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New York Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Our son is 28. He moved out. He is the legal owner of our family dog. But now will not allow us to even see the dog.

We always had a very good relationship with our son. We were the primary care taker of the family dog for 10 years while our son lived with us. Our son moved out and is living with a person who hates her parents. All of a sudden now our son hates us. We understand he does not have to see us but... View More

Benjamin Z. Katz
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answered on Jan 13, 2024

If you are acknowledging your son is the legal owner and you do not wish to have permanent and sole possession of the dog, it would be difficult to convince a court to give you visitation rights. However, your burden would be to prove why it is in the dog's best interest for you to have... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for New York on
Q: My wifes dog was stolen last night, jumped on the street. Police didn't help. We have all papers and need help.

My wife lives in Brooklyn and me in Sweden. 3 month ago she started to babysit a 5 month pitbull puppy from her neighbour, just a few days he said. He got evicted. So she helped, then he ghosted her and wife had to pay for all of the food, toys, vaccines and everything. We said just a few days. He... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 23, 2023

In New York, the situation you're describing with your wife's dog is both a legal and emotional matter. Since your wife has taken steps to legally adopt the dog, including registration and microchipping, she has established a claim of ownership.

Given that the original owner...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: I left my cat with a friend and she got pulled over and the cat was confiscated because she had an open container

I called the precinct and they said that the cat was given away

Benjamin Z. Katz
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answered on Dec 1, 2023

Assuming your friend told the police that you were the owner and assuming that you can establish ownership, you would have to get a court order to force the police to reveal your cat’s location. You would then need to contact the person in possession to get it back. If they refuse, you would need... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Neighbor told landlord that they were going to sue me because my dogs are barking… Landlord texted us and told us…

It’s been a few weeks since the neighbor complained and I have been working to address it… I noticed my dogs bark when they see people walk by so when I am home I make sure they are under control and when I am gone I put them in a small quiet room with no windows and with toys… to try to keep... View More

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Nov 19, 2023

Dear Manlius Tenant:

The statutory warranty of habitability is confined to the tenant and landlord relationship. A neighbor does not possess the right to claim a breach by another tenant. Lawsuits based on the notion of private nuisance are expensive and difficult to establish. A court is...
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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Neighbor told landlord that they were going to sue me because my dogs are barking… Landlord texted us and told us…

It’s been a few weeks since the neighbor complained and I have been working to address it… I noticed my dogs bark when they see people walk by so when I am home I make sure they are under control and when I am gone I put them in a small quiet room with no windows and with toys… to try to keep... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 13, 2023

In New York, dealing with a neighbor's complaint about dog barking can be a delicate situation. It's commendable that you're taking steps to control your dogs' barking. If your neighbor proceeds with a lawsuit, they would need to prove that the barking is excessive and... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: What steps should I be taking to establish a pet custody agreement outside of a court?

We broke up 3 weeks ago. I have had the dog in my custody since. We both purchased the dog together a year ago.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jul 5, 2023

You and your ex-partner should consider negotiating and reaching a mutually agreeable arrangement. Discuss factors such as the dog's best interests, living arrangements, visitation schedules, and financial responsibilities. It is recommended to document the agreement in writing and have both... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Would repeated dog attacks constitute a breach of warrenty of habitability and/or breach of quiet enjoyment in nys.
Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Jun 27, 2023

Dear Olean Tenant:

A single dog attack is a crime. Repeated attacks are a crime wave. Did you call the police? Did you inform your landlord?

The Statutory Warranty of Habitability is not invoked before the tenant notifies the landlord of the dangerous, defective, and hazardous...
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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My mother was attacked by her neighbor's dog she wasn't bitten but sustained a fractured wrist when she fell backwards.

What legal action can I take on her behalf?

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
answered on Mar 20, 2023

Sorry to hear what happened to your mother. Whether your mom might have a viable case will depend on whether the dog's actions were foreseeable such that they could have been prevented. In New York, dog owners are strictly liable for harm caused by their dogs if they knew or should have... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Business Law for New York on
Q: Is a contract legal in New York if the seller didn’t sign the contract only the buyer signed

Dog purchase

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jan 24, 2023

The business litigation attorneys here could offer the best analysis, but you await a response for two weeks. The short answer is that a contract signed by only one person could be enforceable. Some contracts could be in the form of a one-sided purchase agreement. If there's a significant... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My landlord denied my request for an ES by claims that the dog will cause accidents on the carpet. How to dispute?

The dog I am interested in is a Cavapoo hypoallergenic and how not entered the property. They are denying because I mentioned the puppy is also going to be a PSD in training but the puppy will be an ESA first.

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Jan 11, 2023

You can't really dispute the known fact that a Cavapoo puppy will have accidents, one because it is small and has a small bladder and two when training needs to be walked a lot.

"...Toilet training a Cavapoo, can sometimes be a challenge, although smart dogs, they also have quite...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My pets are being withheld from me. Would law enforcement be able to escort me and enforce the return of my pets?

1. I live in upstate NY, Saratoga county.

2. The pets involved are two cats and one dog

3. I have vet records, a dog license, dog tag, veterinary invoices, and pet prescriptions all reflecting my name and paid in full by myself

4. Ownership was transferred over to myself at... View More

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Dec 23, 2022

Dear Clifton Park Resident:

The animals sound neglected and in danger from your mother's lack of care. How did the dogs and cats end up back in your mother's house after you had the animals at the Vet? If you wanted to involve the police what held you back? If you want to report...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My 2 dogs got picked up by local dog catcher.dog catcher gave one away and lied repeatedly. Isn t that violation of law

A nd rabies shot. Second dog was given away by dog catcher. When I first asked dog catcher what about the pup, she told me she knew nothing about her. I searched days in the woods and swamp for my dog. I called her back and she still claimed she knew nothing. After picking up other dog from dog... View More

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Dec 23, 2022

Sorry about the loss of your dogs. You described an aberrant situation that is not typical of the local laws and codes relating to a New York State-authorized local animal control officer.

You offered no information about where this occurred and so made it impossible to look up your local...
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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My regular doctor wrote me a letter saying I would benefit from having a dog and my landlord says no is that illegal
Benjamin Z. Katz
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answered on Dec 9, 2022

I would need more information to answer this question. Does this letter prescribe an emotional support animal? Is your regular doctor a mental health professional? I assume your residence has a no pets policy. If that is the case, there are limited situations where a landlord may refuse to... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My regular doctor wrote me a letter saying I would benefit from having a dog and my landlord says no is that illegal
Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Dec 22, 2022

Dear New York Tenant:

Technically, there is no special entitlement for a tenant to have a pet dog where the lease prohibits pets without the landlord's permission. But, ANY tenant is entitled to own and keep a service dog (a dog specially trained for particular services to assist in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Military Law, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Rights for New York on
Q: can i get my dogs back if im a disabled veteran ptsd 70% and sign a surrender from due to lack of payment for treatment

My dogs contracted parvovirus no veterinarian in nyc would help me unless i had funds which i dont. i had to surrender the puppies to ACC (Animal control center) they had me sign surrender form and told me that i cant get them back because im surrendering them. which i get but these are my... View More

Benjamin Z. Katz
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answered on Nov 19, 2022

By surrendering them, you have no further legal claim. If they are being re-homed, you can apply to adopt them. However, your inability to provide for their medical needs in the past will likely be taken into account.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Is Condo Management company allowed to require a $1,000,000 homeowners insurance policy for an Emotional support animal?

My mom just bought a condo for $420,000. She has a ESA dog (letter to verify) but the condo sent her a letter saying in order for the dog to live there she needs to take out a $1,000,000 liability homeowners policy if she wants the dog to be allowed. Is this legal? She already have a regular... View More

Benjamin Z. Katz
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answered on Aug 24, 2023

It is not legal to require additional insurance in exchange for providing a reasonable accommodation to a person with a disability.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: I live in my parents' house, and my sister has threatened to take my dog away/surrender him many times. Can she do that?

I got my dog from my aunt and uncle. He's my responsibility from training to vet visits, so on and so forth. My sister doesn't think I'm doing enough to train him, and has made it a point that she wants to get rid of him. We both live in my parents' house, and we both pay to... View More

Marco Caviglia
Marco Caviglia
answered on Feb 14, 2023

Before turning this into a legal case, speak to your parents, who I am sure will resolve this in little time.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My mom bought me a dog and now a year and half later my wife is divorcing me and refuses to give me the dog .Can I fight

I need to know if I can legally fight to keep the dog.i have the paperwork in my name and my moms payment for dog.My ex wouldn’t allow me to stay at our home for a year so I didn’t get to see the dog much but I want her in the divorce

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Dec 23, 2022

Dear Ronkonkoma Dog Owner:

Ask your divorce attorney to secure the possession and custody of the dog for you in the divorce court.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Libel & Slander and Personal Injury for New York on
Q: im 17 tunring 18 in two months, will i be able to sue my aunt for emotional abuse and spreading rumors when im 18?

She has made me feel like a burden to everyone, she lies and tells me that im over reacting. Recently my dog passed away, her lungs collapsed and she had bruising from something, the first person she said it was , was me. I know i never did anything to my dog but she said she "thinks"... View More

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
answered on Oct 17, 2022

You can certainly sue someone for defamation / slander if they are making false statements about you. In any defamation case, however, you have to prove that the false statements caused you damages. Moreover, unless your aunt has any assets worth pursuing, a successful lawsuit against her might... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: my aunt was watching my 2 dogs and i was away when i returned she had givimg them away to a

or without out my permision inever wanted her to do that thry are my babies so i contacted the place and they have refused to return them i have called emailed won in small claims court then rhey turn around with out me knowing vacted the claim and they still refues to return them i dont have any... View More

Benjamin Z. Katz
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answered on Jun 1, 2022

To recover your dogs, you would need to commence and action for replevin.

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