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Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

Laura Mcfarland-Taylor’s Answers

5,112 total


  • Can I win in Small Claims if no one saw my neighbor put out tuna fish laced with antifreeze to kill neighborhood stray cats

    Around a month ago my husband had a conversation with a 2 different neighbors, one of the neighbors complained about yet another neighbor feeding stray cats. The same neighbor had mentioned something about how he should poison the cats. Go forward...

    Laura’s Answer

    I'm sorry about your dog, but, no, you cannot win. First, you'd have to prove the neighbor said what you claim he said, then you'd have to prove he was the one that put out the tuna. You'd also have to prove that your dog died from eating antifreeze-laced tuna (did you have a necropsy performed?). In addition, your damages would be any vet bills and the replacement value of your dog. Finally, even if you did win, you may never collect any judgment awarded to you - winning a judgment and collecting a judgement are two entirely different things.

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  • Can I sue the boarding/vet facility over injuries he required while in their care?

    Left my 5 month pup with NO medical issues in a boarding facility over the weekend. Saturday we gotten a call stating that pup could not put any weight on back legs and was asking us permission for the vet to take a look. later that day vet calls...

    Laura’s Answer

    You have no cause of action against the vet; you might have one against the boarding facility, but it would depend on any agreement or contract you signed before boarding and whether or not you can prove your puppy had no previous injuries AND that this happened at the boarding facility.

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  • If my ex left her dog with me and 9 months later wanted the dog back, does she have a claim?

    the dog was purchased from an underground breeder by my ex's ex. When I met her in fall 2009, she was taking care of the dog that her ex had left behind. In June 2011, I co-adopted the dog with my ex as I was moving in with her. In January 2012, m...

    Laura’s Answer

    Counter-sue for all your expenses in caring for the dog (food, vet, etc) as well as a daily boarding fee for the time the dog has been with you ($25 - 35 per day).

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  • Can I sue a dog breeder that gave me a dog that has hip displasia and liver shunt a birth defect that shortens life drastically?

    I bought my dog for 1500 dollars. I realized he was very lethargic. About two weeks after getting him, he was in a severely confused state and found out after 2300 dollars in vet bills that he had liver shunt a birth defect that was only fixable...

    Laura’s Answer

    What you or your neighbor thinks the dog "might" have is completely irrelevant. You need a vet to diagnose any diseases and attest to their existence.

    Massachusetts has a so-called "puppy lemon law" and it states, in part:

    330 CMR 12.05 Massachusetts Pet "Lemon Law." Provides, in part: "All licensees shall provide a substitution or a full refund of the purchase price of any dog or cat to any purchaser who: (a) within 14 calendar days of sale has the dog or cat examined by a licensed veterinarian of his or her choice, and the examination indicates the dog or cat is diseased or has a congenital disorder; and (b) presents the dog or cat, a veterinarian's written statement that the dog or cat is diseased or has a congenital disorder, and proof of sale within two business days of the date of the examination."

    So a lot will depend on timing (when did you buy the dog, when was he first examined by a vet), whether you purchased the dog in Massachusetts (if the seller is outside the state of Massachusetts it will be very expensive to sue them), and whether or not you have a contract and what the contract says.

    In addition, liver shunts are not normally tested for; hip displaysia can be tested for but usually only in breeds prone to the disease; basically, without proof that the breeder has had numerous other dogs with these issues, you may have no claim. The breeder is under no obligation, outside of a court order, to provide that information to you.

    Also keep in mind that even if you win a judgment, the judgment may be uncollectable. Winning a judgment and collecting a judgment are two entirely different things.

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  • Do I need a business license to have people donate to invest in trail riding my own personal horses in this county.

    I know you have to if you board other peoples horses.

    Laura’s Answer

    I don't understand your question - what do you mean by "donate to invest in trail riding my own personal horses". Do you mean that they would pay you for the opportunity to ride your horses? If yes, then you may need not only a business license (since you are running a business whether you call paying you "donate" or something else) but also insurance and liability waivers, among other things. I suggest you speak with a local attorney about your plans.

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  • Been charged of animal cruelty, horse that I could not AFFORD to have a vet treat. I tried to surrender the animal. ARRESTED.

    Horse had an injury I could not afford a veterinarian. I let the officer know and asked them to take the horse. They refused. The Sheriff department had a vet come out and I paid $50 dollars to have the horse's condition evaluated. Estimated cost ...

    Laura’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The Sheriff is not required to accept an animal for surrender. In the 13 days between the time the horse was evaluated and you were arrested you could have tried to place the horse with a horse rescue or you could have had the horse put down.

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  • Property rights to animals

    Weve had horses on our property for 8 yrs now, the owner has been asked to come get them 3 times, he doesnt feed or check on them so its neglect, can I get rid of them?

    Laura’s Answer

    No, you cannot "get rid of them."

    Alabama has what is called an Agister's Lien - you must follow it and the general lien law precisely. If you do not, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble with the horses' owner. Animal Control and/or the Humane Society as not going to be able to guide you. You need to speak with a local attorney that understands the Agister's Lien law and how it works. The Alabama State Bar Association can give you a referral: https://www.alabar.org/lrs/index.cfm

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  • My dog was attacked by a neighbor's dog in a common area in our neighborhood last night. Are they liable?

    Neither dog was tethered. My dog was using the bathroom when the neighbor let his dog out and it came after my dog.

    Laura’s Answer

    The fact that your dog was not on a leash is a factor, even if you can prove (and by that I mean "real" proof such as prior substantiated complaints to animal control, not neighborhood gossip) that the other dog is aggressive. Even then, the fact that your dog was not leashed will still be a factor.

    Also, you say this happened in a "common area" - what does this mean? If you have a homeowners' association or if this is a rental, you may have additional leash laws above and beyond what is required by your town that neither of you were complying with.

    Finally, be aware that even if you were to sue the other owner in small claims court and win, you still may never be able to collect any judgment - winning a judgment and collecting a judgment are two entirely different things.

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  • The System is wanting to charge my American Staffordshire Terrier Bulldog with nuisance and animal at large, level-2 threat dog

    and 2 months ago I moved and next door to me the family have about 5 dogs and 2 of them are pit bulls and 2 were yolky. Well I took my dog out to do his business and I was out there about 3 min and the people next door opened their door and releas...

    Laura’s Answer

    You do need a lawyer - your dog was on their property and attacked their dogs, killing one. Even though you are generally not required to have your dog on leash in your own yard, you are required to have them under your direct control. In addition, if it was your fence you are under an obligation to keep it in good repair so the likelihood of a dog getting through is lessened.

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  • I have been issued a criminal citation for a "dog at large" with bite I believe the "bite" was caused from the cyclist falling.

    This is the second offense, although the first time I did not receive a ticket. Will I need an attorney in the court of Scottsdale, AZ?

    Laura’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If your dog was at large and bit a cyclist it doesn't matter what caused the bite. I suggest you speak with a local attorney since this is a second offense.

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