Top 10 Legal Tips for Dog Owners
by Helen Broadley for FidoActive
In my book, any day with my furry menagerie is a happy pet owner’s day but, I guess like Valentine’s Day, it just prompts us to reflect on how lucky we are to have them in our lives.
Any dog owner appreciates how rewarding a pet’s companionship can be. But, just like your human best friend, your furry equivalent may also (inadvertently of course!) get you into some legal trouble if you aren’t too careful!
So, in celebration of National Pet Owners Day, let’s “paws” for a few moments to share some top legal tips regarding dog ownership, provided by the legal eagles at FindLaw.
#1. Driving with pets can get you a ticket. Some states have an outright ban against driving while holding an animal on your lap. Others may allow cops to ticket you if your pet is distracting your driving or if they’re not properly harnessed in. Keep your pet as safe as any other member of the family when you hit the road.
#2. Who gets the pet after a breakup or divorce? For the most part, pets are seen as property under the law, so whoever paid for or adopted the pet will probably be the one to keep it after a divorce or breakup. Pet custody arrangements can be made, however.
#3. Service animals and apartments.Landlords need to provide reasonable accommodations for service animals and their owners, even if the building doesn’t allow pets. This is because service animals aren’t considered pets under the law.
#4. Phony service animal claims are illegal. Although service dogs aren’t required to wear specific identification tags under federal law, states may be able to charge dishonest owners who are passing off their dogs as “therapy dogs” with fraud.
#5. Consider creating a pet trust (if allowed in your state). The law doesn’t allow you to leave money or property to your beloved pooch in your will BUT some states do make it legally possible by using a pet trust.
#6. Workplace pet policies. Businesses that allow pets should have a written pet policy in place to avoid potential liability.
#7. Suing for your pet’s injuries. If your pet was injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to get compensation for the costs incurred.
#8. Breed-specific animal laws. Some states prohibit or require insurance for specific breeds, so make sure you do your research before you bring your pup to a new state – especially if your pup is a pit bull or another breed commonly deemed “dangerous” by lawmakers.
#9. Quarantines. If you’re flying, many foreign countries, and states, Hawaii in particular, have strict rules on pet quarantines, which can sometimes last as long as 120 days. There are ways to avoid this, however. Some requirements include confirming vaccinations and presenting a health certificate; you’ll want to check the rules and regulations for your destination.
#10. Your pets may be able to sniff out crime. Dogs may be able to spot the bad guys, but you’ll probably need some more tangible evidence to prove your case beyond your canine’s instincts.
[Reference credits: http://www.findlaw.com/]
So, make sure you stay the right side of the law and enjoy National Pet Owners Day!
Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always.
Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team
About Helen Broadley
Helen Broadley is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions. Helen has been surrounded by dogs since her childhood and been a dog parent all her adult life – from pedigrees to mutts – but she loves them all the same!
She regularly volunteers at animal shelters, often having that as her main vacation activity. FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.
The FidoActive team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life.
You can find out more about FidoActive and their all-natural products on their website: www.fidoactive.com
Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally
Active is what we want every dog to be!