Your Pets

Most homes have a pet. It is not surprising therefore that “animal law” is rapidly evolving. Edyta Zurawski, former chair of the Young Lawyers Animal Law Committee and co-author of an Animal Law guide can assist you in any of these areas.

Injured Pets

From time to time animals may be sick, injured or even unexpectedly die at a veterinary clinic or boarding facility. The law requires that a standard of care is met in the treatment of animals. If you feel that your vet or other organisation charged with the care of your animal has failed to meet this standard of care, you should seek legal advice.

Negligence

Unfortunately sometimes our pets can get a little out of hand and may cause damage to property or may in fact injure another person or animal. You should immediately seek legal advice as you may be liable to pay compensation for the damage incurred. Some breaches of the Companion Animals Act can also lead to criminal proceedings against an owner or person who had control of the dog and hefty fines.

Dangerous Dogs and Nuisance Pets

The NSW Companion Animals Act provides for the legal regulation of domestic animals in most day to day settings, for example, the Act sets down the legal requirements to have your animals micro-chipped and tagged. The Act also sets down a number of legal responsibilities for pet owners including ensuring that their animals are under control and not able to attack, injure or intimidate any person or animal. The law also requires that animals be restrained from causing inconvenience to neighbours for example, through excessive barking or damaging property.

It is not uncommon to receive a letter from the local council requiring an owner to take steps to stop a barking dog from waking up the neighbours! If you receive such correspondence, you should seek legal advice as the repercussions of a nuisance order can be costly and oppressive.

The Act also permits a council to issue a declaration against a dog that has been involved in an incident where it has intimidated, rushed at or attacked a person or animal. There are very strict time frames to respond to the initial notice of an intention to declare a dog as dangerous. If such an order is in fact made, it cannot be overturned for at least 12 months without an appeal to the Local Court which again must be made within a very strict time frame.

Such orders can again be very costly and oppressive for both the pet and owner as very strict requirements are set down for a dog that is declared dangerous including the requirement to build a specific enclosure and for the dog to wear a distinctive collar and be muzzled and leashed at all times when out of the enclosure (whether at home or on public property).

Pets and Property

The rise in the availability and affordability of strata title accommodation such as units, duplexes and townhouses has also increased the awareness of pet owners. When considering a move into such accommodation, it is essential that prior approval be obtained from the owners corporation otherwise you may find yourself in a situation where you will need to choose between your home and your pet.

We are able to assist you with determining whether a development is pet friendly, negotiating the approval of your pet and assisting you in the event that the owners corporation reverses a previously pet-friendly policy.

Injured Pets

From time to time animals may be sick, injured or even unexpectedly die at a veterinary clinic or boarding facility. The law requires that a standard of care is met in the treatment of animals. If you feel that your vet or other organisation charged with the care of your animal has failed to meet this standard of care, you should seek legal advice.

Negligence

Unfortunately sometimes our pets can get a little out of hand and may cause damage to property or may in fact injure another person or animal. You should immediately seek legal advice as you may be liable to pay compensation for the damage incurred. Some breaches of the Companion Animals Act can also lead to criminal proceedings against an owner or person who had control of the dog and hefty fines.

Dangerous Dogs and Nuisance Pets

The NSW Companion Animals Act provides for the legal regulation of domestic animals in most day to day settings, for example, the Act sets down the legal requirements to have your animals micro-chipped and tagged. The Act also sets down a number of legal responsibilities for pet owners including ensuring that their animals are under control and not able to attack, injure or intimidate any person or animal. The law also requires that animals be restrained from causing inconvenience to neighbours for example, through excessive barking or damaging property.

It is not uncommon to receive a letter from the local council requiring an owner to take steps to stop a barking dog from waking up the neighbours! If you receive such correspondence, you should seek legal advice as the repercussions of a nuisance order can be costly and oppressive.

The Act also permits a council to issue a declaration against a dog that has been involved in an incident where it has intimidated, rushed at or attacked a person or animal. There are very strict time frames to respond to the initial notice of an intention to declare a dog as dangerous. If such an order is in fact made, it cannot be overturned for at least 12 months without an appeal to the Local Court which again must be made within a very strict time frame.

Such orders can again be very costly and oppressive for both the pet and owner as very strict requirements are set down for a dog that is declared dangerous including the requirement to build a specific enclosure and for the dog to wear a distinctive collar and be muzzled and leashed at all times when out of the enclosure (whether at home or on public property).

Pets and Property

The rise in the availability and affordability of strata title accommodation such as units, duplexes and townhouses has also increased the awareness of pet owners. When considering a move into such accommodation, it is essential that prior approval be obtained from the owners corporation otherwise you may find yourself in a situation where you will need to choose between your home and your pet.

We are able to assist you with determining whether a development is pet friendly, negotiating the approval of your pet and assisting you in the event that the owners corporation reverses a previously pet-friendly policy.