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Michigan Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a dog at large arraignment coming up but I don’t want to waste a date off work.

Can I plead guilty ahead of time and just pay the fine or do I actually have to go to court? My dog did get out, no one was bitten and no property was damaged.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 8, 2020

You should contact the court, or better yet, contact a local attorney to guide you through the process as to how that particular court handles things.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Can I adopt my previously owned dog from the shelter?

Me & my boyfriend were 17 and living with his dad when we got a puppy. Few months later down the road his dad found a gf and we all moved in with her but her male dog and our male dog didn’t get along and wanted to kill eachother over our other female dog so we had to get rid of our male dog.... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 10, 2020

I believe that is the policy of most shelters. I don't believe there is anything you can do about that.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: My roommate left his dog at my house and isn’t coming to get it can I get the dog removed
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 20, 2020

If it’s your roommate, doesn’t he live there? Won’t he eventually come back? You can’t just give his dog to the shelter because that would constitute theft or civil theft and/or subject you to a lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Neighbors got a pitbull puppy. Are they required to get a fence or some type of confinement system?

We have a dog and 2 small children. We had an electrical fence installed to contain our dog. We live in Michigan. Are there any laws that required pet owners to get a fence or containment system installed?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 22, 2020

In most areas dogs are required to be contained by either some sort of fence (invisible fencing is acceptable) or on a leash when not in direct control of the owner.

The ‘direct control’ is the tricky part. (Think hunting dogs For example, that are allowed to be off leash So long as...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Someone agreed to watch my dog for 30 days,it's been15 and now says she's going to take her to a shelter

What can I do if she takes my dog to a shelter without consent when the agreement was for 30 days and it's only been 2 weeks,is it illegal,can I press charges

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 9, 2020

Did you or are you paying her to watch the dog? If not, it's hard to say it's a contract. Obviously she doesn't want to watch the dog anymore. Your best bet would be to pick it up as soon as you can and be done with her.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I just bought a puppy for myself, but my mom doesn't want her living with us. Can she legally get rid of the puppy?

I bought the puppy because I needed her. She means a lot to me and I don't want to have to give her up. She has somewhere she can stay but obviously I'd like her at my house during the day to spend time with me. My mom said if she found her here she'd send her to the pound. Can my... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jan 9, 2019

A part of the answer is going to depend on your age. But more generally, Mom's house, Mom's rules.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: As a landlord who owns three homes in MI that are rentals, do I have to allow service animals or therapy pets?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Dec 26, 2018

I qualify my "yes" answer with you need to check into your compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and any applicable state or local ordinances addressing same. Very generally, you could not deny housing to an otherwise qualified tenant just because they make use of a service animal.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a management company change the amount due on your rental by raising the pet fee mid lease?

We have not violated any of their rules and have been great renters. The management company has been avoiding us, hanging up on our calls, and threatening to file harassment but will not explain to us or show us in our lease how this is legal. Our lease states that no changes will be made unless in... Read more »

David Soble
David Soble answered on Oct 2, 2018

I agree that changing rules regarding pets are not the same as changing fees. This opinion however is limited in scope as a competent real estate attorney would need to see a copy of a lease.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Divorce and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I've owned my ex girlfriends dog for 5 months. She wants him back now that I have a new girlfriend. What can I do?

He's licensed to her but she isn't his caregiver and doesn't take care of him. He lives with me. My new girlfriend and my family love him.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 18, 2018

I guess it depends on why you were allowed to keep the dog after you broke up with ex-girlfriend. Did she tell you you could have the dog? Or was the dog with you temporarily, with an understanding that she could have it back? You said you’ve “owned” the dog for 5 months, which implies... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Personal Injury for Michigan on
Q: If my dog is of leash and she approaches a person but does not touch or hurt them or their dog. Can they call the police

Can I get in trouble

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Aug 18, 2018

Anyone can call the police. I think you left out facts like possibly the dog was snarling and acting in a way that seemed like it would attack.

Does "is of leash" mean "is off leash"?

If so many laws exist that dogs are required to be on a leash

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: How do I get MY cat back from my ex boyfriend?

My cat Baxter is not registered to either one of us, but I got him, took care of his every needs. My ex continuously says that I cannot have him back, but their has to be another way. I'm not myself without my Baxter, I so desperately need him back but I have NO clue how to even go about... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 6, 2017

Domestic animals are considered personal property in Michigan. You can file what's called a Claim and Delivery action in your local district court for the return of your cat.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: bought a puppy who came down with parvo and now have 3k plus in vet bills. What is statute of limitations and can sue?
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Apr 17, 2017

The limitations period under Michigan law for breach of contract is six years. Therefore, if you have a claim for a breach of contract (more particularly a warranty that the pupply was disease free) then unless the cintract provides otherwise you have six years from the accrual of the claim to sue.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Car Accidents for Michigan on
Q: When fostering a dog, if you have had it longer than the owner can you claim posetion of the dog?

I am fostering a dog. I have had it longer than the owner and it is at the vet under my name. She comes from a home with small children and she can be snappy at times. The reason why I am fostering her is because the owner at the time could not support her. I worry about her health and safety with... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Nov 11, 2016

No. Work something out with the owner. Sounds like they are relying on the bond you have formed to get a free ride.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: can I get legal help if someone's dog damaged $100+ of my personal property?

My friends dog damaged hundreds of dollars of my property and is refusing to compensate for it. What can I do?

Mr Scott Marshall Neuman
Mr Scott Marshall Neuman answered on Jul 26, 2016

File a small claims action in your local district court. No lawyers are permitted in small claims court. The problem is that even if you win he may not be collectible.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Michigan on
Q: My little dog sneaks out the front door while I'm walking inside, and runs after a kid, am I liable if nothing happens

My dog just likes to run after the kid, but does nothing to hurt him, or even comes close to him. But the kid gets scared and runs... So is that breaking any laws?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 1, 2016

Dog cant sneak out if he's on the leash.If the kid isn't on your property you are asking for trouble.Technically, depending on the law in your township, you may be violating leash laws.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Michigan on
Q: what would happen if my dog scratches/bites a kid?
David Alan Wolf
David Alan Wolf answered on May 28, 2016

The liability for a dog bite or dog attack will depend on the laws in place where the incident took place. Some states have strict liability for dog bite incident. In other words, a dog owner is liable even if the dog never attacked a person in the past. Some states have a "one bite... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I adopted a dog from a Rescue who knowingly failed to disclose his massive dental damage and neglected to get him help!

We just spent $3500 to have dental surgery on our adopted dog because he was in severe pain! A veterinarian in OH even made mention he had one chipped tooth, but he was MISSING MANY!!!! How can a vet miss that and deemed him healthy??

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 31, 2015

You should have looked at the dog's teeth when you adopted him.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: do i need a lawyer for my dog?

my landlords girlfriend was doing work outside. i had my dog confined in a fenced in pen due too the fact she was in and out of my house so she could do her work. i went outside and she had her hands in the fence calling my dogs name. he was barking and growling and backing away from her. i came in... Read more »

Adam Studnicki
Adam Studnicki answered on Jul 25, 2015

Anyone can sue for anything...that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good case, though. I'm not familiar with Michigan law on this, but in many states, it is a defense if the dog is provoked. Talk to a local lawyer to be sure. Also, if a claim is made, you can turn it over to your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: my dog was adopted without my consent by my roomate and a shelter would i be able to get my baby back?
Adam Studnicki
Adam Studnicki answered on Jul 20, 2015

More information is needed. If someone stole your dog, you should try to get it back.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: if my neighbor does something to my dog what can i do?

My neighbor harasses my dog. sprayed her with a hose , barks at her heckles her thru the chain link fence. we have half of that fence privacy fenced as well and are working on the rest as we get finances. today after living next door to them for 20 sum years i saw he has a BB gun. i am worried he... Read more »

Adam Studnicki
Adam Studnicki answered on Jul 18, 2015

Ask a lawyer to write a strong letter on your behalf. He doesn't have the right to spray water into your property. If he shoots your dog, call the police.

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