World's Largest NO-KILL
Animal Rescue
and Adoption Organization
 
 
 

 

Members get our updates on rescue alerts, league events, special offers and more.

sign up!

animal

Facebook Instagram YouTube Twitter
    
   

Like us on Facebook  
Like us on Facebook  
| Share share | email | print | A A

Search Advice

Search for:
Hint: Use * for wildcard, e.g. “adopt*” will return results matching both “adoption” and “adopting”

Legal Q&As

Great tips and advice from the Animal League Experts.

Below are Q&As on legal that relate to cats or dogs. Not what you're looking for? Use the form below to change your criteria, or submit your question to one of our experts.

Pet Legal Disclaimer
Please note that responses to legal inquiries are not meant to replace seeking legal advice from an attorney in your state. The materials in this website and any responses to questions are for informational purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. This website, the information contained herein, and any responses to questions directed to this column are not intended to create and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon any information provided on this website or in any response to your inquiry without seeking the advice of an attorney in your state regarding the facts of your specific situation.

animal
Categories
experts
Legal Category
 
How can I get puppy from a litter between ex-girlfriend's dog and mine?
Q:

My dog and my ex girlfriends dog had puppies, and now she won't give me one puppy that I should deserve the right to. What do you recommend for me to do?

A:

Unless there is a written agreement granting the �owner� of a male dog rights to a puppy, it is likely to be a difficult case to win. Perhaps the female dog had other suitors? I recommend that you get your dog neutered and that you suggest to your ex that her dog be spayed. There is an overpopulation of dogs and cats. Spaying and neutering help to curb this problem. Spaying and neutering also provide health benefits to animals. < /p>
Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

Woman will not return my puppy.
Q:

This lady found my puppy, took her to the shelter and then took her home. I contacted her several times. At first she said she didnt have her, she left her at the shelter. I went to the shelter numerous times my puppy isnt there. The shelter said she has her. Now the lady isn't responding or answering to any of my calls or texts or emails. What should my next step be?

A:

An individual who believes that his or her animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue for the return of the animal (known as a replevin action). Shelters are generally required by law to hold animals for a specified number of days (the number differs throughout the country) before making an animal available for adoption or euthanizing the animal. It is important to act quickly in these situations. Consult with an attorney in your area.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I sue SPCA who witheld cancer diagnosis?
Q:

I adopted Layla and asked about the lump on her neck. They said it was benign but after taking her to a vet they said it should be biopsied. After several attempts to follow up it was admitted that they had the biopsy already done and it was cancerous. Their internal systems failed to relay that info to the shelter. They are willing to do some of the treatment themselves but have also put us in the position of having to pay thousands of dollars. Should I sue them so they can fully treat layla? It has been a tremendous burden to our family emotionally, time wise and financially- and we all love the dog.

A:

I hope Layla is doing better. The rights and responsibilities of adopters and shelters/rescues are usually delineated in an adoption agreement so it is important to carefully review that document before commencing what could be a costly and unproductive lawsuit (although Small Claims courts are an inexpensive and user friendly venue for relatively small monetary disputes). Often adoption agreements state that the adoption agency will not be responsible for future veterinary expenses although when possible shelters/rescues�will help with veterinary care for pre-existing conditions. I hope�that Layla gets the veterinary care that she needs.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Pet sitter neglectedmy dog.
Q:

I had a friend whom I paid to watch my9 year old basset hound for a period of 3 months. I gave him a list of instructions in regards to cleaning his ears, clipping his nails, and other maintenance. The sitter sent me photos weekly of my dog and how he was doing, In the agreed contract him and I signed regarding his care, there was an agreement that if given 24 hour notice, I could pick my dog up and spend time with him or chicken him. This deal was met for the first month. After the first month, he then refused to allow me to see him, and stopped sending updates. He also contacted me once to say he could no longer watch him, and that I had 24 hours to pick him up, or he would put my dog in a shelter. I immediately moved and found a new home that allowed pets, and picked up my dog, two days after he notified me he would be breaking our contract. Upon picking my dog up, I noticed his tail was broken, something that was not told to me. It has healed weird and there is no pain. I took him to the vet and they said his ears were not cleaned, leaving him with a horrible yeast infection in them. Because he didn't clip his nails in two months, my dogs toes were slanted and it caused him great pain to walk. I am upset that he failed to meet our contract agreement, neglected his needs, refused to allow me to see him, threatened to put him in a shelter if I couldn't take him in 24 hours or agree to give him rights to my dog. I had to call the police to escort me to pick my dog up. The day after, i took him to the vet. Can I get payment from him of the vet bills for the neglect during the time he watched him, or sue him for animal neglect? I am so heartbroken about the situation and don't know my rights. Since the return of my dog, I have not been in contact with the sitter. Any info would be appreciated.

A:

I hope your dog is doing much better. A person can sue for breach of contract and monetary damages resulting from such breach. Well-drafted contracts clearly specify the rights and responsibilities of the parties, including rights if the contract is breached, so it is important to carefully review the contract. Persons who board animals are responsible for providing humane care. Small Claims courts are a relatively easy and inexpensive venue to try to resolve small monetary disputes.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can SPCA take my cat without a warrant?
Q:

The SPCA took my cat away from me and I didnt see a warrent, or wasn't given a warrent. She snatched her right of my boyfriends hands without my permisson. She told me I have 5 days to pay her and I can get my cat back. Can I press charges and how can I get my cat back for something that was illegally done.

A:

SPCA officers typically do not seize animals unless they have reason to believe the animals are being neglected or otherwise mistreated. Search warrants are sometimes needed in order to legally seize an animal. Animals who are seized due to alleged abuse/neglect are not generally returned unless the defendant is found not guilty of the charges, a plea deal is reached, or the inhumane situation is rectified (for example, better shelter for an animal is provided). Persons charged with cruelty to animals should have legal representation. Animal control officers usually have the authority to seize animals running on public property. Also, individuals who find animals will often take the animals to local shelters. In these circumstances, shelters/animal control must hold the animals for a specified number of days (the number of days varies throughout the country) to give the animals� �owners� an opportunity to redeem their animals (after which time the animals may generally be placed for adoption or euthanized). An animal�s �owner� can redeem his/her animal upon payment of an impoundment fee (the amount is often specified in the law and also varies throughout the country). Because the life of an animal could be at stake, even if someone believes that his/her animal was illegally seized, it is generally wise to pay the impoundment fee, redeem the animal within the time specified in the law, and then focus on attempting to press charges (if one has grounds for taking this action).< /p>
Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

Three dogs taken away after one fought stray on property.
Q:

All three of our dogs were taken because one of our dogs got into a fight with a stray dog who came into our yard. Now all three may be killed as a result. I don't knwo what to do. Please, we need help.

A:

I suggest that you immediately contact an attorney in your state who can intervene on behalf of you and your dogs. People whose dogs are seized under dangerous dog laws are entitled to a hearing. Also, dangerous dog laws do not generally provide for a �death penalty� for dogs who have bitten another animal, particularly for a first offense and in the dogs� yard. If, however, dogs are seized based on a violation of California�s animal fighting laws the dogs shall be ordered forfeited upon conviction of the arrested person. California�s animal fighting law states, in part: Any person who does any of the following is guilty of a felony�(1) Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, with the intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog.(2) For amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight with another dog, or causes any dogs to injure each other.(3) Permits any act in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) to be done on any premises under his or her charge or control, or aids or abets that act.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Dogs got out during storm and pound won't let me get them.
Q:

I had two dogs. An American bully and English bulldog. A storm occurred and the my dogs got free and were picked up by the city. I went to reclaim my dogs two hours after they were picked up and the shelter told me I had 2 options. Pay $250 to get a breeders license or pay $150 dollars and get them out with a chip and spayed/neutered. Since I didn't agree with this and told them I was seeking legal action they told if so they could no longer have contact with me, and within 3-5 business days my dogs would be available for adoption regardless of how I felt because they picked up the dogs and if I didn't pick one of the two options they would belong to the city. What can I do?

A:

Impound�fees are common and vary depending on the municipality. It is generally safer to pay the fee and sue for the overpayment later. Otherwise, regardless of who is right or wrong on the law the animals may be gone.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
How can I bring a civil suit against ex who gave away my cats?
Q:

How do I go about bringing a civil suit on my separated spouse for giving my 2 prized cats away without my permission.� I have paperwork they are mine.� I would like a contingency lawyer to do this now, not during the divorce.

A:

It will likely be difficult to get an attorney to handle such a case on a contingency basis unless the cats have a very high monetary value, it can be proven that the cats are yours, and the case is brought for money (not for the return of the cats). A case for the return of cats can be brought if that is the relief sought (but don�t expect a contingency arrangement�most attorneys want to get paid in money, not �a share� of a cat). Alternatively, one can sue for money in Small Claims Court even without an attorney (these courts tend to be user friendly). According to Missouri Small Claims Court rules, the maximum amount one can sue for is $5000 and the court does not handle cases for the return of property. Since rules change from time to time, check with the clerk of the court.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Can I get my therapy dog back from ex?
Q:

I recently sent my dog back to an ex of mine and now he refuses to give her back. She is my certified therapy dog and I spent a year of training with her. What is making this difficult is only his name is on the adoption papers. What should I do, if there is anything??

A:

An individual who believes that his/her animal is being wrongfully withheld can sue to try to get the animal returned. While adoption records are one indication of �ownership,� court would consider what transpired after adoption, including, for example, whether the dog was subsequently given away, sold, or abandoned, who has been the dog�s primary caretaker, and who has paid for the dog�s needs (food, veterinary care, etc.). Courts would also consider the circumstances behind why a person who is claiming �ownership� of an animal and further claiming that the animal is a therapy dog would send this same animal back to an ex.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Does abandoned dog belong to Humane Society?
Q:

My brother in law found a dog who was abandoned. He located owner, and told him she no longer wanted the dog. Can animal control come take the dog after he has already become attached, and has given her a safe and loving home with his other dog who has also become attached? Animal control claims the dog belongs to the humane society.

A:

Some animal adoption agreements provide that if the adopter no longer wishes to keep the animal, the adopter must return the animal to the humane society that adopted out the animal. Despite these provisions, typically the humane society or animal control officer would not have the right to simply remove the animal from the third party (person who the adopter gave the animal to or otherwise allowed to keep the animal). Often, new adopters can work out an arrangement for transfer of name with the humane society. If the humane society is not satisfied with such an arrangement, it has the option to sue (but often does not unless there is genuine concern that the animal is being neglected or abused in the new home). I suggest that your brother-in-law consult with an attorney in his area who, hopefully, can resolve this situation in the animal's best interests.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott
Items 41 - 50 of 751  Previous12345678910Next

 

Browse our extensive expert advice by selecting categories below:

Show Expert Advice by Topic

Animal:
Topic:
Advice Type: