What Are Some Legal Responsibilities Of Pet Owners?
Published on:December 6, 2021

Owning pets is like having children, which appears lovely most of the time and attracts some health benefits like an increased exercising opportunity which helps the owner to keep fit. However, it comes with certain legal or civil responsibilities.  To establish the key legal responsibilities of pet owners, it is pertinent to understand what a Pet is, what legal responsibility implies and who a Pet Owner is.

Legal Responsibility simply implies specific roles or duties naturally, morally and by law imposed on an individual as a result of the person’s position, title or status to care, provide, supervise or manage another person, animals or things. 

While a Pet is referred to as any animal that someone chooses to keep at home, usually not for economic purposes, but often for companionship. Such animals may include birds, beasts, reptiles or fish, and they could be tame or wild. Beast in this context refers to any domestic animal with four legs that may be used for food, labour or sport.

A Pet owner is anyone responsible for the welfare, care, supervision, management or control of any animal. Pet Owners are often referred to as parents to pets, which speak volumes about the responsibilities attached to being a Pet Owner.  Pet Owners should note that beyond having a responsibility towards the pets, it is a privilege to be a Pet Owner and should be treated as such.

Below outlines some key legal responsibilities Pet Owners should know:

The Don’ts

  • Never abandon your pet: It is illegal to abandon a pet or let a Pet loose in public. Abandoning a Pet is a civil offence anywhere and is punishable by law. When a Pet inevitably goes missing, the Pet Owner must make every effort in finding it.
  • Never be cruel to your Pet: Cruelty to Pets includes hitting, beating, torturing, terrifying kicking or infuriating your pet. It is wrong and also punishable by law. Other forms of cruelty include confining pets to uncomfortable small spaces or exposing them to harsh weather conditions.
  • Never adopt or own a pet when you are not capable of caring and loving the pet.

Responsibilities to others

  • Never allow your pet to cause damages to public property or plants
  • Clean up any mess in the public by your pet
  • Never motivate your pet to attack or threaten other people or animals
  • Never wash your pet on a public road.

Other responsibilities are:

  • Having Regular Exercise with them: engage your pets in the type of exercise that suits them.
  • Schedule Periodic Check-Ups for them: engage in taking your pets to the Vet clinic to ensure they are in good health.
  • Get Your Pets to Socialize: this could be achieved by taking them to relate with their kinds, which helps to ease tensions and enable them to attain their full potentials.
  • Adequate Feeding of Pets: healthy feeding of your pets is very necessary to make them look healthy and attractive.
  • Safe Keeping of Pets: It is the Owners responsibility to ensure the Pets are safe
  • Train your Pets: engage in training your pets to make them enjoyable and responsible.
  • Love and Respect your Pets: The Pet should be seen as a member of the family and must have the same share of love and respect you accord other members of the family.

Pets are lovely and owning a pet is wonderful, but it comes with a price of responsibility. Though it is tasking, it is something worth doing and it comes with great benefits for both the pets and the Pet Owner as most times happy pets are trustworthy, loyal and make the best companion to their owners.

If you’re currently in a rut as regards your pet, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. Not only will an attorney protect your best interest, but we’ll also guide you to avoid mistakes. Go ahead and call us, or fill our contact form to begin.