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New York Animal Lawyer

Animal Rights Laws, Dangerous Dogs, and Vicious Attacks

Animals, both wild and domestic, enjoy certain protections in New York. The following is a summary of some of the top areas covered by these laws. Please keep in mind that in addition to state laws, municipalities and local governments often also have additional laws or regulations relating to animals.

Dangerous dog or friendly pet?

Abuse or Neglect
New York laws cover several main items that constitute abuse or neglect of a wild or domesticated animal. New Yorkers cannot torture, overwork, cruelly beat, injure, maim, mutilate or kill an animal without justification. For domestic animals, owners must provide enough food and water for the animal. All residents are required not to leave things on purpose in a street or other public place that could hurt animals, such as glass shards and nails. It is a felony to kill or injure a pet on purpose or with the intent of causing extreme pain.

Animal Abandonment
Pet owners and those who assume responsibility for pets cannot abandon the animal, leave it to die on the street or in another public place, or leave it on the street or other public place more than three hours after being told it is disabled.

Shelter and Protection
Pets have to be given enough ventilation or protection if left in a car in extreme heat or cold. Similarly, pets left outside must be given either a way to get inside or ample shelter outside, depending on the weather at the time. For instance, a dog left outside in the summer needs shade of some sort, and in the winter, perhaps an insulated space. Each animal’s breed and physical condition dictate the basic comfort level for that animal.

Tattooing, Clipping, Piercing, Declawing
It is illegal to declaw a cat in New York unless it’s medically necessary. Owners who want to clip their dog’s ears need to have a veterinarian do it, while the dog is under anesthesia. New York pet owners cannot pierce or tattoo their pets unless necessary for medical or identification purposes.

Organized Animal Fights
It is illegal in New York to have animal fights for amusement or profit. No one can breed or train animals for dog fights or cock fights, and no one is allowed to watch or bet on animal fights regardless of whether it involves “dangerous animals” or not.

What Animals You Can’t Own
Not only do laws dictate how to treat animals, laws in each part of the state govern what kinds of animals New Yorkers are allowed to own. For example, in New York City is it illegal to own skunks, ferrets, iguanas, wolverines, badgers and mongooses.

Vicious Animals & Dog Attacks
Sometimes people are attacked without reason by a vicious animal. Instances of mauling and biting can happen at any time to both adults, children, and even other animals. Bites can last well beyond just physical pain and initial trauma. Even when the law permits owners to keep otherwise dangerous animals, you may still protect yourself against these threats or recover from animal attacks. Read about a successful case that was litigated involving an attack by a pit bull here.  As a New York dog lawyer, Anthony T. Ballato has successfully handled cases involving dangerous animals and dog bites for victims as well as owners in both civil litigation and dangerous dog proceedings.

Have you been bitten? Have a questions about an aggressive animal legal matter or a dangerous dog attack in Massapequa, Suffolk County on Long Island?  Give us a call at (516) 541-9080 for more information!