Laws Covering Dogs and Their Owners

America is not only a nation of law, but also a nation of dog owners. A growing body of dog-related laws shows increased respect for humane issues and recognition that pets are family members.

Where dogs once were regarded only as property, courts now may consider them as intelligent creatures who feel pain and fear. People who mistreat dogs are no longer dismissed with a slap on the wrist.

Laws pertaining to dogs differ, depending on your state, county and municipality. Whether you are moving to a new neighborhood or just traveling through, you should be aware of the responsibilities and protections given to dog owners and their pets.

Basic Laws for Dog Owners

Problem Dogs

Animal Cruelty Laws

Veterinarians are asked to report extreme or repeated instances of animal abuse to police or social service agencies. Many states protect them from lawsuits stemming from such reports.

Consumer Protection Laws

Animal Rights Issues

The federal government has banned the importation of dog and cat fur for sale in this country. The government also requires airlines to report statistics for animals injured or lost in transport. Many states ban the processing of dogs for food to be sold here or in foreign countries and monitor laboratories that use dogs in chemical and pharmaceutical testing and experimentation.