A Lawyer for Your Dog! How Can an Animal Lawyer Help You?

A Lawyer for Your Dog! How Can an Animal Lawyer Help You?

Introduction to Episode 15: Animal Law with David Samuels

The Bark Show is a podcast where we discuss all things dogs, co-hosted by Pam Curry and Suzana Curcija, brought to you by Toronto Dog Walking and I Speak Dog. Today’s guest is David Samuels from Gartner & Associates Animal Law. David is a litigation lawyer who works with clients to plan out a cost-effective strategy to achieve a successful resolution of their animal dispute claims. David is a an animal lover himself, and he has always owned animals since he was a child.

Find us at www.TheBarkShow.dog

Instagram – @torontodogwalking & @ispeakdog


Podcast Episode Summary

  • Gartner & Associates Animal Law is the first law firm that deals exclusively with animal related matters, located in downtown Toronto but have clients all around the country
  • Animal law is a niche industry, the firm is made of animal lovers passionate about helping animals who can’t speak for themselves and other animal lovers
  • Usually they deal with pet custody disputes between ex-couples, disputes about dog bites, vet-related issues, condominium disputes when tenants are asked to remove their pets, etc.
  • Every situation is different and looked at case-by-case, it’s a growing industry where rules aren’t black and white
  • Read the lease agreement or lease declaration for the condo before moving in or buying or renting property, in regards to allowing animals
  • To evict a dog from a property there is a procedure and a set of rules to follow as well as evidence needed to claim
  • Dangerous Dog orders by the City of Toronto are issued based on a dog biting or attacking another dog/human or by the province of Ontario if it’s a more escalated bite/incident
  • There are opportunities to appeal the order, contact the city and explain the reasons behind your dog’s aggressiveness, the circumstances and their history
  • With Gartner & Associates Animal Law they present the evidence and present a case
  • He would advise dog owners to save money for potentially seeking legal advice in the future
  • For pet custody cases, there are two options: mediation (informal, coming to an agreement/schedule that works for both parties) or litigation (formal, taking it to court, judge decides)
  • Pets are still seen as property in the eyes of the law, they don’t have their own rights but judges are realizing more and more that they are family members
  • People can call the police and get help for animal abuse cases, including seeing a pet locked in a hot car
  • A lot of times, clients don’t realize the Dangerous Dog orders are very serious. There are 2 different cases, municipal bylaw (city of Toronto) or all of Ontario. In the first case the conditions are no longer relevant when leaving Toronto. If they were ordered to muzzle their dog within Ontario, the repercussions for not following said order will be harsh.
  • Aside from client work, Gartner & Associates Animal Law participates in lobbying for worthy causes, currently lobbying against dog trapping/hunting, collect signatures to end dog trapping. Link to online petition on their website and Facebook page!



“I’m very proud and happy to work in an office where we can help these animals and give them a voice.”

“The animal law industry is catching up slowly in terms of recognizing that these animals do have feelings and they can be heard and they aren’t just property.”

Recommended Resources

  1. Gartner & Associates Animal Law website: www.animallawyers.ca
  2. By phone: 416-836-9971
  3. David Samuels- dsamuels@animallawyers.ca
  4. Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnimalLawyersCA/
  5. Previous episode https://torontodogwalking.com/animallaw/

Gartner & Associates Services Brochure-page-001

Pet Insurance Cost Comparison Toronto, Ontario

Pet Insurance Cost Comparison Toronto, Ontario

It’s not easy to think about your precious dog getting involved in an accident or having an illness, but that’s why it’s important to own pet insurance in case the unthinkable happens. This is why we prepared a chart and compiled some information for you so you will have an idea of the cost of pet insurance in Ontario and what to expect from the main pet insurance providers.

For a thorough and accurate comparison and analysis for your beloved dog’s insurance, we have gathered quotes and information from several pet insurance companies: CAA Pets, Toronto Humane Society (THS), PC/Petline Insurance, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA),  Pet Secure, GO PET Plan, and Trupanion.

Just a heads up: PC Insurance let us know that while they are no longer selling pet insurance, their packages, coverage and general info still stands for their current customers who have already purchased their pet insurance. When you call their number you will be automatically directed to Petline Insurance, which covers a number of different pet insurance companies, such as Petsecure, OVMA, Desjardins, Personal Pet Insurance, CAA Pets, Hudson’s Bay Pet Insurance, THS, and Nova Scotia SPCA Pet Health.

Most of the pet insurance companies we looked at had the same or similar amount of accident and illness cover as well as general quote information. However, it’s important to note that GO PET PLAN did not have a separate accident cover, but the illness cover went up higher than most other companies, as well as offering an unlimited option. Of all the companies we looked at, CAA Pets and PC insurance did not offer unlimited coverage options for illness or accidents. One company that stood out in terms of illness coverage is GO PET PLAN which offers coverage plans up to $25,000 leading up to the unlimited option.

The Comparison

We compared quotes for different dog breeds and ages based on popular dog breeds in Toronto and a variety of ages for accurate analysis: A 3-year-old Golden Retriever, 6-year-old English Cocker Spaniel, 3-month old Goldendoodle, and 10-year old Shih tzu. Based on the quotes, CAA Pets had the lowest monthly costs, while Pet Secure stood out as the most reliable in terms of having the smallest difference between the quotes. For example, GO PET’s cheapest plan goes from $25.29 for a 3 month old Goldendoodle to a $101.98 for 10-year-old Shih tzu, which is a big difference, and something to consider if your pet is in the adult-senior age bracket. Pet Secure and CAA Pets seem to have the best rates for quotes.

pet insurance comparison ontario


It’s important to note that, out of all the companies, only CAA Pets, GO PET and Trupanion offer 90% reimbursement options while most companies only offer 80%. As for discounts when purchasing a plan, CAA Pets, THS and PC offer the best discounts while we couldn’t find any discounts available for Pet Secure and Trupanion.

Speaking of Trupanion, they offer Unlimited accident and Unlimited illness cover, for as many times in the year as your beloved dog would need it, which is remarkable. However, we should note that Trupanion insurance does NOT cover taxes, exam fees, as well as wellness and preventative care. (Taxes also not covered for OVMA). If you wish to cover unforeseen events, alternative and rehabilitative therapies, and extra protection for breeding dogs, these are available at an extra cost. Considering the high prices, Trupanion is definitely for those with a bigger budget who want to cover all their bases.

Unfortunately, none of these companies cover for pre-existing conditions of your pet.

Our Findings

Based on all these findings, the ones that stood out were CAA Pets (for those with smaller budget) and PET Secure for the amount of options and getting your money’s worth. It’s also helpful to note that Pet Secure and GO Pet had the most user-friendly websites, complete with testimonials and reviews, with the latter offering a 24 hour live chat with a friendly staff member for help! However, for those who are new to the pet insurance world, and find all this information a little overwhelming, it seems that Petline Insurance is the best option as they represent a variety of these pet insurance companies and can offer you the best plan most suitable for you and your furry pal’s needs. Good Luck!

Who is your pet insurance provider and what is the biggest concern when selecting a pet insurer?

Your Dogs Toronto Event Guide for August – Dog Friendly Toronto

Your Dogs Toronto Event Guide for August – Dog Friendly Toronto

Want to have an active social life, attend lots of events, but don’t want to leave your furry best friend at home? Here is a list of events you can attend WITH your beloved pup, and get to spend quality time with them too!

Toronto Food Truck Festival: Friday, August 3

As far as food festivals go, this one is a classic and popular annual event that is sure to be a hit, year after year. The official lineup this year includes 39 trucks; 30 with vegetarian options, 14 with halal, 19 with vegan and 16 with gluten free items on their menu! Besides the food trucks, this free admission event gives you the chance to see some local Toronto talent, and do fun things watching or participating in live eating challenges! There will also be a water play area, a playground, climbing wall, soccer fields and a bandshell.

Situated on a 28-acre park with a beautiful pond and a boardwalk through nature, you and your pup can catch a hold of many species of wildlife and birds in the area.  More info on the Facebook event page here.

Toronto Food Truck Festival


Taste of the Middle East’ Food Festival: Saturday, August 4

Taking place right at the heart of Dundas Square is a FREE ADMISSION event where you can walk around with your pup, learn how Turkish coffee is made (trust me- it’s delicious), eat some grilled halloumi, and enjoy that Middle Eastern HEAT! There will be an array of vibrant art, music and dancing from Middle Eastern cultures to accompany the food.

Proceeds go to the largest food rescue charity in Canada, Second Harvest. For more info visit their Facebook event page here.

middle east festival


Open Farm Demo: Saturday, August 4

This is a great and informative event by the Zen Dog Services (who also host the DOGA events) where a representative from Open Farm will have yummy treats for your pups to try out, and offer information about their products. Stop by with your pup if you want to get your pup some treats, and learn more about what your dog loves to eat! Open Farm is a pet food company that specializes in humane farming and sustainable fishing standards. More info on Open Farm here: https://www.openfarmpet.com/ and the Facebook event page for the demo is here.

Open farm demo


Promise Cherry Beach Summer 2018: Monday, August 6 & Sunday, August 12 & Sunday, August 19

This recurring music event is for those who enjoy dancing to the DJ spinning house, techno, dub, disco, electro, and beach party grooves on the beach. This event happens every Sunday or Monday on long weekends from 3 pm to 11 pm, and is for owners and pups who aren’t easily overwhelmed by loud music and big crowds, so you have been warned!

That being said, four-legged friends are totally welcome, and participants are encouraged to bring their picnics, hammocks and anything else that will make their beach experience perfect.  Tickets cost whatever you can spare, but a $20 donation is encouraged.

More info on the food, the DJs playing, and more here: https://cherrybeach.ilovepromise.com/


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Paws in the Park 2018- Adoption and Fun Festival: Saturday, August 12

OK, OK, OK: We know you already have your FURever pal at home. But there’s always room for more dogs!! Right? These wonderful pups need a home, and if you aren’t considering fostering or adopting right now, maybe you could take a friend along whose heart could be stolen by these cuties.

In any case, this is not just an adoption event. Paws in the Park is celebrating their 130th year of saving lives at Woodbine Park, and there will also be delicious food, beer, A PET PHOTO BOOTH, shopping from vendors, face painting, PRIZES, a caricature artist, free dog training sessions, and lots more activities for both you and your pup to enjoy!! Oh my. Hear these magic words: Free Admission.

If you’d like to sign up for their 4km sponsores walk with your pup, and raise pledges, go to: www.pawsinthepark.com

For more info on this event here.

Paws In The Park


Doggy Paddle on Cherry Beach: Sunday, August 12

If there’s one thing we’re passionate about, it’s exercise for you AND your dog… at the same time. Join Surf the Greats instructors certified by Paddle Canada, the International Surfing Association and Yoga Alliance (so you know they’re legit) at the Cherry Beach Off Leash Dog Park for a fun day of paddleboarding!

The event will begin with a brief introduction session on dry land before all pups and owners head out to the waters, and AFTER the teaching, left to their own devices (supervised) to enjoy their time with their pup in the water! Beginners, experienced surfers, and all level expertise in between are welcome.


This is a 2-hour monthly event, so if you can’t make it to this month’s, look out for their next session on September 9.

Surf The Greats Online


Save Our Scruff Adoption Event: Saturday, August 25

Here’s an event that will make your day better and brighter, even if you don’t come home with your new four legged best friend: Dog adoption charity Safe Our Scruff is partnering up with Zen Dog Services to host a Meet & Greet adoption event for some adorable pups that need a FURever home.

Facebook event page here.

And if you want to take a look at the pups currently available for adoption, head on over: http://www.saveourscruff.org/available-dogs. They are too precious!!

If not, we’ll see you at the event on 584 Church Street where you can meet all the pups, learn about how you can help in big or small ways, and perhaps buy some merch or make some donations so that these events may continue until ALL the pups are adopted! Hurrah!

Save Our Scruff


Zen Dogs Wellness DOGA at Trillium Park: Days Throughout August 4-26

Dog Yoga: Don’t say you never tried it. Or seen your dog perfect the downward dog pose a lot faster than you ever did!

As hosted by Zen Dogs Wellness regularly, these events at Ontario Place’s Trillium Park welcome pups of all sizes and all ages to join. It’s a unique and fun experience to connect more deeply with your pup through meditation, energy work and massage by giving them all the love and attention that they deserve.

BYOM (Bring your own mat) and non-retractable leash. For more info, check out their Facebook page here.

Grab your tickets here! 



Toronto Artisan Market at Trinity Bellwoods Park: Sunday, August 26

We did not forget about you, fashion, shopping and arts and crafts enthusiasts. Toronto Artisan Market regularly hosts these wonderful events at Trinity Belwoods and Christie Pitts Park, and your pupper is absolutely encouraged to come along.

Take a look at some original art, handmade jewellery and fashion accessories, vegan and natural skin care, ceramics/pottery, plants, home décor, stationary, antiques, vintage, collectibles and more!  It’s never too early to shop for Christmas presents, either. NEVER TOO EARLY! 

Head to their website for more details: https://www.torontoartisan.com/

Artisan Market

5 Things to Do With Your Dog This Weekend in Toronto (July 28-29)

5 Things to Do With Your Dog This Weekend in Toronto (July 28-29)

Summer is far from over, so here are some events both you AND your furry best friend can enjoy together this weekend:

OSS FEST: Saturday, July 28

Taking place between Dundas St. West and Queen St. West on Ossington, this vibrant festival will be a pedestrian takeover of culture and the 3 F’S: Fashion, food and fitness! Not only are our furry friends encouraged to attend, as detailed in the Facebook event page, but this festival is also completely free to absolutely anyone and everyone. Yes!

A new instalment from last year’s event is the Fitness and Wellness morning from 8 am to 11 am for the early risers who want to take part in some exercise and learn about healthy lifestyles. However, the official festival starts later in the day at noon so you can sleep in if you want to! Expect a variety of local vendors and exhibitors, music and patio fun to enjoy with your furry best friends all day long. There will be a yoga and meditation session on the street, street art and so much more. Your dog will get to socialize, soak up the sunshine, and enjoy the friendly and vibrant atmosphere. Check out @ossingtonfestival on Facebook for more details!



U-Pick at Fresh City Farms: Sunday, July 29

If you’ve ever dreamed of letting your beloved dog run free at a farm and enjoy the fresh air that green pastures have got to offer, then this is the event for you. It is also an opportunity for the humans to pick their own vegetables such as peas, beans, carrots, beets, cucumbers, zucchini and a variety of greens!

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy rhythm of a big and vibrant city like Toronto, and get stressed out during the week. This free event is an incredible escape from the big city hustle while also being easily accessible via transit. Take a TTC bus to Keele & Sheppard to meet with the Fresh City Farms farmers at their greenhouse at Downsview Park, right beside 70 Canuck Avenue. There is also parking available for those travelling via car. For more details, head on over to their Facebook Page.

Summer In The City


DOGA- Yoga With Your Dog: Saturday, July 28

DOGA a.k.a yoga with dogs is the new trend that you don’t want to miss out on. This is a unique bonding experience for dogs and dog owners to share between them. It’s also a fantastic chance to interact with other dog lovers and their adorable pups!

Held at the Grand Avenue Park in Etobicoke, instructor Shannon Young takes participants through doing poses, stretching out, and meditating together. You will get a chance to massage your dog, connect with them on a deeper level, and practice calmness. The session is divided into 10-minute portions of warm up, massage and stretching, yoga poses, and meditation. Those who often find themselves arriving early to their meeting will be in luck: The first 5 people to register will receive a free goodie bag full of gifts for humans and pups alike! Tickets at www.zenfitstudio.ca.

Dog Yoga


Missisauga Latin Festival: Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29

The 10th annual Mississauga Festival is a big event that holds 35,000 attendees at the Mississauga Celebration Square over the weekend. There are many outdoor activities and entertainment for attendees to enjoy whether they are looking to learn how to dance salsa, practice their Spanish, eat some latin food, or enjoy the culture in general. But most importantly, this is a dog-friendly event!

There are plenty of things to check out, including an art gallery, local vendors, a children’s play area, and performers. Some of the fun sessions include a Zumba Fitness session at 1 pm on Saturday, and a Latin Parade at noon on Sunday.

Mississauga Latin Festival


Soul Sunday Street Party: Sunday, July 29

As part of the popular and well-loved Kensington Market Pedestrian Sunday, this car-free street party near Trinity Common at 303 Augusta Avenue takes place the last Sunday of every month to let loose, soak up the sunshine, and enjoy what your community has to offer. There will be music, there will be drinks, and there will be dancing on this day like no other.

Kensington Market Pedestrian Sundays are not only a great occasion to bring out-of-town friends to enjoy a taste of Toronto, but also a great day for dog lovers and dog owners to see and play with some adorable pups out and about! There are tons of entertainment factors like chalk drawing, costumes, bubbles, water fights and even a meditation flash mob taking place at 2:30 for those interested. Did we mention it’s a free event??

If your pup finds it all a bit too much, the rest of Kensington Market is just steps away to take a break and maybe even venture out to the park for a little nap. All this weekend excitement can get a little intense for our pups sometimes, after all!

Got a dog friendly event that we need to know about? What are you and your pupper up to this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

Toronto Dogs are Celebrating Canada Day in Style!

Toronto Dogs are Celebrating Canada Day in Style!

When you see the Toronto Dogs pulling out all the stops for Canada Day celebrations you just have to share it with others everyone.

Pooches all across the city of Toronto are showing how proud they are to be Canadians and celebrating the joyous occasion is with their fur friends and humans. The city of Toronto is awash of red and white pawsomeness this weekend.

Many of the city dogs maybe celebrating indoors today in Pawfectly cool temperatures but that won’t stop them from shining.

Ms Charmin @ms.charmin the Maltese, fashion loving girl wearing a dress fit for a princess.

A post shared by Charmin (@ms.charmin) on

Lucy @lucyofkingwest the mini shih tzu pack a punch of cuteness wearing a bandana and ribbon ensemble

A post shared by Lucy (@lucyofkingwest) on

Horton McSnorton @Hortonmcsnorton being as Canadian as Canadian gets showing his pride with a tribute to the Mounties of this great county.

Rems @remsandshmends is all set with his casual look for wining this weekend at the cottage repping his Canadian hat

Billie @billiebootspwd rocking his pride and letting you know Canada is number 1. Beaming with pride to be living with pawsome Canadian people and dogs alike!

Bacon @baconthedoggers is literally wearing his love for Canada on his chest! Bacon is chilling this Canada Day long weekend surrounded by all things Canadian

Atti & Pixel @teensytwins The fun loving, cutesome twosome originally from the US but are very proudly Canadian. The mini duo are sporting their Canadian tees so proudly eh!

Tootsie @Tootsiethebulldog Celebrating Canada Day the only way a bulldog knows how to! And that is draped in red and white while having a snooze on the deck #Canadianthroughandthrough

Oreo @thatshihtzuoreo is dressed to impress all the fellow Canadian shih tzus is his bow tie/tie combo!

Archer @iggiesofcanada If Archers handle doesn’t give away how proud he is to be a Canadian eh I don’t know what does. This is Archers first Canada day and he is doing it in style

Remember Canada Day can be scary for so many pups, here are some tips to make Canada Day a pawsome one!

How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth Without A Toothbrush – Dog Dental Hygiene

How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth Without A Toothbrush – Dog Dental Hygiene

A transcript of an interview with Blue Stem Oral Care.

Okay. Hi. So we are from The Bark Show. We’re doing a live Facebook show today. We’re just going around and just interviewing vendors of other company and the products that they carry. So please let us-


… know what you’re carrying.

For sure. So we have bluestem oral care products here. They’re all made in Canada. So bluestem products, they’re targeting plague and tartar buildup in pet’s mouths, also freshening their breath. So we always suggest for pet owners they need to do some kind of oral care routine, to pick the option that they’re going to do the most often. So we have a toothpaste right here, it’s chicken flavored toothpaste, comes with a dual-headed toothbrush inside. We also have an oral spray that they can use once a day on either side of their mouth or a water additive and it comes in three different flavors. So for picky pets, they can go with our original unflavored water additive. It has no color, no taste, no scent. You just slip it into their water daily and it helps to break down all that hard plague and tartar buildup on their teeth, and freshen their breath.


Oh. So it’s not just for bad breath, it’s actually doing the work at the same time.

It does, yes. It’ll break down all those hard minerals that have built up in their tartar and pull them out of the tartar. Chelates them and that way it’s a lot softer, so you can go in there with toothbrush or bones and toys, and it will take off a lot more of that tartar.

Oh, wow. Because that’s the one thing with dogs. No dogs really likes having their teeth brushed unless you got it down from an early age or unless you put the work in.

Yeah. If you haven’t started at an early age and you’re finding it too difficult to brush your dog’s teeth, you can use something else and it’ll still be effective.

And how long would you think if you bought the one for the water, how long would it actually last? [ bottle]

This is going to last a medium-sized dog about a month.



Our oral spray goes a little bit further and it’ll last about three months.

That’s great.

And what’s the cost of them?

The water additives sell for $20. The oral spray is $25. And our toothpaste, toothbrush combo pack is $15.

Great prices.

Oh, wow. So where can people find out more about yourselves and where if they want to buy? Are they in pet stores? Is it online?

Yup. They can purchase our product on our store, bluestempets.com, or they can find us at Pet Valu, Global Pet Foods, tons of independent retailers here in the GTA and Amazon.ca

Well, it’s on Amazon, it’s all good.

That’s amazing. Thank you so much for your time today.

Thank you.