Educate Yourself About Law

Understanding Pet Laws

by Erika Reed

If you are a pet lover, you need to understand pet laws to ensure your pet leads a comfortable and healthy life. Pet laws are those legal requirements in a particular state that controls the keeping of certain pets, protects pets from neglect and cruelty, protects other people from your pet if it can be dangerous and ensures pets are always comfortable and healthy.

Of course, there are different types of animals that can be kept as pets. They can be big or small, furry, feathery or scaly, live in a cage, aquarium or let to roam around the house, etc. Whichever pet you end up keeping, you have to know the laws that govern it. Here are some of the laws you should be aware of:

Legal pets

The first thing you should know is the different types of pets allowed in your state. Some pets are illegal; maybe because they cause certain diseases, can become extinct if kept, have a limited lifespan if kept as pets compared to when they are in their natural habitat, etc.

Follow the law because if a particular pet is illegal in your state, you might end up torturing them. You might also not find his or her food in any store; since the law prohibits the keeping of such pets, it won't also allow the sale of its food. Additionally, you may not find any veterinary services for an illegal pet. Without these basic needs, your pet might end up suffering.

Pet and tenant laws

Some landlords do not allow the keeping of certain pets. It is therefore important to read the tenancy agreement carefully to confirm which pets are not allowed. If there is no mention of pets, ensure you enquire from the landlord by word of mouth and get a consent letter. You can even have the landlord add a "pets allowed" clause to the agreement. You don't want to keep a pet and then later get evicted because of your pet.

Landlords might not allow pets for various reasons

Some pets cause damage to fixtures, fittings and appliances on a property, which leads to expensive repairs. Even though you might pay for the damages, the landlord might not like the idea of frequent damages and repairs to his or her building. 

Your pet might also make a lot of noise, especially at odd hours of the night leading to disturbance. Your landlord or neighbours may not enjoy such noises and thus disallow pets. For landlords to have a "no pets allowed" clause in the tenancy agreement, they are required by law to have practical reasons.

For more information about pet laws, consult with a professional.