is preventing them from finding true love, and is turned away by anyone they meet because of the 'abnormal'... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 9, 2019

You have a strong position based upon your payment receipt, communication with the breeder and the letter from your psychiatrist. These items are still the best method to demonstrate legal ownership.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: If a dog ran from it’s yard and tried to attack me and I fall and hurt myself can I sue them

The owner was running behind him scream no but it kept coming and I fell and hurt myself before someone else intervened

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 26, 2019

Yes. However, in New York there is a requirement that the dog has shown prior acts or conduct in order to prevail against the owner. It may require some investigation.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: How do I file a claim against a lawyer (Versace) for discrimination?

I reside in the apartments he owns(big mistake). I have an ESA, and he's denying to accept it. Meanwhile I've seen 3 other dogs on the property.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 6, 2019

You can file a complaint with New York State Division of Human Rights.

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