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Animal Law - How to Protect Your Animal Rights

People usually enjoy keeping animals in a household for enjoyment and companionship. Other animals may be used for commercial purposes or hunting, but domesticated animals, such as a dogs, cats, birds, certain rodents (like mice and hamsters), fish, or turtles are kept in homes as pets. People foster pets not only for their attractiveness, but also for the immense advantages they provide, mostly that of companionship. It is a fact that pets are helpful in relieving stress in humans. Although generally domestic animals are kept as pets, some people also keep certain wild animals like insects and fish as pets.

Animal Ownership

In order to own a pet, one can purchase a pet from a pet store or can adopt from an animal shelter or rescue organization. Pet stores are shops that conduct pet sales, they sell pet food and a host of other pet accessories as well. Pet adoption is a process by which one can undertake guardianship and responsibility of a pet. Common sources for pet adoption are animal shelters and rescue homes. The parties to adoption sign an adoption agreement and other animal forms regarding rights and responsibilities towards pets. Pets are approved for adoption by an animal shelter only if the person adopting is in a position to give reasonable care and protection as well as a suitable home to the animal.

A dog has always been known as man's best friend and it must be for the same reason that dog adoption is the most popular type of pet adoption. Dogs may be adopted from dog shelters or rescue organizations. Dogs adopted from dog shelters are known as shelter dogs and dogs adopted from rescue organizations are known as rescue dogs.

Just like dogs, having a pet horse can be a powerful emotional experience. In order to do own a horse, one has to enter into a contract by signing horse forms or equine forms with a shelter organization. Equine forms are forms relating to purchase and sale or other arrangements for horses.

Apart from adoption, you can own a pet by purchasing it from a breeder. Purchasing from a breeder is recommended when you need a specific breed of dog. Breeding of pets are strictly regulated and one must follow rules laid down by the relevant legislation. Many breeders require you to sign forms stating your rights and responsibilities towards your pet.

Caring for Your Pet

For proper pet care, a pet owner can avail the services of a pet service provider. A pet service provider provides various pet services such as pet sitting, dog walking, pet grooming, pet day care and boarding facilities, and pet waste removal. Just like humans, pets also need grooming. Grooming is an important element of pet care. Some pets require less grooming while others require regular grooming.

In recent times, pet trusts have gained popularity among pet owners. A pet trust is a legal instrument that ensures animal care and maintenance of pets. Pet trusts are normally created for the protection of a pet after its owner's death. A pet trust will ensure that if the pet owner or grantor becomes disabled or dies, a trustee will hold property in trust for the benefit of the grantor's pets. In the U.S., because animals have no standing in law, only some states legally recognize a pet trust.

Animal Law FAQs

What are the procedures and formalities for dog adoption?

Adopting a dog is always a great idea if your interest in animals extends beyond mere sport people indulge in, like hunting, or other commercial uses of animals. For starters, you need to decide on the breed of the dog you are intending to adopt. Once you have decided on the breed, you can start searching for a dog. You can adopt a dog from an animal shelter or a dog rescue group, Rescue groups are also of two types- a general rescue group or a breed-specific rescue group. If your choice of a particular breed in dogs is not available, you might want to consider approaching a breeder interested in pet sale. Animal shelters will have a range of animals from kittens to big animals to choose from. They also have purebreds. The organization boarding the animals should ideally be a non-profit of a good reputation. The facility should be safe, clean and the animal/dogs should be well- cared for.

There are a lot of formalities to be completed before adopting a pet dog. Most organizations require an application before you can adopt. A person intending to adopt a pet may be asked to provide a reference from a veterinary doctor. In the case of adoption from a rescue group, the group may conduct a home visit. They may also perform a background check of the person interested in adopting the pet.

Before selecting a dog, check the dog's history and health issues, if any, in the accompanying animal forms, while the dog was in the custody of the shelter. Once you have decided on the dog to be adopted, you will be required to sign an agreement with the shelter. Before signing the agreement, you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities towards the pet. You should also pay an amount towards fees for pet adoption and other expenses such as vaccination, spray/neuter, other regular veterinary care charges, picking charges for the pet, training and food. Once the adoption process is concluded, please keep in mind that pet grooming is an essential part of owning a pet, and many providers of pet services exist who can help you in your pet care.

What are equine forms?

Equine forms are contracts and other records relating to any horse activity, like purchase, sale, exchange etc. Horse forms and equine forms are one and the same.

What should I do to find my lost dog?

You should first contact the veterinarians/ animal care specialists around the place you live. You should also get in touch with animal shelters, and animal control agencies in and around your area. County Animal Shelters usually have a lost and found bulletin board for posting such information. You should also post a notice of your lost pet in your neighborhood and community.

Can I create a pet trust for my horse?

Yes, a person can create a pet trust for his/her pets after the death of that person. A pet trust is a legal arrangement in which the grantor appoints a trustee and places assets in his care for the benefit of the pet. The owner or grantor can create the trust in his/her will. The trustee will manage the assets in the pet trust for the benefit of the animal. Sometimes, a trustee can appoint a caregiver for the pet and distribute trust assets to that caregiver for the care of the pet. The value of the assets must not be too excessive.

Can I get my lost pet back if it was adopted from a shelter?

You may not have any legal right to get back your pet if the shelter had complied with the laws of the locality in handing over the pet to the other family. You can request the shelter to disclose the identity of the adopter. If the shelter authorities deny your request, you can seek legal help. However, your legal right to get the pet back may be lost if you did not make reasonable efforts to find your pet, or you meant to abandon the pet.

How can I assure a healthy offspring if I breed my mare?

You can guarantee a healthy offspring to your mare by signing a 'Live Foal Contract.' "Live Foal" refers to a new born foal and the definition insists that he is able to stand and nurse without assistance. Live foal contract is a contract of warranty between a mare owner and a stallion owner stating that the stallion owner will breed the same mare once again without charging another fee, if the mare fails to produce a live foal from the breeding. Sample forms are available to help you design a contract based on your needs.


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