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Missouri Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Rights for Missouri on

Q: Can an officer give you a ticket 2 weeks after the fact when he didn't address the issue the day of?

2 weeks ago my aunt called me and told me that the cop was at her house saying my dog and some other dog were wondering town and apparently bit another dog. I told my aunt there is no way it was my dog. I then asked to talk to the officer and he told me that someone needed to come get my dog... Read more »

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Jul 5, 2019


1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Gifted dog to gf as she wanted it for Christmas. We now have parted ways. Am I financially responsible for this dog?

The girlfriend wanted a dog for Christmas. We are no longer dating. She is expecting me to pay for half of all costs associated with the dog. Am I legally responsible for this dog?

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 14, 2019

The dog is considered her personal property.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: I live outside of city limits where no leash laws apply to dogs My dog was ran over and killed can I sue driver.

My dogs were outside playing, I live out of city limits on a large farm. I breed highly expensive dogs and I have my own kennel business. My 4 month old puppy was in the ditch playing when a speeding car came through and ran her over without stopping. I live on a 1 mile straight stretch so she had... Read more »

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Mar 14, 2019

First, I'm sorry to hear that about your puppy's fate. As to your legal situation, I don't know what you mean by stating that the driver is "trying" to sue you. Either a case has been filed (if so, you must defend it) or there has been no lawsuit. Check Casenet. If you've been sued, you could... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: City I just moved to...and signed a year lease....has a pit bull law bannng them...I have a mixed breed and

A registered esa animal..they gave me 7 days to get rid of him. How can I avoid getting rid of my dog? Wellsville mo

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Mar 14, 2019

Here's what the ADA website,, states:

Q3. Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?

A. No. These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: There is a dog in an abandoned house. Can I bring it food and water until animal control gets a warrant?

Kristen Thurmond answered on Dec 17, 2018

While this answer is a bit late, I still wanted to respond so if anyone else has a similar question they can find an answer.

Your best bet is to call an animal welfare group or animal control before entering property that is not yours, even if you believe it to be abandoned. You could be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: We found a stray dog that was skin and bones. Posted it online, etc. Took to vet had scanned and all. It's been 2 weeks.

Got him fixed and chipped. Now a person claims he is hers. We live in small town and she never posted a thing til now. Do we have to return?

Kristen Thurmond answered on Nov 6, 2018

This is not really addressed well in the law and there is not a definitive answer for you. However, please consider that not everyone actively uses social media, the dog may have been stolen and released, or the person may have looked for the dog and given up hope. I have met numerous people who... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: My kids found a dog that has had no food or water in days he's all skin and bones and he has sores all over him

We tried to make contact with the owner but there is never anyone there night or day are we allowed to legally take him

Kristen Thurmond answered on Oct 31, 2018

This is a late response, but the answer is that only police or animal control can take the dog. They are granted authority by the city, county, or state to do so. You should report severely malnourished or emaciated pets any time you see them.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Can my neighbor trap and poison my cat?

Kristen Thurmond answered on Oct 31, 2018

This would be considered abuse by almost any city ordinance more than likely and it probably violates a state statute, as well. If it happens or you see the trap out with poison, contact local police or animal control to make a report.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Hi, me and my boyfriend have had a dog for a year now and are being forced to rehome her in a few days. It that legal?

Our dog has done property damage to,our apartment which we agreed to pay for. She's not a viscouis dog at all. She's loving, sweet, and great with kids. We dont want,to give her up.

Kristen Thurmond answered on Sep 25, 2018

This is going to be dependent on what is in your lease. You will need to talk with a local attorney who does landlord and tenant disputes.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Friend gave me a pup from her dogs litter and now wants him back and is claiming I Stole the pup. What do I do?

My friends dog wouldn't nurse the pups so I got permission to take the pup as long as I bottle fed him. She is neglecting the other pups and said I have to give the pup back if I dont feed the others too. I said it wasnt my responsibility to feed the other pups and now she claims I stole my puppy.... Read more »

Kristen Thurmond answered on Sep 21, 2018

If you feel there is abuse or neglect, please call animal control to investigate. For the remainder of your question, that is going to be very fact specific based on what you and your friend have said to each other and what agreement you had. You would need to schedule a consultation with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Getting fined for someone else’s dog

I just receny got fined for a dog that wasn’t mine. How is this possible? Someone had seen a dog running loose and the dog had barked at them so they called the cops and told them it was my dog. Note I had been home most of the day with my dog inside with me. The officer cited me and did no... Read more »

Kristen Thurmond answered on May 25, 2018

Normally, I would suggest hiring an attorney, but the costs of paying a ticket for a dog at large (meaning loose dog) is minimal compared to hiring an attorney. The best thing to do is to ask for a hearing. Appear in court on the day it's scheduled and ask for hearing or trial. The city has to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Will my homeowner's insurance cover a person who got bitten by my dog?

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 14, 2018

There is a good chance that the answer is yes. Submit a claim to your insurer.

MO Rev Stat § 273.036.

Owner liable, when--fine, amount.

273.036. 1. The owner or possessor of any dog that bites, without provocation, any person while such person is on public property, or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: What can we do to get our cat back?

My husband asked a friend to keep his cat from him when he moved to a place that couldn't have cats he is now in prison and wants me to take care of his cat since it is mine as well and I can now have a cat where I am. He is not wanting to give us back our cat because he gave her to his daughter... Read more »

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 13, 2018

You could file a replevin action.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Missouri on

Q: Tenant rights In Missouri on service animals in housing where pets are allowed but I’m being evicted .

She walked into my fiancé home with no notice after calling him asking if he’s home and he had a dog. No he’s not home and no dog. He’s my service animal I have psychological disabilities . I was added on lease 2 weeks ago. So she comes in the home knowing he’s not home well I am n my... Read more »

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 5, 2018

You could hire a lawyer to write a letter explaining the law and your position. I don't think this is a matter that you will end up litigating on your own. Best wishes.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Someone took my two dogs and wont give them back is there anything I can do ?

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 4, 2018

You can file a police report. You can hire an attorney. You can sue for the return of the dogs.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: When is it legal to kill an aggressive, trespassing dog?

My neighbors have a large, aggressive dog who is frequently left outside off leash and unattended in their front yard. My county has strict leash rules which this neighbor is in violation of. Furthermore, the dog does not stay in the yard. It terrorizes the neighborhood and I'm afraid it will... Read more »

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 3, 2018

Here's Missouri's statute. I hope it helps. Consult with an attorney before you start dog-shooting.

Killing or injuring a dog, reasonable apprehension of imminent harm is an absolute defense.

273.033. 1. In any action for damages or a criminal prosecution against any person for...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Hi, my question is in regards to pressing charges against an individual that killed my dog, story below, thanks.

Back ground, my dog was unleashed but in my yard, she smelled something in the woods backing up to our yard, went to check it out and was shot twice. There is documented evidence of illegal deer baiting, my dog had found a carcass of a deer, when she was shot), a witness stated they saw a gun being... Read more »

Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 3, 2018

I'm sorry to hear about your dog getting shot. That's terrible. Unfortunately, you cannot "press charges" because you are not the prosecutor. You can and did file a police report. Without a witness, I can understand why nothing further has been done by law enforcement. You could file civil... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Wrongful Death for Missouri on

Q: Hi, What rules exist in MO surrounding neighbors shooting and killing roaming dogs owned by another neighbor?

My husband and I own a farm in Perryville, MO. Our neighboring farmer shot and killed our shepherd dog when it roamed onto his farm and started barking at his cows. He did not alert out farm hands about the problem; instead he shot the dog and never told us. Our farm hands later found the dog dead... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 20, 2018

Basically a violation of game laws & or laws on killing animals if any. You can only recover for the value of the dog based on sale price for a dog that age.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Pet store LIED about dog breed? Charged me 2,100!!!

Hi, i purchased a puppy last year in Missouri at a pet store. They charged me $2,100 and told me my dog was a maltipoo. I do still have the papers. At the time, I believed them because she was a puppy and was very fluffy and small. However, i have TWO real maltipoos in the family and now that a... Read more »

William John Light answered on Mar 19, 2018

This is a problem for Missouri Small Claims court. Your damages would be what you actually paid, minus the value of what you actually got.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on

Q: Do we have any legal recourse as far as puppy rights?

My daughter and her fiancé own a dog which bred my daughters best friends dog. The best friend lives in the home with my daughter and her fiancé. She, the best friend, is threatening to take all eight puppies and to keep the money from the sale of the puppies for herself because she needs the... Read more »

Lydia Seifner answered on Feb 19, 2018

This is really an animal law question.

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