Does Your Dog Need An Attorney?
Due to the ever growing status of pets in our society, animal law is now a rapidly growing field. Half of the American Bar Association approved law schools now offer courses in animal law. Although any licensed attorney can handle animal law cases, search for one that specializes in this field.
What Is Considered An Animal Law Case?
Following are some areas that would typically be considered an animal law case:
- Veterinary malpractice
- Pet injury or death
- Tenant/landlord disputes
- Custody and ownership disputes
- Dog bites
- Estate Planning
- Contractual Disputes and consumer complaints
Animal Law Legislation
The Animal Law Resource Center provides a wealth of information on this topic. You can search by state or federal laws, category, name search or specific bill name or number, and popular tags.
Taking Your Case to Court
If your pet has been injured or killed, consider suing the responsible party. Filing criminal charges will result in a prison sentence if there is a conviction. Laws vary by state, so research the statues in your area and check with an attorney.
For more information on what to do if your pet is injured, check out the Animal Legal Defense Fund website.
Finding An Attorney To Handle Your Case
Although animal law is becoming more popular as a legal specialty, there are few attorneys that work exclusively with these cases. Often, law firms will list animal law as a case type they handle.
If you are looking for an attorney to handle an animal law case, these resources may help:
- Your local animal shelter may know someone who handles animal law cases.
- The local bar association. Many offer referral services (for a fee) to find an attorney with experience to match your needs.
- The American Bar Association website (findlegalhelp.org) has state-by-state listings of lawyers and can be searched by legal specialty.
- Lawyers.com lists animal law attorneys by state and city.
It is extremely upsetting to lose a pet due to the negligence of another person. Taking the case to court may help prevent injury to other pets.