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South Dakota Animal Forms

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Animal Forms FAQ

What is animal law? Animal law deals with vertebrates other than humans. This law is across many traditional and conventional doctrine areas such as contracts, torts, administrative law and also jurisprudence. Animal law covers a broad range of legal topics, including cruelty to animals, negligence in veterinary care, importation or capture of exotic or endangered animals, animal fighting, responsibilities of pet owners, and rental of property to pet owners. Contracts involving the sale, raising, and breeding of animals are also covered under animal law. Animal law also covers wildlife-management, law concerning treatment of laboratory animals, and laws connected to companion animals.

How can I make sure my pet is cared for if I am no longer able? A pet trust is a trust established for the care and maintenance of a particular animal or group of animals. It can also be established to provide care for a pet after its owner dies. Such trusts stipulate that in the event of a grantor�s disability or death a trustee will hold property (cash) in trust for the benefit of the grantor�s pets. Generally speaking, pet trusts are invalid because animals are incapable of compelling a trustee to act, and animals have no standing in law. However pet trusts are statutorily recognized in some states in the U.S, and there is a growing trend to pass laws recognizing pet trusts.

How are animal owners held legally responsible to others for animals they own? Animal owners are subject to legal liability for injury or damages caused by their animals in certain situations. For example, the owner or person in charge of any dog, who knows that such dog has been bitten by a rabid dog or has knowledge of such facts that if followed up would disclose the facts that such dog has been bitten by or exposed to a rabid dog, if such dog becomes a rabid dog and bites any person, stock, hogs or cattle can be liable for the damages sustained by the person injured, including appropriate medical treatment.
Failure to keep an animal restrained may also make the owner liable. An "animal roaming at large" is defined as any animal not under the restraint, confinement or direct control of the owner or his agent. When any person owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind and, as a result of his careless management of the same or his allowing the same to go at liberty, and another person, without fault on his part, is injured thereby, such owner or keeper can be liable in damages for such injury. The owner may also be liable for injuries to other animals or property damage caused by their animal, such as when a dog is allowed to run at large and harms livestock of another.



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