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New York Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: ¿Can I take the dog I’ve been taking care of the last three months and it’s under my name, from my sister’s house?

Here’s the thing, my sister has several problems with alcohol abuse, I care from other country and been here the last 3 months, the thing is that I’ve been taking care of the dog, feeding her, taking her for walks, etc, I’ve paid for everything this last 3 months, but according to my... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 12, 2020

It appears that the dog legally belongs to your sister. But it depends upon how she got the dog and how long she has had it. If you feel it is being mistreated or neglected there are steps that you can take but there is no guarantee that you will be able to get ownership and it would take some time.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Can someone claim rights to a pet registered to me?

My daughter lied to me and handed my baby to a stranger, this man refuse to return my boy

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 28, 2020

You can sue him to recover your dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My parents are getting a divorce. How can I legally take the dog with me without trouble?

My parents are going through a nasty divorce and I want to move out of the house. I currently live with my mom. How can I take the dog with me, legally so she cannot say no? I believe that he is registered to me but what if he's not? My parents got him for me as a gift.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 23, 2020

It sounds like you are the owner. See if you have records showing you as the registered owner. Vet bills, NYC license papers, bill of Sale etc. However, even without those documents, if it was a gift to you, it is yours. If you can get your parents to acknowledge it in writing you can avoid trouble... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Someone gave their dog away do I have to give back if they want it?

I drove to pick a dog being given away due to not be able to take care of it anymore. Now being threathen wanting her back. Then calling me late night then writing apologies they were stress because of the family issues which has nothing to do with the dog or me and said can we be family. Now... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 21, 2020

If someone voluntarily gave their dog to you, they are not legally entitled to the dog back. That may not stop them from trying.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Adopted a dog out to an out of state customer. Wrong dog was sent, now they won't exchange. Dog was already adopted.

They received the wrong dog, now they won't exchange for the correct dog. Other customer had already adopted that dog and would like the one they adopted.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 19, 2020

A properly drafted purchase agreement should deal with this possibility. If not, it is up to you to provide a reasonable replacement or refund their money.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: what happens if u leave Vet without paying the bills? They do not have my pet.

Hello

I went to Vet and they quoted me 150 dollar but the bill ended up being 425 dollars with food and medicines, so i did not take food and medicines and i left vet without paying bills.

What is the law against this?

They have my name and address.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 14, 2020

I am sure they will send you a bill in the mail. If you don't pay it they will most likely take further collection efforts. Further efforts after that may include hiring a collection agency, reporting it to the credit bureaus and possibly suing you to get a money judgment.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: how long before i can legally claim a dog as mine if i was just suppose to be taking care of it for someone else

someone put a ad on craigslist due to losing her job she cant take care of the dog so i offered to care for it but now its been 2 months and she wont respond to anything when i ask her when is she coming to get the dog am i able to just keep the dog as my own now

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 27, 2019

Unfortunately, it is not simply a question of how long before you can claim ownership.

Since you agreed to care for her dog, you are considered a bailee under New York law similar to how an attended parking garage takes responsibility for a car. If you have a written agreement with a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: I have dogs trespassing on my hunting land. How do I force the owners to restrict this? DEC wont do much, wrote 1 ticket

numerous pictures of the dogs, all over my property. Owners were asked numerous times to tie their dogs up. That didnt work so I had DEC go speak to them and they were given a warning. Didn't work, so DEC went back and issued a ticket. Didn't work, now DEC is telling me they cant do anything but... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 18, 2019

You can sue the owners civilly and also seek a temporary restraining order to get immediate relief pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Who would consider the owner and what determines ownership in New York?

State of New York

A friend and I share a dog. She originally got the dog and it started out as me going to her house to let the dog out.

Than I started keeping the dog. Days turned into weeks and week turned into months. She can go weeks even months without seeing the dog (she... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 16, 2019

This is a fairly common situation that I deal with. Although New York State recognizes pets as personal property, recent trends have been to determine what is best for all concerned when determining ownership and custody. What you have described is strong support for a judge to find in your favor... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Who has ownership over the dog in this situation?

A friend and I share a dog. She originally got the dog and it started out as me going to her house to let the dog out.

Than I started keeping the dog. Days turned into weeks and week turned into months. She can go weeks even months without seeing the dog (she admitted this over text). I... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 11, 2019

Each state has different laws and court decisions to guide judges in making ownership determinations. Since you live in Massachusetts, you would need the advice of an attorney there.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: 10 yr old dog, been splitting custody, time & visitation EVENLY with an ex for the past 5 years. Now ex is withholding.

I recently moved out of NY state, and have been traveling to transport the dog for the past 1.5 years via plane. Recently, my ex has asked (emailed) that I give full custody "because it is preventing them from finding true love, and is turned away by anyone they meet because of the 'abnormal'... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 9, 2019

You have a strong position based upon your payment receipt, communication with the breeder and the letter from your psychiatrist. These items are still the best method to demonstrate legal ownership.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: If a dog ran from it’s yard and tried to attack me and I fall and hurt myself can I sue them

The owner was running behind him scream no but it kept coming and I fell and hurt myself before someone else intervened

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 26, 2019

Yes. However, in New York there is a requirement that the dog has shown prior acts or conduct in order to prevail against the owner. It may require some investigation.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: How do I file a claim against a lawyer (Versace) for discrimination?

I reside in the apartments he owns(big mistake). I have an ESA, and he's denying to accept it. Meanwhile I've seen 3 other dogs on the property.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 6, 2019

You can file a complaint with New York State Division of Human Rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My boyfriend gifted me a dog, we broke up and took the dog back from me, how do I get him back legally?

I moved from my house where the dog was staying a couple Months ago, and therefore he was staying with my boyfriend for a couple

Months. Me and my ex boyfriend got in a argument now he refuses to give him back. How can I get my dog back legally ?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 3, 2019

I noticed you are in NJ. I’m not sure where the dog is but generally you will need to bring an action to recover the dog in the jurisdiction where it is located. Since most states (including NY) treat pets as property, you will need to prove ownership. Is the dog licensed to you? Do you have vet... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Family Law and Civil Litigation for New York on
Q: Who gets the dog and what are my rights?

A friend and I have been sharing a dog for about 2 1/2 years. She originally got the dog but I mainly takr care of the dog. I watched the dog more, trained, groomed him. She moved quite often and the dog was alone which is how I ended up with the dog so much. I would watch the dog for months at a... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 20, 2019

It sounds like you both potentially can claim ownership. However, based upon what you indicated, you probably have a stronger claim. The two of you can agree who is the true owner through a written agreement. If not, the Courts may have to decide for you if there is a dispute in the future.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My ex asked me to dog sit for him for 3 days while he went to rehab as he had no one else to care for him and didnt want

to lose him. It's 11 days over the agreed upon date he would retrieve the dog. I have called and texted asking when he plans to come and I am ignored. He has told a mutual friend via text that he has no where to bring the dog. How long before I can surrender the dog to a rescue to find it a... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 18, 2019

You can take the dog to local shelter at any time. Make sure to give them all your ex’s contact information and let him know where you brought the dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Found a dog but could not find its owner. What are my rights?

My fiance and I found a dog walking around without a tag, and couldn't find out where she came from. We posted and checked lost dog groups on Facebook, checked the area and surrounding areas frequently but did not see any posters. We planned to foster the dog until we found the owner but it's been... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 4, 2019

To apply for a dog license, most municipalities only require proof of vaccinations. However, before you do all that you must report to local law enforcement and check with local animal shelters. If you don't, any claim to ownership will be jeopardized for the future. You should also post... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: How do I report suspected animal neglect or abuse? What specific website or phone number can I call to report neglect?

One of my neighbors leaves their dog outside in their yard unattended at least once or twice a week. The dogs nose has some redness on it, because the dog burrowed some small holes in front of the fence and it sometimes tries to stick it's nose under the fence while barking at people who pass it. I... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 25, 2019

There are several places to report abuse and neglect. The local police department, NYSPCA, Humane Society and even Attorney General’s office. However, what you are describing may not rise to the level of neglect or abuse that would trigger a visit by any of those agencies.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Can the police in New York refuse to take a police report for a stolen dog.

A groomer I use to groom my dog Oreo surrendered a dog in her care to me in June because she was not allowed to have more than two pets in her home. I have text messages of the conversation we had regarding her surrendering me the dog. The dog has now been in my care since then and my families care... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 20, 2019

Yes the police may refuse if they don't believe a crime has occurred. Based upon what you wrote, the police probably consider this a civil matter. You can bring an action against the groomer in court if you wish to pursue this. The action can seek return of Olive and/or damages for your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: If I find a dog on the street that doesn’t have owner atm because there’s no posters and a friend went around and asked

And I give it away under the impression there’s no owner and I can’t take care by myself and then the owner pops up the next day and I don’t have it anymore and can’t get it back could I be in trouble I didn’t sell it or anything but I had a family member hold it and they gave it away can... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 11, 2019

It doesn’t sound like anything you did would be considered illegal, reckless or negligent. However, many pets are microchipped and it is best to get in touch with a local pet association to have the best chances of reuniting pets with their owners.

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