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Pennsylvania Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Old roommate wont give my cats back sorry not dogs but i truly need some advice on how to get them back

My old roommate and me got into a argument day of she tells me to leave so i do i only took a few things with me thinking ill get the rest later long story short she threw out most of my stuff but she has my electronic devices ps4 labtop to name a few things when i went back to get my things she... Read more »

Richard Winblad
Richard Winblad answered on Oct 29, 2019

Consider a small claims replevin action in your state. Replevin is an action to recover property like an animal.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I walk my dog with a leash on public school property if I am not near any of the kids or school is out?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 11, 2019

Depends on the property owner--in this case the school board. The public is allowed on school grounds subject to the rules of the school. For instance, you can't just wander into a school. So it is with the grounds.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Laws about picking up dogs poop in your own backyard

Is there a time frame you have to pick up your own dogs poop in your own back yard

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 11, 2019

Only at such time as your township ordinance establishes that it's a health hazard or public nuissance due to odor etc.

However you won't earn points with visitors if you leave it out there.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Pennsylvania on
Q: My dog died at the kennel. Kennel is filed a civil case for us to Pay the vet bill. My signature isn't on contract

No cell service while on vaca. So we didn't get the call from the that my dog was not well. My dog got sick and the kennel took him to vet he was diagnosed with bloat and they put him the sleep because his stomach had already died. They want us to pay the expenses back. I've never seen the actual... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 12, 2019

Do you have an expert to testify? If not you are correct that you didn't sign the contract, but then your girlfriend is on the hook--bottom line, you don't need a contract if you ask them to care for the dog and they do, and it's commercial and you know there's a charge. Your problem if you were... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My handicapped dog is an escape artist. Dog warden is filling charges against me.

He had done this 3 times in last year. She says it is more egregious because he is handicapped. What can I do? This is in PA not NJ. Don't know why it sent that location.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on May 23, 2019

Who is handicapped the dog? Whether handicapped or not, it is up to you to make sure Houdini the dog can't get out. He gets out, you get cited. If you can explain why it isn't your fault you can plead not guilty but chances are it'll be on you.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What determines ownership of a dog? I was advised that a dog license does not since anyone could obtain one for any dog.

I spoke to a license manager in my county who advised that having a license for a dog does not mean that you own that dog. So then what does? Vet bills, groomer receipts, etc??

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on May 23, 2019

All the above. If you got the dog from someone be useful to get something signed from that person.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: is it legal to have ducks for pets in archbald pa
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on May 23, 2019

The zoning officer should be able to tell you. Normally ducks are viewed as fowl--if you can keep hens, chances are you may keep ducks.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What are the current laws regarding someone else's dogs crapping in your yard or property?

A women who walks her dog down the street always has her dog crapping in my yard.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 26, 2019

The dog is trespassing and she is violating laws that require a dog owner to pick up their pooche's poop.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What can I do if my roommate got rid of my dog well I'm at work. What can I do about it?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 26, 2019

If you know where try to get it back. If not all the roomate owes you is the cost of the dog if it had been for sale the day before--the market value. Technically she destroyed property. You need to look for a roomate that knows boundaries.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: dog bit utility worker on property. didn't break skin. what should I do next from my side? is this reportable?

The worker has to file an incident report through her company and has the dogs license number. my question is since the dog didn't break skin and leave much of a bruise how does this get handled by authorities? Obviously through her company might be different but if they have to report it to... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 19, 2019

Won't affect you as far as the authorities--it's not a mandatory reportable as far as I know--but you should report it to your insurance conmpany.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My dog has permission in writing to be on my neighbors property unleashed and unattended. Is this allowable per PA dog l

Allowable Per PA dog law?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 19, 2019

Well, that's fine for your neighbor. But if the dog get's loose it'll be on you. That's why they have dog laws. And your neighbor I assume will not want that responsibility. Also if unleashed, and it gets into it with a postal worker or deliveryperson that is on you.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can my ex come back for my dog after a year?

My ex and I had a dog together. We ended our relationship over a year ago but the dogs micro-chip is still registered under her name. I’ve always been the primary caretaker for the dog. My ex has now moved out of state to SC, since the dog is registered under her can she come take the dog back... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Apr 12, 2019

Probably not. Pets are considered property under Pennsylvania law, just like a table, lamp, etc. If you've paid for the upkeep of the pet for the past year, a court will likely let you keep the pet. If she comes for the pet, you can politely decline her request. At that point, she'll have to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Consequences of not giving shared dog back to ex husband since he wants to take him out of state

My ex husband and split taking care of a dog weve had for 9 yrs. A birthday gift to me. I let the dog stay at his house because i couldnt find a place that took his breed. I still go after work to take care of him sometimes and take him for a week or two at a time every month as well as the vets as... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 18, 2019

Talk to your lawyer. Who is the owner under the license? That's what the police will look at.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello I purchased a purebred chihuahua puppy breeder now put in shelter and shelter won’t give back anything I can do

3 puppies where sold to families money was taken now there dogs are in the shelter and the shelter won’t let them come get them or adopt them do they have any legal grounds to fight the shelter the puppies where $1,000s of dollars they’re pure bred chihuahua puppies I have proof of purchase and... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 18, 2019

Ask to meet with the shelter manager and find out why. If they don't satisfy you ask the police if you can file a complaint with them for not giving you your property. Maybe call the state ASPCA first to get an idea of the law regarding shelters.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Pennsylvania on
Q: While walking my 8 year old blue merle collie on a leash my dog was struck by a vehicle-street was clear when crossing

Car came out from side street when we were already crossing. Struck my dog, I got pulled down backward by the dog leash. I screamed for person to stop. She never looked up. My dog was able to get up an get across street. I ran after her. Person stopped briefly and left. I got make/model/color of... Read more »

Michael H. Fienman
Michael H. Fienman answered on Feb 6, 2019

Your case can be pursued both criminally and civilly.

With respect to criminal prosecution, it is not your decision whether charges are filed. The local police department that responded to your call and the district attorney for the county in which this incident occurred have complete...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: my ex wife took our dog to SPCA without my permission

My wife and I split up and she moved 8 hours away. She took our dog to the local SPCA. When I went to go get her, the employee, who is friends with my ex, stated that the dog has already been adopted and refused to tell me who adopted my dog. I had the money for the adoption in hand but the... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 4, 2019

Courts in PA generally do not get involved in animal custody. Discuss it with the lawyer handling your divorce. Possible if it was known to be jointly owned that the SPCA may have some liability but I don't see it, under the law.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Criminal Law, Family Law and Federal Crimes for Pennsylvania on
Q: I gave someone my dog to keep while his wife had cancer. He promised to give my dog back after she died. Now he won’t

I gave my dog to my uncle to help his wife feel better since she had cancer. I gave it to him under the condition that if they couldn’t take care of her anymore, to give her back to me. A year after she died, he claimed to not be able to take care of my dog anymore and asked to give her back to... Read more »

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jan 22, 2019

I doubt you can sue her for theft since your uncle handed the dog over to her. Maybe if you offer to reimburse her for the vet bills she'll return the dog. Since she seems to care enough for the dog to spend a decent amount of money on her, perhaps the nicest thing you can do for your dog is allow... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My ex has left the dog with me for 2 months with no contact. Can I claim full ownership?

I have now registered the dog in my name. I have paid for his vet bills, food, grooming and dog walking. The dog was his coming into the relationship. Can he come back and take custody of the dog? Or can I claim abandonment and have full ownership?

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Dec 17, 2018

I think at this point, it's pretty safe to say the dog is yours. If he wants the dog back, let him file a lawsuit against you in small claims court and then he can try to convince the court otherwise. At the very least, if a court would ever order you to return the dog to him, it would only be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have to keep my dogs outside for the next 6 months. There is a heated shed they have access to with fresh water?

They have access to the heated shed at all times. And always have water available to drink. Will this be okay for the winter?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Dec 14, 2018

Check with a vet and the humane society. They'd be the people called if there was a suspected problem.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I let my Yorkiepoo visit my daughter n her girlfriend kept and licensed my dog in her grandmothers address.

Magistrate wouldn't help

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Oct 28, 2018

You can try the police--it's conversion of a dog, but your civil remedy is what the dog is worth in market value, not it's value to you. Sorry, that's the law.

Suggest you discuss with a family therapist how to proceed as getting legal may end up breaking one or more relations you have and...
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