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California Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My puppy was attacked by 2 pitbulls and lost an eye. How do I get the owner to pay and get rid of his dogs

Owner refuses to give up his dogs to animal control. These dogs have attacked before & ever since the incident they have gotten loose almost every day. My 2 month puppy was on a leash in our yard and they came into our yard with the intention of attacking me, but saw my puppy and went for him.... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 25, 2021

Call Animal Control yourself.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Stray dog - what are our rights?

Hi we found a dog and reported it to the local shelter in California. They have now put out a Facebook post asking for anyone in the area to come forward. She is not chipped and was found with a dog collar but no tag, which leads us to think she may have been abandoned. When can we reasonably... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 24, 2021

After you surrender it to Animal Control and adopt it legally.

Civil Code § 2080. Duties of finder

“Any person who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it. . .but when the person does take charge of it he or she is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: I have a bully that stays at my house it's not mine it's a friend's but he doesn't come by to see her. Can I get papers?

This friend is my husband's cousin. He asked us to watch her because he moved to an apartment, which they couldn't have pets. He doesn't come to see her at all, doesn't buy her food, doesn't ask how she is doing. I have been buying everything for the dog. It doesn't... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 21, 2021

You can't just take somebody else's dog because you don't think he's a good owner. You agreed to watch the dog. You didn't put a time limit on it, or apparently even ask for funds to pay for food, or to pay for kenneling. If you want to change the terms of that deal, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My boyfriend had my dog for the afternoon and he ended up getting arrested and dog went to shelter. How do I get her bak
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Mar 19, 2021

Go to the shelter with proof of ownership.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My husband found a dog. Wasn’t chipped. I posted on several media sites. Several people came forward.

I returned to someone that came forward with vaccination records the very next day. Someone almost week later claims dog was theres. I didn’t keep any information on other people I gave to. Now I am being harassed by them. I had no idea it would come to this. I tried to do a good thing and... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Mar 19, 2021

No good deed goes unpunished!! Didn't think it was a big deal? Have you read all the entries on Justia in Animal/Dog Law and seen the way people go crazy about their animals! You were trying to be a good Samaritan, but you didn't call animal control first to see what you were getting... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: If my deceased brother's dog injured another dog, can I be sued?

I believe the suing party got my name from the house deed (my name and siblings are listed on the deed as a living trust).

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Mar 18, 2021

If it was your dog at the time.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for California on
Q: Hello me and my wife are breeders in California and her friend trespassed and took our dog but didn’t sign the contract?

She is pregnant and worth 3500$ we need a lawyer ASAP!!! FYI I called the police they did nada and said it’s a civil matter!

William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 12, 2021

Call the police and report a burglary/theft. That's a lot faster than a lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Drug addicted ex-house mate leaves dog, comes back 6 months later and steals her from our yard. Can we get her back?

Long story short, he moved to Oregon suddenly and asked us to pick her up at his x girlfriends house. We made a verbal agreement we would take her, but she is our dog now. After 6 months, he shows up and takes her out of our yard and back to Oregon. We asked repeatedly if he was there to take her... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Feb 28, 2021

You can sue in CA Small Claims and get an Order for return of Property. You will then have to hire an Oregon attorney to enforce that Judgment in Oregon.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: How do the courts in California determine the monetary value of a dog when its considered personal property?

In 2013 , my friend bought a 6 month old purebred puppy for $2,500. He bought him as a pet, not to be bred. At 7years of age, he was stolen and used to sire a total of 8 purebred puppies. The puppies were then sold for $3,000 each. His dog could have continued to sire more puppies for at least 2... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Feb 24, 2021

An expert in that breed of dog with knowledge of the market price considering the age, gender, and quality would have to testify.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: my dog who is chipped in my name all vet records are in my name was stolen from ca and taken to Indiana what can I do?

A former friend moved to California from Indiana and I agreed to let her stay with us. She stayed with me for 8 months. There started to be issues in the household and finally it got to the point that she attacked me and to prevent further problems I left the house to go calm down I was gone for... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Feb 23, 2021

Report the dog as stolen to the particular police department in Indiana. If that isn't effective, you would need to retain Indiana attorneys to initiate a replevin action, or perhaps that can be done in Indiana Small Claims. Consult with an Indiana attorney for more specific information.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Dog was chipped - Shelter did NOT contact owner before adopting out. How to sue for replevin?

Dog was reported missing to chip company (AVID). All contact info updated. Dog was not located. Fastforward to a year later, AVID contacts owner to say that someone is trying to register the chip in the dog to themselves. Says they adopted from a shelter. This is the 1st contact from AVID that the... Read more »

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone answered on Feb 21, 2021

You should check your state law to see if shelters have immunity from liability as long as they post a dog as found on their website for whatever the statutorily required time frame. In Colorado where I practice public and private shelters are supposed to hold pets a minimum of 3 days if no ID, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Stolen dog in small claims dog; police refuse to get involved

my friends dog has now been stolen TWICE by the same family. She has the paperwork, Bill of sale, and the dog is chipped, but the police said all they could do was make the family return the dog collar but not the dog. The dog managed to get away from the family the first time we got her back and... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

If the police say you need to go to small claims, then that is what you need to do. You cannot control the future actions of other people. Sue for $10,000, and if they destroy the dog, you can make them pay full value. Unfortunate but that is all you can do. If seeking money, small claims can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can I sue my landlord for making me get rid of my dog and then after I did she told me I didnt have to

I lived in my apartment for 7 years I had my dog for 10 years she's on my lease and she's a companion. My property manager made everyone sign a new lease and mine was the only one with a pet policy that said I had to pay $926 for my pet or put in a 30 day notice my rent does not even cost... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

Possibly for Intentional Infliction of emotional distress. Can you get the dog back? Too bad you did not seek legal assistance before disposing of the dog.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: A dog was being watched he then gave my dog to someone else who won't return it what do I do

I was told he was going to allow just for a day since his dog and my dog were not getting along I called he hung up on me after I said bring him back now he is with another person who says he is keeping him because his dog recently just died and he likes him this is insane its my dog

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 23, 2021

Call the police. Consult with a Nevada lawyer. Small Claims might be an option if Nevada allows for an Order to return property and not just a money judgment, although you might be entitled to both.

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Animal / Dog Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: spraying raid into my room all day and night my cat and i are physically ill do i speak w/ a personal injury lawyer
William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 18, 2021

If you sprayed an insecticide into your room all day and night and then became ill, it sounds like you made yourself sick. You should go to the doctor before you even think about talking to an attorney. If someone else is responsible for spraying Raid, then that person might be responsible,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: How to claim ownership of a dog i bought

I bought a male dog from a girl she claims that i made an agreement to give her a pup if my female dog had some from him. Never was there an agreement not even written but instead she asked if i would be interested in donating one, i always said i would ask my family. My dog only had 2 pups which... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 12, 2021

Get the dog and pups licensed in your name. Wait for the Small Claims lawsuit, or Superior Court lawsuit, where she claims ownership. Defend it.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My daughters dog was at my house and the dog was able to get out and bit the fed ex man. What should I do

I called my mortgage insurance but they have. Or told me if they will cover it

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 7, 2021

Notify your homeowners insurer and cooperate with it. Also, expect a call from Animal Control, and cooperate with it.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Person found a dog, they also located the owner - but the finder now refuses to return it to the owner

The dog was found at Joshua Tree park, the finder proceeded to take the dog and drive it 150 miles away to the San Diego area. The finder then was made aware of a Lost Dog report posted on a Joshua Tree radio station site that matched the dogs description. It was confirmed the dog he found was the... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jan 2, 2021

Call the police. Report the dog stolen. If the police won't intervene, sue in Small Claims court. You can sue for an Order to return property, and you can also seek a money judgment for "loss of use" of your property at a daily rate for the reasonable rental value. That is going... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: A person gave us his dog and saids if I don't pay he will get him Sat .of this week can he do that the dog has no papers

he saids he owns him still there is no contact I signed I called the sheriff office they said it's a civil issue and said if he shows up I can have them come over to my house and they will tell him to leave does he still have rights since he rehomed him to us

William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 31, 2020

If the dog was given to you, then it's yours. If you were supposed to pay for the dog and did not, then you are guilty of theft.

3 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Medical Malpractice and Small Claims for California on
Q: Hi I had taking my female mix labrore. retreiver in for xrays and asonicgram soon as I got their they came out with gu

By law Ithe vets cant keep me from being with my pet at they exam yeah well the did and they did not want to give her back and called police on me his my witness he was shocked how they treated me and was very worry about me driving home

Wen he realised they just killed my dog and by law... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 21, 2020

I've never heard of the law that says that you cannot be excluded while the vet is examining your dog. As far as the ashes, if you paid for them, and are otherwise current in your account with the vet, you are entitled to your property. This would be a Small Claims case as the ashes are... Read more »

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