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Dog Law Class - Level 2

Although owners may view their dogs as part of the family, our laws say otherwise. This course will explore companion animals’ current legal standing in our society.

Reading assignment: Learn about how the law views dog ownership in situations of divorce, wills and trusts and other scenarios.

Chart: A guide to five legal issues involving dogs in the past, present and future.

Quiz: 10 questions to test your knowledge of dog laws.

Lynn Hayner, J.D.


Instructor: Lynn Hayner, J.D., a retired attorney and historian, is a contributing editor with DOG FANCY. A lifelong owner of German Shepherd Dogs, she enjoys exploring the development of animal law in our society.


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Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on Dog Law 201: Pets as Property

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Robin   Lewisville, TX

2/17/2011 9:32:14 PM

Important topic. I'm saddened by what I've discovered and at the same time I know one animal legal rights organization I would like to support. I see how much work remains to be done in this area. I'm thankful for this class because this topic is important to NOT overlook.

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DEB   Southern, LA

11/24/2010 8:25:27 PM

I never thought of my babies as properity! I always think of them as family!

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Lynn, Instructor   Austin, TX

11/10/2010 9:46:54 AM

Eileen and Kirsten, you bring up good questions. A service dog provides special services, but is defined as personal property. The rights of the disabled HUMAN (owner) are what are expanded upon (Americans with Disabilities Act). Disabled individuals have rights to bring their dog places pet owners do not (on an airplane for example). View this as additional rights for the human - not the dog. A service dog (if owned by a disabled individual) could be bequested to a service organization (or another disabled individual) in the owner's Will.

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Kirsten   Naperville, IL

11/9/2010 10:43:06 PM

Eileen, I think you raise a good question, and although of course all dogs are special, service dogs are exempt from certain rulings in other matter (such as where they are allowed to go, etc). Are service dogs in another category in these matters as well? What if the person the dog was servicing passed away and that person wished for the dog to be given to somebody else who requires a service dog? Would that need to be done in a will?

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