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Virginia Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: I got a puppy from someone and didnt pay can they press chatmrges on me
Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Sep 1, 2019

Did you steal it or did you get it with the intent to pay?

There is no debtor's prison

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: Would i be able to get him back?

I gave my dog away to a girl i knew from school cause i just had a newborn and he stayed by my feet and i was so heartbroken she said when she came to get him that i could get him back when i was ready. Now she is taken back what she said and will not let me have him.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 15, 2019

Even though your female friend has not told her side of the story here, this appears to be another "he said she said" situation. Unless I miss my guess, your female friend would probably say that you gave the dog to her, and that she never said she would return the dog "whenever you were ready."... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander, Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Virginia on
Q: My ex is filing a damaged property claim against me. If I haven't done anything wrong, how can I defend myself?

If my ex has threatened taking me to court before and never did anything. My ex also stated in a phone call "you just made your life harder for you"... Can I sue for emotional harassment?

My ex is also in possession of my cat (which I pay monthly vet bills for) can I 1) get reimbursed for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 1, 2019

Rather than suing for emotional harassment, which may require your physiatrist's testimony to prove your claim, you would be better served to go to the Court and apply for a "protective order" based on harassment.

I do not handle domestic cases, especially with regard to cats. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: Can my mother press charges for me taking my dog?

My parents bought the dog for me and the dog has lived with me at college. She is very attached to me and I have been the primary caretaker of the dog. I even have ESA paperwork filed at my college for the dog. The problem is that all of the dogs paperwork is in my mothers name. I am recently... Read more »

Jessica Wildeus
Jessica Wildeus answered on Jan 16, 2019

Probably not.

Generally speaking, Virginia law treats animals as property, making theft of animals in Virginia a crime. Va. Code 18.2-97 defines this as larceny and a felony.

In order for anyone to be prosecuted for this, a complaining witness must first establish that the animal in...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: What do I do if I’ve been charged for lying to a police officer when I didn’t really lie to them?

My grandmothers dog was taken by her x and was later found in a complete different location by animal control after we went and got him from animal control had pictures and vet info they called me and told me that they had found the actual owner because that person had recent pictures and charged... Read more »

G. Rex Flynn Jr.
G. Rex Flynn Jr. answered on Jun 17, 2018

If you have been charged with a crime, the burden of persuasion before the court if on the Government. In other words, the government has to convince the judge / jury that there is no reasonable doubt that you lied to them. That is an extremely high burden to meet. Obviously, preparation of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Consumer Law for Virginia on
Q: Emotional Support Animal with all legal documents relating to ADA necessity made to pay for travel with owner.

What kind of lawyer do I need to bring this major company to court for denying ADA rights to emotionally disabled individuals.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 15, 2018

You need an ADA rights lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: If vet does not confirm the cause of death of puppy can owner sue me for puppy not being healthy when sold.

The owner said puppy ate did not actually see puppy eat. Went to take the puppy outside she was wobbly, falling down, and possibly vomited and urinated. Took puppy to vet, the vet suggested puppy had a partial seizure. Ran a test and then give puppy overdose of Valium (0.37ml) when should have been... Read more »

Jan F Hoen
Jan F Hoen answered on Apr 3, 2018

Your question is unclear as to how you would be responsible.

In any event, an expert veterinary opinion to prove causation of death would be required to pursue any claim.

Also, there is no value to the claim other than the replacement cost for the puppy. Animals are considered...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Virginia on
Q: a woman was going to give me 2 dogs, had me spend money on things they needed in order to get them and then backed out

She was coming from virginia, she is a friend of a friend agreed to bring 2 husky puppies because she was basically fostering them and couldn’t keep them, she said she would bring them once I had fencing set up for them we agreed and went and bought fencing kennel and told her she said she would... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 5, 2018

You can sue her for the extras on the grounds of detrimental reliance. But you'd have to sue her there, go down to court there. May just be as you were set on getting two pups to look around and get one you like for starters and leave that issue be.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Criminal Law for Virginia on
Q: I got a dog when i was with my ex. I left her & now shes trying to press charges cause i brought my dog with me.
Susan Fremit
Susan Fremit answered on Feb 18, 2018

If you paid for the dog, it’s yours. I can’t think of any charges your ex can bring against you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: My boyfriend is in jail and his dog is tearing my house up is it against the law to turn the dog in to animal controll

The dog into animal control

Matthew Lane Kreitzer
Matthew Lane Kreitzer answered on Jan 19, 2018

The answer to your question would depend on a series of questions related to your living arrangements, any lease terms or private agreements, and how much of a risk the dog presents. Your best bet is to reach out to a lawyer through the Virginia Lawyer Referral Service.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: I signed a contract with a breeder stated she got a male bull terrier puppy from me in exchange for a American bully pup

She has a litter now and is hiding the information from me. What type of claim paperwork do I need to take her to court

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 9, 2018

I do not handleanimal law matters. You should contact an animal law attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Animal / Dog Law, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I Moved out December 9th and am just receiving a final move out notice stating I owe 710 for pet damages that weren’t

Present at the time of departure. I have no proof that there wasn’t any damages, how hard would it be to dispute if they have a receipt of the services rendered.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 4, 2018

Evidence of the condition of the premises as of the date of move out is critical to prove your side of the case.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: Dog off leash attacking and slowly killing cat in the cat owners yard. If owner kills dog will they be fined or charged?

Just want to know if it ever happens because I've been worried about a neighbor's dogs although killing the dog is only a very last resort(if legal) because I love animals and don't think any non-food animal should be killed but if it won't let go I don't want my cat to die

Matthew Lane Kreitzer
Matthew Lane Kreitzer answered on Dec 26, 2017

If you have real concerns regarding the safety of your animals and have prior incidents that show that your neighbor's dog is dangerous, there are other steps you should be taking prior to thinking about killing your neighbor's dog. You should contact the local authorities to discuss your concerns.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I sue a family member for spaying my dog without consent by myself, the owner?
Matthew Lane Kreitzer
Matthew Lane Kreitzer answered on Dec 24, 2017

Yes. Consult a lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord said she's gonna evict us if we don't report a stray cat on the property. Can she?

Landlord said we are legally obligated to report a stray cat and that we have 5 days to do so or she is gonna give us eviction notice

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Dec 6, 2017

A landlord cannot proceed to evict a tenant unless there is a court order granting the landlord possession. As for the stray cat, you should review your lease to see what it says about the tenant's obligation to report a stray cat. If there is nothing stated in the lease, the tenant has no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My Landlord lost my dog.

My landlord went to my townhouse and left the front door open. My dog got out and we haven't found him. Its been 3 weeks. Nobody who lives in the house was home at the time the landlord went in and he was well aware that we have a dog. Is there anything we can do?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 30, 2017

Call the police to notify them of the unleashed dog on the loose.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Landlord - Tenant and Contracts for Virginia on
Q: My landlord approved our two dogs, specifically by breed and name, in our lease.

Now, upon meeting the dogs, they said we have to leave because they are “uncomfortable”. They are also refusing to have electrical repairs made because of the dogs. We have crates for the dogs and have offered to take them off premises while repairs are being made. They refused. They have also... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 7, 2017

You can call the police and complain that the Landlord is trespassing. You can also sue the landlord for breach of your covenant of quiet enjoyment. You may want to consult with a attorney in your local.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Virginia on
Q: My dog bit a child on Halloween. The bite was minor and my dog never bit anyone before. I need a lawyer in williamsburg

Animal control has not seen my dog but wants to make a report to Commonwealth atty. I need a lawyer to defend my dog in virginia

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Nov 3, 2017

Animal control required to report. Notify your homeowners. Get a consult from an attorney who focuses on animal control issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Virginia on
Q: my dog got out of my apt and bit a man who got in between my dog and his, he tried to grab my dog. what can I do?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Oct 31, 2017

Report it to your renters insurance.

Get a leash.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord force me to move my dog Gracie in 24 hours because she bit her tiny dog that cost us $7000 in vet bills?

I rent a walkout apt on a 12 acre farm.The owner rescues many animals. One pair of dogs are maltese something, maybe 10 pounds.

Somehow the little one got out,( the latch on the laundry door does not always catch) my dog Gracie is a rescue lab mix 65 pounds came around the corner with me... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 26, 2017

You should call Animal Control for the city or county in which you reside for the answer to your question. I do not handle animal attack matters.

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