Missouri Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 14, 2019
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
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 file a counterclaim. If you haven't been sued, you could file in small claims court but expect to catch a counterclaim for at least $3800. You can represent yourself in small claims court or you may...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 14, 2019
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
Here's what the ADA website, https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html, 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 with a person. Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. However, some State or local governments have laws that...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
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 charged with trespassing or get injured. If the dog is simply outside and you can easily and safely provide food and water, you physically can do so but it is at your own risk of injury and criminal...

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Nov 6, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
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 lost their pet and despite their best efforts found their pet years later. If the dog was trying to survive on its own when it's never had to before, of course it will be emaciated. Please consider what...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
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.

Q: Can my neighbor trap and poison my cat?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
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.

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?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
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.

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?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Sep 21, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
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 attorney to figure out the best course of action for you.

Q: Getting fined for someone else’s dog

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on May 25, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
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 prove it is your dog. Bring pictures of your dog and prepare questions to ask the animal control officer who cited you about whether or not he ever spoke to you or saw your dog. Ask the officer if he...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 14, 2018
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
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 lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner or possessor of the dog, is strictly liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 13, 2018
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
You could file a replevin action.

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

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 5, 2018
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 4, 2018
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
You can file a police report. You can hire an attorney. You can sue for the return of the dogs.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
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 killing or injuring a dog, a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that such person was in reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful contact by the dog or was acting to prevent such imminent...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
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 suit seeking damages but it would be your burden to prove that the defendant unjustifiably shot your dog.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Wrongful Death for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 20, 2018
Peter N. Munsing's answer
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.

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

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 19, 2018
William John Light's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 19, 2018
Lydia Seifner's answer
This is really an animal law question.

Q: My Dog getting into a tussle with another person's dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Dec 5, 2017
Kristen Thurmond's answer
There is not anything to be done legally unless or until the other dog owner either makes a report to animal control/police department or tries to sue you in civil court for some reason. Otherwise, try to stay away from her and her dogs. If you receive a citation or get served documents, contact a lawyer immediately.

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