When to Call a Dog or Pet Lawyer

You may not think that owning a dog or pet, or coming into contact with someone else's pet, would ever result in the need for an attorney. However, there are laws that affect how pets are managed and cared for, and that regulate their ownership. Note a few times when it may be good to call an actual dog or pet lawyer, and how their advice and services can benefit you.

Dog bites

Whether you're the owner of the animal that has bitten someone, or the person who has been bitten, it's good to call an attorney in this case. As the owner, you are typically liable for any injuries suffered by the person who was bitten, even if it happened in a dog park or on your own property. However, you may have some defence against such a claim, if the dog was provoked or was potentially defending you from a realistic threat. An attorney will know of any such defences or arguments to be made, and if they would be applicable in your case.

If you're the one who's been bit by a dog, it's also good to call an attorney so you can file a claim, if needed, against the other party. Remember that someone may be legally liable for your injuries, but this doesn't mean they will automatically pay your medical bills! You may need to file a claim for these expenses to be reimbursed, and may also have a claim for scars or disfigurement that resulted from the bite.


If you've been cited for your pet ownership, you may want to call an attorney and find out about your rights. For example, even if you live in a complex that doesn't allow pets, you may be allowed to keep a dog or pet as a service animal.

Also, you may be cited for trespassing if your dog gets onto a neighbour's property, but may have a defence; if a windstorm blew down your fence or that neighbour's child enticed your pet onto their property, this might be argued in court. On the other hand, you may assume that a citation is improper and think you understand leash laws and other regulations about ownership, but those laws may have changed or may be different from one area to another. Talk to an attorney about any such citations so you know your rights, and ensure those rights haven't been violated with an improper citation of any sort.