Fido is Contraband: No Property Interest In Unlicensed Pets

Holy hell was that vacation just what the doctor ordered.  I mean, the doctor didn’t order it. My office did. Because I’ve been going full bore for a few years now without the chance to unwind for a bit, and I was starting to have the burnout effects cropping up all over.  Still and all, I’m back now, and that means it’s time to bring everything up to date, doesn’t it?  So, for the first (belated) Lawyers & Liquor post back from the mountains of Tennessee and my revelry in the numerous distilleries bordering a great national park, we’ll be lighthearted.

Like, you know, how a court recently ruled your unlicensed dog can probably be shot by the cops without violating the Fourth Amendment.

Just some really light stuff.

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“Turtles Ain’t People”: The Law and Pets, Part 1

Everyone have a nice holiday? Awesome. Glad that could happen. Now button up the top button on your shirt, tighten your tie, and hunker down in the cubicle of sorrow you’ve built around your desk with old files. The weekend’s over, and we got a couple months before the next day off rolls around to make us feel like humans again, it’s time to start being the faithful servant of all the assholes that can’t add two and two together without somehow making it equal “banana.”

Speaking of faithful servants, today I want to talk about pets. Pets, as in animals, dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes…though anyone keeping a cold-blooded killing machine and calling it a pet might as well just adopt a lawyer and get it the fuck over with. Pets are wonderful things to have. They love you unconditionally, they don’t care if you spend entire nights sitting around eating an entire ice cream cake on your own in your underwear while quietly sobbing about the condition your life is in. Pets are just happy that you give them a little food and scratch them behind the ears every now and again, except for cats, which can only be happy when your body is cold and stiff in the bed so the feasting may begin. Yeah, all in all, pets are fucking awesome.

Unless they happen to be at the center of a legal dispute that you’ve been hired to help resolve. Then they are little balls of satanic fur that you wish would just fucking die already so you can close the goddamn case file and get on with doing real lawyer shit that doesn’t involve trying to determine the appropriate custody arrangement for a fucking chihuahua.

So this will be part of a three (or more) part series taking a look at how lawyers, owners, and clients need to view their pets in relation to the applicable laws. Today we take a look  at pets as property and what that means for the more financial aspects of legal practice.

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