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5 Dog Bite Defenses Within Virginia’s Legislation

Dog DefensesIt’s estimated that there are roughly 80 million companion dogs in the United States.  That is over 80 million canine and feline family members and friends who share the couch with their owner, snag a bite of holiday dinner from under the table, and take walks in their bustling neighborhood.

Along with pet ownership comes responsibility.  Every year, some statistics estimate that 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs and 800,000 people are sent to receive medical treatment. The media and society tend to blame the dog for the attack.  However, there are often very valid reasons why a dog bites.  If a plaintiff sues you in civil court for money damages, or if the Commonwealth tries to have your dog declared dangerous, you and your dog may have options and defenses. [Read more…]

“Certificate of Excellence” from Living and Learning with Animals Professional Course

LLACOE2014_400 BADGEAs an animal law attorney and dog trainer, I am always trying to learn as much as I can about animal interaction with humans.

I recently completed Dr. Susan Friedman’s 2014 Living and Learning with Animals course. The course, for veterinary and animal professionals, explored the fundamental principles and procedures of teaching and learning.

Dr. Friedman provided a foundation for a comprehensive and coherent understanding of animal behavior analysis—focusing particularly on captive and companion animals.

While most of my work extends to dogs and cats, the principles discussed by the Utah State University research assistant professor are applicable to all animal species.

I’m very excited to announce that I received a “Certificate of Excellence” for the course. [Read more…]

Go Into a Pet Custody Battle Fully Armed

dog playing tug-of-warDetermining who gets custody over a family pet can be one of the most heart-wrenching experiences (besides child custody) during a separation or divorce.

Most of us consider our companion animals to be family members.   However, the law sees animals as property, which means that you need to prove that you and your family pet should stay together.

Working with an animal law lawyer will help give you the best chance of keeping your companion animal.

As an animal law lawyer, creating a strategy to keep the beloved animal with a client relies on a couple different things. Be prepared go into a pet custody battle fully armed with evidence that you deserve to be the primary caregiver of your furry companion. [Read more…]

Next Steps For Newtown Victim’s Animal Sanctuary

dog and birdTwo years after the tragic Sandy Hook Shooting, a young victim’s dream of an animal sanctuary is finally coming true with the help of her parents and the state.

Six-year-old Catherine Violet Hubbard was one of the twenty kindergartners killed in December 2012 at Sandy Hook. Before her death, Catherine had a love for animals that was deep in her soul. She even had an imaginary shelter and her own business card, according to ABC News.

Governer Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation instructing the transfer of 34 acres of a former psychiatric facility to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, Inc., created by the Hubbards. The facility will become an animal sanctuary, hopefully up and running by 2016. [Read more…]