Coffee Break

Pets and the Law: When Furry Bundles of Joys Cause Trouble



I’d say “pets are awesome”, but that’s not always true. Sure, cats and dogs and rabbits can generally be agreed to be awesome. But some people have pet tarantulas. There’s nothing cool about that at all. (As an arachnophobic, I’m slightly biased, though.)

Anyway, the point I’m trying to get at is that we love our pets. But they’re not always the simplest things to own. Being around the pets of others isn’t even always a joy! We’re going to take a quick look at the legal trouble pets can cause.



So you’ve got a beloved pet, but you need to move out of home. You’ve found a great new place, but the landlord is adamant that no pets are allowed. Don’t be tempted to lie to your landlord then sneak your pet into the property when they’re not looking. They can quite easily take legal action against you if it’s in the contract. Try talking to them about your pet. Otherwise, look elsewhere. If you’re a landlord deciding what to do about pets, check this article out.



So you went and got married. And then the two of your adopted a pet together. Lovely, right? Well, when things turn sour in the relationship, then the pet get involved in the drama too. Of course, they’re not going to be as affected as, say, a child. But pet custody in a divorce is still a tricky issue that needs to be tackled.


You’ve probably heard about cases of animal violence in the media. They’re always uncomfortable news stories. We hate the idea of an animal turning on us, or even our own pets turning on others. It’s important to know as much as possible about a particular pet’s temperament before getting them out in public. As for others, it’s important that you don’t trespass or assume you can approach someone’s pet. If you have suffered an animal attack despite all reasonable precautions, see George T. Bochanis Law Offices.



The problem of pet allergies rarely enters the legal world. But there are some rare cases in which they do become a problem. Generally, it occurs in a professional or public environment. Let’s say you own a building. Someone brings a pet into the building – something that an employee or a visitor is extremely allergic to. If something bad happens to them as a result, you could be legally liable. Again, it’s rare that someone would be so affected even if they are allergic. Still, it’s worth considering when writing up animal-related policies.



And so we get to what is, perhaps, the most obvious problem. If someone’s animal is way too loud, it can disrupt someone else’s life (usually the neighbor’s!). And that’s something the court is definitely going to take seriously, even if it sounds ridiculous to you. And if you think lawsuits about this don’t happen? Well, Quentin Tarantino filed a lawsuit against his neighbor Alan Ball because his exotic birds were too loud. See, even Academy Award-winning filmmakers aren’t above having pet-related neighborly squabbles with each other!