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Massachusetts Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I recently purchased a dog from someone who split with their ex & dog was left behind. Ex wants dog back. My options?

Person I bought the dog from said her ex didn't tell her he was coming back for dog. He now wants dog back after he found out she was sold.

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jul 27, 2020

While I can't speak to your specific situation unless you are a client, I can say that animals are considered property in Massachusetts. That means someone has to show ownership, whether it's by a title or some other means, in order to own a dog. For example, if it's a car, there is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Basically if I lost someone’s dog and we weren’t able to find it could I be sued?
Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jul 2, 2020

A situation like that really depends on the details. Dogs are considered property in Massachusetts, so it's similar, as awful as this sounds, to losing someone's property. Anyone can sue, so it comes down to whether you would be found responsible for the loss. And, as I said, that really... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What should I do? I think I may be sued. Her dog is worth 1600 but she didn’t have a chip

Ok so I have this friend whom I’ve known for a while were not best friends but I’ve always been able to lend a helping hand, she asked me if I could watch her dog around late November, she didn’t have anywhere to put him at the time. Due to financial reasons, and living on college campus. I... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 2, 2020

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, but if you have been charged with a crime, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If somebody gives me a dog as a gift how do I get it registered under my name

Someone gave them the dogs and then they gave me the dog how would I get the dog into my Name

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jun 29, 2020

I can't answer your situation specifically because you aren't my client. Generally speaking, there are various ways to prove dog ownership, such as being the owner on a microchip ID, being listed as an owner at the vet, registering the dog with the city or town to get a dog license, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My sister was given a dog to foster in 2016, the owners later gave the dog to us. My sister moved out.

- my sister moved out and left the dog to me. I then moved out due to family problems. And they dog is still there. I come by regularly and see the dog. I want to take her back from my Grandmother and I feel like there might be some issues. What could I possibly do about this situation? The place... Read more »

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jun 29, 2020

I can't give you legal advice on your exact situation because you aren't my client. Generally speaking, a dog is considered property in Massachusetts. That means someone has to show they own the dog in order to take that dog away from someone else. In dog cases, it's usually easier... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: My Landlord gave 2 of my puppies away, that I intended to keep. officer told him to get them back, he has not done so.

This morning he assaulted me and bit me the officers I've called have seen it yet they will not Do anything what can I do.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 21, 2020

Have you received medical treatment for same? Are there any scars? You may have a harassment claim against the landlord and if there have been three harassing incidents by this person you can obtain an order from the district court for your locality, but there are special rules under the COVID... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will a surrender agreement hold up in a Massachusetts court?

My ex-husband surrendered his dog to our daughter Dec. 2018. She surrendered the dog to me January 2019. He now wants the dog back. Does he have any legal rights to the dog.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 7, 2020

The courts view pets as property, therefore this isn't really a family law issue even though all the parties are (or were) family members. He could file a claim in small claims court or if he has documentation that the dog belongs to him (registration, etc.) he might be able to bring a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I adopted a puppy from a rescue back in January 2019. My father got very ill In Jan of this year 2020 and I sought out a

** continued caregiver to take care of her while I traveled to take care of my father for 4 weeks. I had supplied a large bag of food a blanket of mine some toys etc. It has now been almost two months and I am being ignored by the woman whom was watching her. She claims she is in love with her now... Read more »

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Mar 6, 2020

I can't speak to your specific case because we don't have an attorney-client relationship. However, dogs are considered property under Massachusetts law. Certain things like microchips and documents may be able to prove that a dog belongs to someone. The police sometimes help in a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: A friend of mine stole my service dog what can I do to get him back?

I live in Auburn Massachusetts if that helps in any way

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jan 19, 2020

I can't speak to your specific issue unless you are a client. Generally speaking, under Massachusetts law, a dog is considered property. Several options exist when someone takes property. One option is to file a police report. If the police will not handle the matter, then you may need to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If someone sells their dog to someone who is taking great care of him can the seller legally take the dog back?

During the 2.5 months that I have had this dog I have taken him to the vet to be brought up to date on his vaccinations and to be be neutered. He had never been to the vet with the person who sold him.

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jan 17, 2020

Under Massachusetts law, a dog is considered property. So, as awful as it sounds, think of the sale as you would the sale of something like a car or a boat. Generally speaking, a seller cannot take back property once it is sold. I say generally because each case turns on the facts. If there was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Ex wants almost $13000 or says he will take the dogs and possibly sell them. Registered to me paid for and AKC to him

We lived together for two years in my home. During that time he did work around the house such as adding a fence and adding to a heating system. He also paid for several trips. He lives somewhere where he cannot have pets. Says dogs can stay with me as long as I sign an agreement to pay him half... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 9, 2019

Were you married? If not, then his payment for trips and home improvements on your home may be considered gifts, unless there were explicit loan agreements between you regarding these expenditures. As for the ownership of the dogs, were they gifts to you? Why are they registered in your name? More... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can we try to get reimbursed for tests and cremation of my dog that just passed because of misdiagnosis and negligence

My dog was throwing up and stopped eating last month brought buster to the vet he said buster was fine he will eat when he’s hungry , gave him a pill to settle stomach sent us home .... no tests no blood work no nothing . Last Thursday my dog threw up 6 times and ear swollen again brought him to... Read more »

Jeremy Cohen
Jeremy Cohen answered on Feb 5, 2018

Hello,

Instances like this typically involve obtaining all of the records from the involved vet, sending them out to one of our experts to determine if there is a potential valid claim, and if so, sending a demand letter to the involved vet. If you would like our office to take a closer...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Are you allowed to walk your dog on school property after hours During summer season

Walking dog after school hours while school is not currently in session

Dogs are leashed ,license, neutered microchip updated on all rabies

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Aug 22, 2017

Is there a related prohibition posted on the property? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Personal Injury and Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I walk my dog after hours on School grounds During summer months?

Dog is leashed, licensed, neutered and microchip

Updated with all its rabies. Bathed and groomed. Water is supplied for walks.

William C. Head
William C. Head answered on Aug 22, 2017

You forgot to mention whether your dog wore a diaper. The issue for schools is that children play outside (recess) and if poop piles litter the landscape, guess who gets to clean up the kids, once they get poop on them? Don't ask me how they get poop on them, but they will.

If it is a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Constitutional Law for Massachusetts on
Q: The 2nd of this month I was unexpectedly hospitalized and had a dog at home. I called my mother to explain the scenario.

She had my contact information there so I could give the landlord permission to unlock the door. Someone the police became involved(which was not necessary) and today the maintenance man informs me that police were going all around my dwelling with ipads photographing every square inch. This is... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on May 17, 2017

Definitely contact a criminal defense attorney such as myself asap to discuss your risks and potential civil rights and privacy rights.

See: http://www.aeesq.com/criminal-defense-lawyer/dui-drugs-cannabis/

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Puppy given away by a third party third-party new persons register the dog and now claims she's there's

Unregistered puppy unable to stay with us temporarily bought out of state (ithica new york) for temporary safekeeping. The place where the dog was being kept gave the dog away to someone else les than two days in their possession. They say the dog was abandoned which was not the case. We reached... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on May 7, 2017

How did the dog leave your possession and end up in theirs? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: i bought dog in 06; married boyfriend in 08 divorced him in 14. left dog with him moved 1.5 hours away. am I still owne

my name is on vet paper. No dog license in my name. has been with ex since 2014. ex takes him to vet, groomer, and pays all expenses. I do give him half, but always in cash.

Am I still owner

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on May 2, 2017

Possession is key in ownership of personal property. Your payments may be considered a gift. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My girlfriend and I bought a dog together and she is asking for her money back. Can she sue me if I don't wanna pay her?

The dog lives with me and I take care of him fully. She can not take care of the dog because her father will not let the dog into the house. She wants to sue me for her portion of the money she paid but I'm refusing to pay her. Is it a legal matter or what? Need more help ?

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Apr 17, 2017

What were the terms of the purchase? Did she loan you the money or gift it to you? Who bought the dog? How did the dog come into your sole possession? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Was asked to babysit someone's dog for a month. It has been over a year and he wants to come get him. Can he do that?

I was asked to babysit a guy I use to work with dog for 1 month. It has now been a year and a half and he texted me saying he is coming to get the dog next month. He said he will compensate me with what he can. But when we got the dog he had no up to date shots and a broken paw that never healed... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 22, 2017

It sounds like he abandoned the dog, and the dog might belong to you now. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My roommate threatened to kill my kitten when I am not home. What do I do?

She urinated on his bed while closed in his room, and when he noticed, he tore the house apart looking for her and when he did find her, he stepped on her tail and kicked her. He then told me that when I am not home he will kill her.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 12, 2017

You can report this to the landlord for breach of lease agreement. You can report this to the police re: animal cruelty, and you can tell her that you'll sue her for breach of lease agreement and/or conversion of personal property if she hurts or threatens to hurt your kitty. More details are... Read more »

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