3 On Your Side

Does your pet need an attorney?

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Your pet may need a lawyer! A lawyer? To represent you and your pet? Yes! We found more attorneys are now specializing in working for four-legged clients. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Your pet may need a lawyer! A lawyer? To represent you and your pet? Yes! We found more attorneys are now specializing in working for four-legged clients. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Did your cat cause a catastrophe? Was your canine involved in a caper?

They may need a lawyer! A lawyer? To represent you and your pet? Yes! We found more attorneys are now specializing in working for four-legged clients.   

It’s something for which Amy was grateful. “Goomba” is not only Amy’s best friend, he is also Amy’s emotional support animal.

She says when her landlord gave her a hard time about the dog, she called a lawyer.

“I didn’t know my rights as an owner of an emotional support animal, so I knew that I needed outside help, someone who was familiar with those laws.”

And we found lawyers focusing on helping animals are on the rise.

“Animal law is growing very quickly and the need is growing equally as fast,” says attorney Michelle Hubbard.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund says, “Animal law is a relatively new, and growing, specialty within the law.”

The American Bar Association now has a “Committee on Animal Law” and is hosting a symposium about animal shelter law.

Some law schools are even offering classes.

And we found entire law firms going, not only the dogs.

“I get calls about cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, things that people are keeping as pets,” says attorney Jeremy Cohen. His firm, Boston Dog Lawyers, is devoted to representing animals and their owners.

“Our motto is it's time to bark back. I'm just one small piece in a national movement to recognize that our pets are special,” says Cohen.

Why else would a pet need an attorney?

Cohen’s had clients at the center of dog custody disputes. And there was a case of a dog nipping at someone and town officials considering euthanizing him.

“Animals get themselves in all sorts of predicaments. I mean I've had calls ranging from things like ‘My dog ate my neighbor’s flowers’ and ‘My dog bit someone,’” said Hubbard.

Can calling an animal lawyer really make a difference? Amy, who hired attorney Hubbard, credits her for winning her case. Goomba got to stay!

“It would not have not had the same outcome if I didn't have her,” said Amy.

For more information on animal law or how to find an attorney that specializes in it, see the resources below:

Animal legal defense fund: Http://aldf.Org/resources/when-your-companion-animal-has-been-harmed/how-to-find-an-attorney-to-help-you-with-your-animal-related-issues/

American bar association, animal law: Http://apps.Americanbar.Org/dch/committee.Cfm?Com=il201050 

Animal Attorney Facebook group: Https://www.Facebook.Com/abatipsalc/

Animal Attorney LinkedIn group: Https://www.Linkedin.Com/groups/3260678/profile

Attorney. Michelle Hubbard's website: Https://www.Animalrightsattorney.Com/attorney-profile

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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