Pennsylvania Animal Law Attorney

Fighting for Animals:
How to Prove Your Case

We have the know-how you need.

Serving clients throughout Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York & Tennessee

Scroll Down


The Pennsylvania pet lawyers at The Animal Law Firm have years of experience representing people and their pets. We understand that your pet is your family and we have the experience to make sure you and your pet are protected and safe. Pennsylvania animal laws and the animal lawyers at The Animal Law Firm make sure no animal is ever treated as an underdog in the eyes of the law.

Bringing Justice and Representing Pennsylvania Animal Lovers

The animal attorneys at The Animal Law Firm have years of experience representing Pennsylvania residents who love their animals. When you bring The Animal Law Firm onto your team, your case will be handled with care and dedication by the best Pennsylvania animal law attorney.

Too often, people may not know of the legal rights they have or actions they can take to protect their pets, livestock, service animals, or working animals. But the Pennsylvania Animal Attorneys at The Animal Law Firm know that your animals have rights, and we know how to convey your love for your animal to judges and juries. We use creative, out-of-the-box thinking to apply laws and legal principles that were not written with animals in mind to get the best result possible for you and your animal.

What Does a Pennsylvania Animal Law Attorney Do?

An animal lawyer, or pet lawyer, is a legal specialist who represents the interests of animals in civil and criminal proceedings. For example, we handle pet custody cases, which are civil lawsuits to decide who owns an animal between former romantic partners; we handle dog bite defense, which can be civil or criminal, where we represent the dog who is accused of biting another person or animal; we handle breeder contract disputes, which are civil lawsuits involving disputes between breeders and buyers, or breeders and co-owners (either other breeders and/or people who show the dogs); and we handle service animal representation, which are civil lawsuits against a business or government for discriminating against a person with a service animal.

Characteristics to look for in an animal negligence attorney include:

  • A strong commitment to animal rights.
  • Experience in a broad range of legal cases involving animals.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Knowledge of the latest animal welfare legislation.
  • Evident compassion and empathy for animals.
  • Active listening skills.
  • A proven record of winning cases.

Ensuring these qualities is essential when choosing an animal lawyer and can be the difference between getting a favorable outcome and not.

Pennsylvania Animal Law Attorney

Cases We Handle

Pet and animal law cases can vary depending upon your unique situation and needs. There are many types of animal law cases that can occur. Understanding these categories can help you identify a legal issue when it arises.

Here at The Animal Law Firm, we handle a wide range of animal cases, including:

  • Defense after a dog bite. If your dog bites someone, you can be liable for the damages that have occurred. Unfortunately, the legal system is often quick to blame dogs for these actions when in reality, most dogs feel provoked or threatened when they bite someone. Sadly, the consequences of a dog bite conviction can be devastating, especially when your dog is part of your family. Protect your dog by using one of our experienced attorneys.
  • Pet custody. When you own a pet with your partner and your relationship ends, one of the most heartbreaking aspects of your uncoupling will be determining who should keep your pets. Our attorneys can help you with your pet custody agreement so that the process can be as smooth as possible for you and your pets. If your ex has commandeered custody without your permission, we can help you to fight for your rights as a pet parent.
  • Service animal support. If you believe that you could benefit from a service animal, you have to undergo a lengthy process to be approved and to find your animal. We have extensive experience in this area and can help you to apply and navigate the process. If you have been denied the right to carry a service animal or have been discriminated against because of your need, we may be able to help you get fairly compensated.
  • Pet-related business support. If you run a pet business such as a grooming business or pet daycare, you may need legal help to create your business. When certain situations arise, you may need more legal assistance to resolve disputes and navigate complaints. We can represent you during all of these phases of your business.
  • Shelter and sanctuary representation. Most animal shelters and sanctuaries do their best to protect the animals that they serve, but legal issues can arise. If you need legal support to develop foster or adoption contracts, navigate legal roadblocks or help with similar issues, our team is here.
  • Police misconduct. Many police officers do not treat pets kindly or appropriately when responding to calls or emergencies. Unfortunately, they are usually not held responsible if they hurt your pet. If police have mistreated your animal in the course of their duty, contact our firm. We can help to hold them legally responsible so you can protect your pet and family.
  • Animal rights advocates. When you advocate for rights of any kind, you run the risk of facing legal repercussions. Rallies, protests, and other demonstrations can result in arrests and charges, while rescue missions can be dangerous and costly. We can help to use the law in your favor and create protections for you as you continue to protect vulnerable animals.
  • Veterinary Malpractice. In some cases, you may be able to sue your veterinarian for malpractice if they have caused the death of your pet. To have a successful case, you will need to prove that your veterinarian was negligent and that this negligence caused the death of your pet. You may also be able to sue your veterinarian if they have caused you financial harm because of the malpractice.
  • Equestrian Legal Disputes. Horse owners can face a wide variety of legal issues involving their horses, everything from ownership disputes to USEF charges/violations to boarding contract or breeder contract disputes. Given the many different problems horse owners or horse leasers can face, it is important to have an experienced equine attorney representing your interests in a legal disputes involving horses.

If you think that your pet may have died as a result of malpractice, it is vital to seek the advice of an animal lawyer. Most successful veterinary malpractice cases involve the help of an attorney as they provide guidance on navigating the delicate legal system and Pennsylvania animal laws.

There are a few of the kinds of legal help we offer involving animals. We can represent you in many other animal-related cases as well. For instance, if you have suffered as a result of another’s party’s negligence with their animal, our team can approach this case with the compassion such a situation merits – while getting you fair compensation. We are here to help protect animals and animal lovers in the Pennsylvania area in any way that we can. Our team of compassionate attorneys wants to help you get the best outcome for you and your pet.

What to Expect From Your Animal Attorney

Many people are unaware that animal law attorneys exist and therefore do not understand what to expect when they hire one. We are here to make this process as easy as possible and defend your family and your pet from harm.

When you hire The Animal Law Firm, we will spend a significant amount of time reviewing your case’s details with you. We will discuss what has happened, how it has affected your pet, and any emotional or financial stress it created for you and your family. These are all important details that will help us to develop your case.

You can trust that we will be compassionate, patient, and welcoming throughout your case. We know firsthand how stressful these cases can be and how much emotional turmoil they create. Pets are important parts of their owners’ lives, so when something happens to jeopardize their safety or harm them in some way, we often feel scared and worried about what to do. You can trust that our team will use the full extent of Pennsylvania law to protect you, your family, and your pet.

Animal Law Lawyer Pennsylvania

Animal Law FAQs

Q: What Is the New Animal Cruelty Law in PA?

A: In Pennsylvania, animal cruelty is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree and is therefore punishable by up to two years in jail and may result in fines up to $5,000. If the charge is considered aggravated, then it is considered to be a felony of the third degree, and it could result in up to seven years in jail and fines of up to $15,000. For the crime to be considered aggravated, the animal must suffer severe bodily injury, or the cruelty must result in death.

Q: How Many Animals Can You Legally Own in PA?

A: Pennsylvania places a limit on the number of pets that an owner is allowed to have. Under state law, a person may not own more than five total animals. There are exceptions, of course. If a person or residence is responsible for foster care that results in the placement of a pet in a new home, then that entity must file for an exemption permit from their local Animal Control Department, which may grant the exception.

Q: Do You Need a Pet License in PA?

A: Pet owners should be aware of the licensing laws in Pennsylvania, particularly dog owners. Dogs must be licensed by January 1 each year. Licenses may be renewed annually, or owners may purchase a lifetime license. It is a violation of the law to keep a dog without the proper licensing. This law applies to any dog three months of age or older. There are no licensing laws that apply to the ownership of cats, however.

Q: Is It Legal to Leave Dogs Outside in PA?

A: It is not illegal to keep an animal outside if they are properly and safely restrained by a tether or in an area that keeps them safely contained. However, in temperatures under 32 degrees or above 90 degrees, dogs may not be tethered outside for longer than 30 minutes. Fresh water must also be readily available. If a dog is tethered, owners may not use any choke, pinch, or similar types of collars. The tether must also be affixed in a way that it does not tangle.

Q: What Is Considered Animal Neglect in Pennsylvania?

A: Animal neglect and animal cruelty may often be confused; however, cruelty results in physical injury to the animal, whereas neglect is the failure to provide basic needs for survival. This includes failing to provide fresh water, food, protection from the weather that is clean and safe, and regular veterinary care. Many of the same laws that apply to the care of children apply to the care of animals.

Q: What Are the Rules for Emotional Support Animals in Pennsylvania?

A: Emotional Support Animals, often shortened to ESAs, are a type of service animal that provide care, relief, and support for their human owners. They are often trained to provide emotional support. Animals that are classified as ESAs are protected under the Fair Housing Act, but owners must receive a letter from a licensed mental health professional. ESAs, however, are not like service animals in that they do not have public access rights.

Q: What Is the PA Puppy Lemon Law?

A: Although the term “lemon” is usually applied to vehicles, a similar concept also applies to the adoption or purchase of a puppy. Much like the lemon laws for vehicles, where a car is considered a lemon when it is unable to be restored to working condition, the Puppy Lemon Law entitles owners to a refund or replacement of a sick or injured dog that, with veterinary care, is unable to be returned to reasonable health.

Q: What Is the Pet Abandonment Law in PA?

A: In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to abandon or make an attempt to abandon any dog. This includes attempting to sell, transfer, trade, or barter a dog under the age of eight weeks or attempting to keep the animal near any potentially poisoning or harmful substance that may result in the animal ingesting such products. These statutes apply on and off of any personal residence.

Q: What Happens When You Get a Puppy from a Mill?

A: Unfortunately, Pennsylvania ranks high on the list of national puppy mill states. Puppy mills are locations where breeders attempt to maximize profits by minimizing care for the animals. If you adopt an animal from a puppy mill, you likely will need to seek extensive veterinary care, and the animal may have long-term health problems as a result of the neglect it or the parenting animals may have suffered.

Q: What Are the 4 Types of Animal Abuse?

A: Animal abuse is extensive and covers a wide range of categories. However, there are four main categories in which data is collected. The four categories include simple or gross neglect, behaviors that are intentionally abusive or torturous, actions such as dog or cockfighting (also known as organized abuse), and sexual abuse of an animal. All abusive actions towards an animal are illegal and punishable by potential jail time and fines.

Q: Who Do You Call When Someone Isn’t Taking Care of Their Animals?

A: There are three entities to reach out to when you suspect or witness animal abuse, neglect, or cruelty. Depending on the situation or the level of emergency required, those who suspect these behaviors should contact local law enforcement, their local animal services agency, or the humane society. Each of these organizations is trained to investigate and provide a response to any findings. They will often work together to ensure the care and safety of the animal.

Pet Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Pets are an important part of our lives. They become a family that plays with us, shares joy with us, grieves with us, and much more. Unfortunately, like all families, their care and safety are often taken for granted for any number of reasons. At The Animal Law Firm, our team is dedicated to ensuring that animal welfare is not overlooked. In the cases we handle, your pet is our priority. We thoroughly review the details of your case to ensure you and your pet have the representation you deserve. Contact our offices today.

For more information about how we can support you and your pet during this time, please contact us today.




We know how important your furry family member is to you. Whether they have no legs, two legs, or four or more legs, our priority is making sure you and your pet receive the best representation possible.

Have no product in the cart!