Indiana Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers

Q: My dog was hit by a car New Years Eve. He just brought the bill to us for damage to his bumper. Are we liable?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Car Accidents for Indiana on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
Peter N. Munsing's answer
See if your homeowners will pay as a casualty loss. Depending on your deductible that may not be worth it. Did you report it to the police? Many policies require it.

If the other guy sues you for the bumper it's not your fault if the dogs were set loose.

Q: My son lives with me and bought a dog. Can he sue me if I get rid of the dog

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Yes, he can. It is not your dog. If you believe that the dog is being abused or neglected you can report him to the appropriate local or county authorities and they can remove the dog.

Q: Can I press charges against the owner of some loose dogs that came on to my property and killed my rabbit in the hutch?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Jan 22, 2019
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Yes, you can. Owners are responsible for the actions of their animals. You should consult with an attorney in your area who handles animal law or tort claims.

Q: If a dog comes onto my property, attacks my dog and then flees,can I shoot the dog the next time I see it on my property

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
There is no straightforward answer to this question. Shooting a dog is generally considered animal cruelty. If you are being attacked by the dog or the dog is attacking another person, you may be justified in shooting the dog. It is a defense to a criminal charge of animal cruelty to shoot the dog if the dog is attacking or destroying your property. If the dog is merely trespassing, you are most likely not justified in shooting it and could face felony animal cruelty charges.

Here is...

Q: What happens if someone steals someone else's dog?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Contact the police ASAP and report your dog stolen. If you find out that your dog was not stolen and has simply run away, be sure to update the police and inform them that you found your dog. If you have evidence that it was your neighbor (video recording of them committing the crime, picture of your dog in their house, communications from them telling you they did it), be sure to provide that to the police as well.

As an interim step, if you believe that your dog was stolen, you can...

Q: Can I get my dog back after I haven't had him since June 2017?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Once you gave up your dog to your friend, you effectively transferred ownership of the dog to someone else. You never intended to receive the dog back. Legally your friend owned the dog and could do with it whatever she liked at that point.

It is still possible for you to get the dog back from the current owner, but that is going to be through negotiating with the current owner and possibly buying it back.

Consult with an attorney in your area for legal advice. Any information...

Q: If a pet is left with you how long is it before that pet is legally yours?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Nov 28, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
There is no set time limit where an animal becomes your property. The animal can legally become yours if the animal is abandoned. At that point the animal has no owner and anyone can claim it. However, in order for personal property like an animal to be considered abandoned there must be intent on the owner to disclaim ownership. Right now you are still basically holding the animal on behalf of the owner.

If you really want the animal you may wish to offer to buy it from the owner.

Q: Who to best seek help from concerning someone with mental health problems who is about to loose their home

1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law, Animal / Dog Law and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Answered on Oct 30, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
I am sorry to hear of your situation. Your question was listed for patents (inventions). You may have meant paRents but that is not a category.

You may want to post the same question under Family law or Elder law as this is a question of intervening when a family member may not be competent to take make decisions and others need to act on that person's behalf.

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

Q: Neighbor shot my domesticated cat-says she was trying to get in his baby bunnies cage--Never came and told me this b4

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Oct 9, 2018
Andrew L. Bennett's answer
If the police won't write up a report about the incident or investigate by talking to him, you should call the prosecutors office to see if they would do a citizen intake.

Q: Can a landlord refuse to renew a lease because now they choose not to allow my dog? I have been renting for 3 years now

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Indiana on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Your landlord can refuse to renew your lease for just about any reason as long as it is not illegal. Not wanting to rent to someone with a dog is a legal reason to not renew a lease agreement.

Q: Stolen pet returned home on own. Who has custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Sep 23, 2018
T. J. Jesky's answer
Sounds that you actually answered your own question. If the pet was stolen, the people who stole the pet did not have legal custody of the pet. It was a stolen pet, owned by your family. You family is rightful owner of the pet, and your family has custody of the pet. If you haven 't done so already, you should place an identifying tags on the dog.

Q: My mom has dogs and they peed on my game systems and it fried them I was wanting to know if I could press charges on her

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Gaming for Indiana on
Answered on Sep 22, 2018
T. J. Jesky's answer
First, you cannot "press charges," only the local prosecutor can "press charges." You do have a civil case of "conversion" against the dogs. However, that is not going to help you very much. There is no question that you are upset; however, you have few legal options. The legal costs to pursue this matter far out-weigh the cost of game system. Let me suggest you work this out with your mother.

Q: If someone stole my dog kept her for 5 days, then returned her w/ a throat infection & pregnant,can I take legal action

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Sep 10, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Yes, you can sue them in civil litigation for the theft, as well as the damage suffered to your property (the dog), including vet costs, the cost of the pregnancy and possibly even the cost of raising the pups. You should consult with an attorney in your area who handles civil litigation and animal law. You may also wish to report them to the police for the theft of your dog.

Q: I found a dog that was in the middle of a highway and I took her home and fed and bathed her. I found the owner through

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Aug 24, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
You absolutely should have the original owner sign a transfer over to you, otherwise the owner could come back later and claim ownership of the dog. Additionally many vets will refuse to treat animals if you do not have proper paperwork showing ownership.

Q: Neighbors aggressive unrestrained dogs attacked my cat, what can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Aug 7, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
First step would be reporting the aggressive dogs to whatever your local version of animal control is, whether that is at a local or county level. Some counties require animal attacks to be reported.

Second you may be looking at a small claims case assuming that the damages are under $6,000.00 ($8,000.00 in Marion County). Small Claims cases are a relatively informal legal procedure that is set up for litigants unrepresented by an attorney (although you may retain one for Small Claims...

Q: How can I get charged with animal cruelty foran dog that wasnt mines

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Jul 3, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Ownership of an animal is not an element of the crime of animal cruelty. That's why.

Q: Can others file to have your dog put down with a petition. The dog is not vicious and has no bite history, she just bark

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Apr 24, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
They could certainly try. I'm not sure when you say 'petition' you mean one to a court or one that is just collecting signatures.

Generally county law governs animal control and animal laws when it comes to animals that have to be put down. That's usually only after an assessment that the animal is vicious and that usually only comes after the dog has bitten someone. Barking is not an indicator that a dog is vicious.

That said, while is doubtful that your dog could be put down...

Q: My dog is micro chipped to me a shelter is telling me I have to readopt my dog. I have his papers I owned him 14 yrs

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 20, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Absent some laws in the Indianapolis area (which is where Justia is telling me you are posting from), I am not familiar with any laws that would cause you to have to readopt your dog if it had been missing for a while.

The more likely scenario that I can think is that the shelter is refusing to release the dog to you until you pay for the board, food and any vet fees they incurred. This is a very common practice among animal shelters.

If this is not the case and they are just...

Q: If someone leaves their dog at your house after they move and you take care of it for over a month is it yours?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 9, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
No, not unless you could prove that they intentionally abandoned the dog and gave up ownership.

Q: What documentation is legally required for me to have my medically proven, physician documented emotional support animal

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Indiana on
Answered on Mar 7, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
None. Emotional support animals are not recognized under Indiana law or the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Businesses and other organizations are not legally required to allow emotional support animals onto their premises, allow them to accompany their owners or accommodate them.

Service animals (those trained to perform specific tasks or provide benefits for their owners with a disability) are protected under Indiana and federal law and must be accommodated.

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