There is an incredible amount of dedication that goes into breeding, owning, training, and handling a show animal. Breeders can spend decades cultivating the genes in their lines to produce the desired appearances and temperaments. If an animal is sold or entered into a co-ownership agreement, the owner will then ensure the animal is trained and groomed to show standards. When the animal is shown, a professional handler that has thoroughly learned show etiquette and procedures may be brought in to actually show the animal.
Each step of this process is likely to require an immense investment of time and expenses, which of course, ignores the emotional investment each person will have in an animal they have grown to love. To ensure each person is legally protected and expectations are clearly conveyed, contracts between breeders, owners, and handlers are common within the industry. Unfortunately, conflicts can arise between these individuals, creating legal difficulties that may require litigation to solve.
When this occurs, it is often wise to consult with an attorney skilled in contracts that specifically deal with animals. The Animal Law Firm cares deeply about animals and will work with you to ensure the animal’s welfare wins each time. With out-of-the-box thinking and creative arguments, we can help you reach the most favorable outcome that protects both your and the animal’s rights.
If a contract is written so it follows the law, it will frequently be held as legally binding and must be followed by each party within the contract. Breeders, owners, and handlers are extremely passionate about the animals under their care and create their contracts to protect every individual, including the animal. It is important that you thoroughly understand each portion of a contract that you choose to enter and ensure you are willing to abide by the stipulations within the contract. Failure to follow the conditions in a contract that you voluntarily entered can have both legal and personal consequences.
A breach occurs when a party in a contract fails to perform their portion of the agreement laid out in the contract. In many instances, a breach of contract is simple to identify; however, it becomes more complex when you debate whether it is worth the time and expense of pursuing the breaching party. Because an animal is wrapped up in the contracts between breeders, owners, and handlers, it is often worth it to the aggrieved party (plaintiff) to pursue some type of remedy from the breach.
In order to prove a breach of contract, the plaintiff must show in the claim:
Contracts between breeders, owners, and handlers often include specific clauses about penalties that apply to a refusal to follow the contract. If your breach of contract claim prevails in Colorado, these penalties and potentially further damages in civil court can be pursued.
In contract disputes between breeders, owners, and handlers, it is often beneficial to resolve the issues before the case progresses to litigation. Litigation can take months to resolve, an outcome less than favorable when the case centers around an animal. Colorado allows for multiple avenues of conflict resolution outside of litigation:
If the parties refuse to attempt ADR methods or are unable to find a solution with them, the case will progress to litigation.
When relationships with animals become connected to business and contracts, legal issues can arise. The Animal Law Firm understands how important animals are to those that care for them and will work diligently to help you in the event of a contract dispute. Contact our team for a consultation on your breeder, owner, or handler contract dispute issue.