Pet protection when your pooch is a problem - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Pet protection when your pooch is a problem

If your four-legged friend causes a problem, you may need a lawyer. (Source: NPN) If your four-legged friend causes a problem, you may need a lawyer. (Source: NPN)
(NPN) -

(NPN) - If your four-legged friend causes a problem, you may need a lawyer. Yes, some attorneys now specialize in pet protection.

It’s something for which Amy is grateful. Goomba is not only her best friend but also her emotional support animal. She says when her landlord gave her a hard time about the dog, she called a lawyer.

“I didn’t know my rights as an owner of an emotional support animal, so I knew that I needed outside help, someone who was familiar with those laws,” Amy said.

“Animal law is growing very quickly, and the need is growing equally as fast,” attorney Michelle Hubbard said.

The American Bar Association now has a Committee on Animal Law and is hosting a symposium about animal shelter law. Some law schools even offer classes.

“I get calls about cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, things that people are keeping as pets,” attorney Jeremy Cohen said. His firm, Boston Dog Lawyers, is devoted to representing animals and their owners.

“Our motto is it's time to bark back,” Cohen said. “I'm just one small piece in a national movement to recognize that our pets are special.”

Cohen’s had clients at the center of dog custody disputes, and there was a case of a dog nipping at someone and town officials considered euthanizing him.

“Animals get themselves in all sorts of predicaments,” Hubbard said. “I mean, I've had calls ranging from things like ‘my dog ate my neighbor’s flowers’ and ‘my dog bit someone.’”

Amy hired Hubbard as her attorney and credits her for winning her case. Goomba got to stay.

“It would have not had the same outcome if I didn't have her,” Amy said. 

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