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!

 

Quotes

“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/

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