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California Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: I dog sat for a friend, he brought dogs to my house, now he is refusing to take them back. I cant keep them. What now?

William John Light answered on Jun 25, 2019

Surrender them to a shelter or animal control, after you inform your friend what you are going to do, where, and when, in writing.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: My sister's ex boyfriend's family gave us a dog almost 3 years ago. They had another dog who they gave to a shelter

because they were moving and couldn't keep them. My sister and I moved out about 2 years ago and she couldn't keep our dog so I've had her and taken care of 100% of the finances and vet bills alone. My sister and I had a fight and she now wants the dog back and has gone back to her ex-boyfriend's... Read more »

Manuel Alzamora Juarez answered on Jun 24, 2019

Go to Court and ask the court to give you an Order authorizing your vet to remove the microchip. Best of luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: His exwife has dads dog. He has a brain injury, but wants his dog. She won't release the dog to family. What can I do?

...

William John Light answered on Jun 19, 2019

Sounds like the dog belonged to both of them, as husband and wife. You, personally, can't do anything. The ex husband can bring suit in Small Claims or perhaps Family Court, to have an adjudication of who owns the dog and is entitled to possession. If the ex husband's brain injury prevents him... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Are my dogs responsible for hurting stray kittens whilst trying to play with them in our backyard?

I had no idea the kittens were there, they are strays. I want to call animal control but not if my dogs are liable for the injuries.

William John Light answered on Jun 8, 2019

No, they are not.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: My friend has my dog an he gave it to a friend of his at a rescue. He was suppose to hold onto the dog for a few days.

The day after I dropped it off he gave it to his friend. I found out a day after he did this. He won’t give me the rescue contact information to get my dog back. He says I have to pay him $300 for the. Dog before he gets it back from the rescue place. I have proof on messages an papers I made a... Read more »

William John Light answered on Jun 7, 2019

Unclear why you dropped off your dog at your friend's and what he was supposed to do with it. Assuming that he was just dog sitting, you can sue him and the Rescue in Small Claims.

First, make a demand upon your friend and the Rescue that they return your dog. If your demand is refused,...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Could I have a Raccoon or Red Panda as a pet in Oregon state?

William John Light answered on Jun 5, 2019

You should ask an Oregon attorney, and/or the City or County at issue. Oregon Revised Statute 609.205 provides that ". . .a city or county may prohibit by ordinance the keeping of wildlife, as defined in ORS 496.004 (Definitions), and may prohibit by ordinance the keeping of exotic animals as... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: While picking up my friends dog from the pound it was mandatory before release to have the dog chipped. My friend,the

Owner had no ID so we chipped the dog with my name etc. He is homeless ,the owner, and has got the dog impounded several times and ive helped recover her financially etc. He has now been in jail 5 months and I have kept her with me. I dont want to give her back due to his neglect. What rights do I... Read more »

William John Light answered on Jun 4, 2019

Nice of you to take care of the dog. You have no right to claim it as your own. You have induced reliance by the dog owner to your custody of the dog for her benefit. You now wish to take advantage of that reliance by claiming that the dog is yours. You don't get to own somebody else's dog... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: A friend in CA had her dog taken by the animal shelter and has been ordered to be uthinized.

A neighbor with an aggressive small dog attacked the neighbors mastiff. The mastiff charged back. She called animal shelter and they sent a man. When she opened the door. The dog bite him.. Can they do this. He thought he was protecting his master and home

William John Light answered on Jun 4, 2019

Yes, they can do this. Your friend has an obligation to control her dog when strangers ring the doorbell. Your friend is entitled to a hearing. Conditions can be placed upon her ownership of the animal, or the animal can be euthanized.

3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: I'm being sued and counter sued for my Exs dog which had bite a woman.

She claims I was there I was not, the dog was determined my exs in a court of law. I need to know what kind of a lawyer I need for this I'm having trouble with the legal terms involved. I also need any advice on a lawyer that will take my case pro bono or at least on small payments... this is so... Read more »

William John Light answered on May 29, 2019

Notify your homeowner's insurance, or renter's insurance, and/or your ex's homeowner's insurance. If none of these exist, you will have to pay for an attorney, or file for bankruptcy. No one is going to want to work for free.

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3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: I'm being sued and counter sued for my Exs dog which had bite a woman.

She claims I was there I was not, the dog was determined my exs in a court of law. I need to know what kind of a lawyer I need for this I'm having trouble with the legal terms involved. I also need any advice on a lawyer that will take my case pro bono or at least on small payments... this is so... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on May 29, 2019

If you had homeowner's or renter's insurance at the time of the incident, turn this over to the insurance company right away. They will provide you with a lawyer and defend you. If you did not have insurance, and can not afford an attorney, try legal aid in your county, or your county bar... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: A friend asked if I could find a home for a dog that happened to be his brothers, his brother left for 9 months and we

Did not know when he would come back. My friend asked me to find a home for him which I did with another friend. Now this brother has come back and is demanding his dog back. It's been 9 months with no word from him and my friend has spent a lot of money on this dog and time. Does he have any legal... Read more »

William John Light answered on May 28, 2019

Under Penal Code 597s, a person who wilfully abandons an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor. No definition of "abandons" is provided, and you do not provide any facts surrounding the brother leaving the dog with your friend. If the brother simply left without notice, the dog could be considered... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: As a veterinarian in CA, do you have to release a dog's medical records to animal control if the dog bit someone?

Basically I need to know if I, as the veterinarian, need to have the dog's owner's permission to release the medical records to animal control if animal control is asking as part of a dog bite investigation? In other words, would I be violating the veterinary-client-patient relationship if I give... Read more »

William John Light answered on May 28, 2019

Animal Control needs a search warrant or a subpoena. Business and Professions Code section 4857 requires that veterinarians protect the veterinarian/client/patient relationship . A veterinarian may disclose information in the medical records when the client consents, or in response to a subpoena,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Can I get in trouble for fixing my neighbors pit bulls without them knowing?

My neighbors live several cities away and never come to visit their dogs. They have a relative that lives locally and he feeds them maybe once a week if that. We feed them, water them and make sure they have shelter. They breed and they are all related. I have been wanting to get them fixed. I am... Read more »

William John Light answered on May 26, 2019

Just call Animal Control. Otherwise, you are guilty of vandalism to personal property.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: My dog injured/scratched someone. What am I expecting in legal issues? I had just received a letter from his lawyer.

I took my dog to my usual dog sitter. My dog ran off leash while he was being walked by the dog sitter and scratched someone on the wrist. The person is now seeking medical compensation. What can I expect from this? I was alerted of this situation from my dog sitter after the incident occurred. Who... Read more »

Manuel Alzamora Juarez answered on May 22, 2019

Call your insurance agent and open a case with your company. Do not anser or talk to the victim's lawyer let your insurance company defend the case. they will provide you with a lawyer that will talk to you. Best of luck.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Car Accidents and Personal Injury for California on

Q: Gave dog away 3 months ago but no paperwork filed. Now Dog caused a motorcycle accident. Who is responsible for damages

Only proof we have is text messages stating they were willing to give dog a new home. And post on facebook showing we were giving him away.

William John Light answered on May 16, 2019

Unclear how a dog caused a motorcycle accident. If this was a biting incident, the owner is strictly liable. If the person in control of the dog is not an owner, then the injured person would need to prove that the person in control was negligent, while the owner would still be strictly liable.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: My cat gouged her eye on a faulty private labeled Petco toy and is now blind in that eye. What action can I take?

The toy was a cat tunnel and a metal rod that keeps the round shape was sticking out from the fabric which it should not have been. I contacted Petco, they said they said the toy was their own private label company and would have some one contact me from the resolution team and no one has. I have... Read more »

William John Light answered on May 14, 2019

If you prevail, you are entitled to recover the veterinary bills you incurred to care for your cat. You are not entitled to lost wages, commissions or profits.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: How do I get my dog back from a local business who found it after it escaped from my yard?

My dog escaped from our yard after a windstorm blew open our gate. We put up flyers, contacted all animal shelters within the county, and posted on various internet boards to no avail even though this dog is microchipped. Three weeks later we learned a good Samaritan had taken the dog to a local... Read more »

William John Light answered on May 7, 2019

First, make a demand upon the owners of the business that it, or its employees, return your dog. If your demand is refused, you can bring a Small Claims action.

If you could convince a Small Claims judge that the dog found by the business is your dog, you can recover the value of the dogs...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: Dog attack another dog. What is the owner's financial responsibility?

Our dog picked up our neighbor's old dog, shook her and then drop her; No visible injury right after. Our neighbor took the dog to the vet and found out she has a broken bone. We have pay up to date ~$7500 for the vet bill and we got a 3rd vet bill for $4500 because the first 2 surgeries did not... Read more »

Manuel Alzamora Juarez answered on May 7, 2019

YOU SHOULD TURN YOUR CLAIM TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. BEST OF LUCK

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: What r the laws when it comes to the death of a dog that lives in a breeding facilitg

R they aloud to store them in freezer with the meat that other animals r Fed and what would the punishment be

William John Light answered on May 6, 2019

You can contact Animal Control with your concerns. http://wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/programs/acc/animal-laws-welfare/animal-neglect/

People who do this also frequently seem to have problems caring for their living animals. I am not aware of regulations or laws prohibiting that practice...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: If I am being attacked by someone and I tell my dog to attack is that legal? What is my dog attacked w/out me tellling?

What could happen if this situation came about?

William John Light answered on May 4, 2019

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