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California Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: What decides the ownership of a dog that was given as a gift.

I received my dog as a gift when I was a child from my father. Now that I am an adult, I plan on moving out with my dog. But my family and father are now refusing to let me take him. Am I allowed to just take my dog from the home? He has no proof of ownership, meanwhile, I have years worth of proof... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 20, 2020

The transfer of ownership in a gift is complete when the gift is delivered to the recipient. Once the dog was given to you it became yours, unless you gifted it back.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can an animal shelter put down a chipped dog when the owner has been in contact?

My poor baby was taken to the animal shelter while I was away by an ex bf as he was watching her. He had no right to do that. She wasn't abandoned he was mad at me and took her to hurt me. She was chipped. They called my ex husband and never called me. My chip company never emailed me either... Read more »

Tyler Young
Tyler Young answered on Sep 14, 2020

I am a dog owner and can only imagine the heartache you're feeling about this. I'm so sorry.

First, I recommend that you chat with a CA attorney. Most states classify dogs as property. Typically someone in your situation won't have many remedies. That said, CA may be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can the new owners be arrested for not returning the stolen dog? And or the person who sold the dog without consent?
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 12, 2020

It is not likely they will be arrested or prosecuted unless they are grossly abusing the animals. You need to seek redress in Small claims for money damages and an order to return the dog. A dog is property the same as your car. What would you do if someone stole your car and the police were too... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I sold a dog without the owners permission. I tried getting it back but the people refuse to return after telling them

I told owner Ill get their puppy back and it was a mistake. I called the people who got her but the refuse to return the puppy. I did inform them 2 hours after they got her she was taken/stolen from the original owners I need to return her now. They said too bad. Can the owner file a report... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Sep 9, 2020

The owner can file a report against you and the new "owners." The owner can also sue you and the new "owners" in Small Claims for the value of the dog, a daily "loss of use" rate, and/or an order for return of their property.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: In California, can I sue the buyer for breach of contract and get the dogs back ? Along with monetary penalty ?

Buyer signed a contract. Breached contract in a few places the biggest being unauthorized breeding falling under “whether intentional or accidental” I have a monetary fee as well

As I can request the dogs back. I reached out to her and she blocked me. I filed in small

Claims but... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 8, 2020

Small claims is a division of the Superior Court and has jurisdiction over most civil disputes. It can provide the same remedies as the BIG court. However, Small Claims cannot hear a case that is just for "injunction" or an Order for her to return the dog to you. You have to be asking... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Is it against the law in CA for a neighbor to take our cat days at a time?

these crazy neighbors have been holding our cat hostage inside for days at a time. They have been positive for corona virus and I'm 7 months pregnant. I tried calling police but they said a cat isn't considered property. Its causing me a lot of stress. I though pets were property, isnt this thef?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Sep 8, 2020

The police are clearly just being lazy in this situation. You can call the chief and file a complaint against the officers. The squeaky wheel gets oiled the most!

To answer your question, yes, animals (cats and dogs and cows, pigs, birds, all animals, etc.) are considered property. So, the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My roommate went in my room stole my cat and moved out i have him on camera, what can I do?

I rent a Room in a house I had a roommate who was in the middle of moving now I was gone for the day I have a camera in my Room that records in case anyone comes into my Room and takes things or breaks things because things have been missing this same roommate who was in the middle of moving out... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Sep 7, 2020

Call the police.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Is it illegal to give dog water from a water bottle through a fence? It’s 113 today.
William John Light
William John Light answered on Sep 6, 2020

It's illegal to trespass. If you aren't trespassing, I don't think it's illegal. If the dog is in danger, call Animal Control.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can dog seller who did not provide any paperwork sue me for animal abandonment when I did not receive the dog?

I paid for the dog through Zelle online. There was no paperwork. They said they took the dog to a delivery service, the service wanted me to zelle them additional $1,500 or provide gift card of equivalent amount for the crate. I wasn't aware I was supposed to rent electronic crate. After... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 30, 2020

They can sue you for anything. You can counter sue them for concealing material terms of the sale of the dog. It sounds like you were scammed, I would like to see them in Court. For your case of fraud, you can recover the cost of the dog, your emotional distress and punitive damages against this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can I sue a dog boarding/training facility for my dog getting pregnant while under their care?

They told me that when she was in heat, they separated her from the male dogs but they lied. My dog came home pregnant. I asked the owner if I can at least get my money back and he told me I could just give him all the puppies if it was too much for me to handle. The liability I signed didn’t... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 26, 2020

It would certainly seem to be at least a breach of contract for them to put your female in heat in with male dogs that got her pregnant. They would be responsible for the consequential damages that occur such as any medical expenses involved with the pregnancy, or any additional costs associated... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I surrendered my dog, the next day she was euth. I wanted her back can I sue?

I surrendered my dog because of aggression and not being able to contain her. The next day the shelter euthanized her due to aggression. I called later that day and wanted to get her back. Is there a law that I can change my mind and get my dog back within a couple days?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 25, 2020

Please see other response to the same question that you posted. (or there is a sudden rise in cases where shelters are doing this and owners are changing their minds.) I am not aware of any law that would allow an owner the right to change their mind on a surrendered animal and prohibit the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I recently moved in with someone and decide to give them my dog as a housemate gift. However, my terms were to be house

..Mates for the duration of the lease. Problems happened so I decided to move out after 3 weeks. I then asked for compensation or I’ll reclaim my dog since terms weren’t met. Now she has blocked me and will not pay for insurance or my dog. The dog is under my name legally. Could I purse legal... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 25, 2020

You could pursue action, but your chance of success is small. A gift is property given to another person without any compensation or "consideration" (legal word for value) therefore. There are no strings attached to a gift, you cannot pull it back. Once the transfer of the gift is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Surrendered dog gets euthanized. I changed my mind, can I get my dog back?

I surrendered my dog because I cannot keep her in and she was starting to act aggressive. The shelter too her in and the next day they euthanized her due to aggression. Later that same day I called wanting to get my dog back but was too late. Was that legal to euthanize my dog after just one day... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 25, 2020

Sorry to hear about your situation. Once the dog is euthanized, you cannot get it back, it is dead. When you surrendered it, you gave up all rights to the animal and the shelter was authorized to take whatever action they deemed necessary.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: If a neighbors dog breaks into my backyard and kills my emotional support dog, What am I entitled to?

I have the report from animal control stating the incident occurred In my backyard. The gates were closed.

William John Light
William John Light answered on Aug 17, 2020

You may be entitled to the reasonable fair market value of your property, i.e., what would it take to purchase a dog of similar age, breed, gender, health. You are not entitled to emotional distress damages.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My 25 yr old Daughter took my cats when she moved out - Against my wishes

I obtained two cats over 15 years ago, and have cared for them since. My daughter has been living rent free in my home for six years since she reached her majority, and has a strong emotional attachment to them

Two days ago she snuck out of the house with all of her belongings and my... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 16, 2020

Sue her in Small claims for "Conversion" of your personal property, value the cats at about $2500.00, you can also ask for an injunction for her to return the cats.

Justia disclaimer below, incorporated herein.

3 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can you get fired from your job/ sued for letting someone’s animal out accidentally?

My husband is a pest control man and he opened the back gate of a home to spray. The home owner was in the front yard and the garage open while talking on the phone. He leaves after he’s done his job and hours later gets called back because they think he left the gate open and the dogs got out... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Aug 12, 2020

Unfortunately, there is nothing unlawful about firing someone for something that happened that was completely out of their control. It is unfair but lawful to terminate your husband because he accidentally let the animal out. In California an employee is considered to be employed at will, meaning... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My neighbors dog came inside my house got mine pregnant and She almost died. Can I sue him ?

When I took her to the vet they informed me her calcium was at a 3 and the normal is 7. She had a fever of 106.9 because the puppies took all her calcium during the labor; and I have to pay over $2000. I told my neighbor multiple times to watch his dog and he would let it out on purpose because he... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Aug 8, 2020

Maybe. However, it's unclear how a dog would enter your house. The story doesn't sound right. Also, have you sold the puppies? Did you get more than $2000? If so, you haven't really been damaged. In any event, if you have a claim, it would be a Small Claims matter and you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: How many chickens can I own within city limits Vallejo,CA,94589
William John Light
William John Light answered on Aug 4, 2020

Call Animal Control. They will have this information at their fingertips, so I am not going to research the Vallejo Municipal Code to find it for you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: My Large dog bit a small dog that was brought into the Large section of the Dog Park. Am I liable?

My dog played well at same dog park the weekend before when there were all large dogs.

My dog has never showed aggressive behavior to a human or dog before

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 3, 2020

Calif. is not a "one free bite" state, you are responsible for your dog from the first bite or sign of aggression. Now I don't know exactly about the code of conduct in a dog park, or if by using the park, you "assume the risk of a dog bite to your dog." but this could be a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can a roommate file against you for getting an animal?

We recently got approval to own a dog by our landlord, and everyone in the house was on board. One roommate claimed he was excited, but after the dog arrived he now claims he does not like her. His words have been "I live here too and pay rent and I don't want to walk on wet... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 3, 2020

This is really a LL/Tenant question. Your roommate has a right of quiet enjoyment of the property that he is renting, the same as you do. You do not have the right to take that away from him and the LL cannot give you permission to take it away from him. If RM dad is an attorney, he will know... Read more »

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