Friday, April 29, 2011

Planning for Your Pets Workshop

Join us for this Planning for Your Pets Workshop. We'll discuss not only the importance of planning for yourself, but making sure your pets are provided for in the event of your disability or death. Hope to see you there!

Planning for Your Pets Workshop

Orange County, FL Animal Control the new Broward

Animal lovers in Central Florida need to put pressure on Orange County and Orange County Animal Control to adopt new laws consistent with the Hoesch v. Broward County case. Contact your local representatives. If you need a lawyer, call us.

Thanks Fred Kray for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Orange County, FL Animal Control the new Broward

One Year After Sled Dog Murder, British Columbia Strengthens Animal Cruelty Laws

Stronger animal protection and anti-cruelty laws are needed everywhere. Animals are not "things" to be discarded carelessly or cruelly when humans are done with them.

One Year After Sled Dog Murder, British Columbia Strengthens Animal Cruelty Laws

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Veterinary Negligence and Horses | Equine Veterinary Malpractice

Veterinary Negligence and Horses

Equine veterinary malpractice
Horses are valuable assets, and the equestrian community places a great deal of trust and confidence in its dedicated veterinary surgeons. When a vet fails to perform his duties adequately and as a result a horse suffers damage, this is not just a betrayal of this trust, but is also an event that can result in substantial financial loss to the horse owner.
If you have been let down by a vet who failed to exercise the expected level of care and skill in the discharge of his duties, there are two separate grounds on which you may be entitled to claim compensation from the vet involved: breach of contract, and professional negligence.
Breach of contract
When you engage the services of a veterinarian you are entering into a contract which is likely to have implied into it a term requiring the vet to act with reasonable skill and care in the practice of his craft. If the vet acts in a manner in which other reasonably skilled vets wouldn’t act then he breaches the contract.

Professional negligence

Even if you are not able to argue that there is an implied duty of reasonable skill contained in the contract, under the case of Hedley Byrne v. Heller where someone provides a specialist service to a third party and it is reasonable to rely on that person’s expertise and skill, the third party will be able to claim for professional negligence if the service provider fails to act with the same standard of care as a reasonably competent person possessing the same special skill.

What kind of actions can constitute breach/negligence?

There are a large number of actions (or failures to act) which can result in liability either in contract or professional negligence. However, some of the most common are:
  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
  • Failure to administer proper treatment in a timely manner
  • Failure to respond adequately to an emergency call
  • Failing to keep up to date with changes in best practice
  • Use of outdated or discredited techniques, procedures or medication
How much compensation will I be awarded?
In all veterinary negligence cases, the compensation which you will be awarded is intended to cover your actual losses, although the exact extent of losses which can be compensated will vary between professional negligence and breach of contract claims. This means, for example, that if your horse dies as a result the vet’s failure, you will be entitled to the market rate for a similar horse with the same attributes. Where the horse was generating a profit for you, either because it was racing, was let out, or was involved in stud farming, you may also be able to recover lost profits and income. The recoverability of expected profits is greater under contract law than under the law of negligence.


Bringing Back Bongo: The Re-emergence of the Chimp as Test Subject | PetMD

This story is in line with the report yesterday about Chimpanzees.

Bringing Back Bongo: The Re-emergence of the Chimp as Test Subject | PetMD

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

McClatchy | Chimps: Life in the Lab

This is a report from DawnWatch

It is especially gratifying to send out a DawnWatch alert when I have superb coverage to report. Today I write about a series published in the McClatchy newspapers. McClatchy is the third largest newspaper company in the US, publishing approximately thirty daily newspapers with a total daily circulation of over two million. McClatchy-owned newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and Raleigh's News & Observer. I will print the full list below so you can see if your local paper is among them.

McClatchy's investigative reporter, Chris Adams, has just released a three part series titled, "Chimps: Life in the Lab." It is a wonderfully detailed account of the lives of chimps in research, with arguments for but mostly against continuing to use them. The backdrop for the series is the current battle over the 180 chimps currently held at a federal primate facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, who the National Institutes of Health is attempting to send back into research. Adams shares records from the lives of some of those chimpanzees, such as Lennie, who has undergone spinal taps and a bone marrow biopsy, and spent his life in various cages, sometimes in isolation.

Adams explains:

"In Defense of Animals, an advocacy group, obtained the records after a five-year legal fight with the NIH. The group shared them exclusively with McClatchy with no strings attached; McClatchy conducted its own review of the records, which provide the most detailed look ever into the day-to-day life of chimp experimentation."

The three stories that form the "Chimps: Life in the Lab" series are titled:

"As Science Turns From Chimp Research, US Wants to Restart,"
"Some chimps never recover from stresses of research"
"Some lab chimps left with poor health, shortened lives"

You'll find them all on the McClatchy web site at

Both the Miami Herald and Kansas City Star are featuring the series today, Monday April 25, on their front pages, and many other papers are carrying the story.

I will paste a list of McClatchy Dailies below. If one of them is your local, please check your paper's site to see if they are carrying the chimp reports, and assuming so, please send an appreciative letter to the editor. We have an opportunity to keep this topic alive on the editorial pages, to let the media know that animal friendly coverage is appreciated and to let legislators (whose staff often keep an eye on letters pages as barometers of public opinion) know that Americans aren't proud to be the one country other than Gabon that still uses chimps in research. Our standout performance isn't limited to chimps: the European Union has banned testing on all animals for cosmetic purposes while in the United States that industry is alive and in fabulous shape. We have an opportunity, with our letters, to address all forms of animal testing, an industry which for too long has been blithely accepted by a trusting public.

If you have trouble locating the chimp stories in a search of your paper's website, or finding an address for a letter to the editor, don't hesitate to ask me for help. The site should have a tab on the front page (often at the very bottom) marked "contact us," which should lead you to a page that includes an email address or a link for letters to the editor.

Good luck!

You can send a note to Adams, thanking him for the superb report, at -- positive feedback for animal stories is always helpful -- but if his report on the chimps is indeed covered in your paper please do that only in addition to rather than as an alternative to a letter to the editor. Many smaller newspapers publish close to 100 percent of letters they receive so why not take this easy opportunity to speak up for the voiceless? Here's that list of McClatchy papers, which are likely to have the story:

Anchorage Daily News
The Beaufort Gazette
Belleville News-Democrat
The Bellingham Herald
Centre Daily Times
The Charlotte Observer
The Fresno Bee
The Herald (Bradenton)
The Herald (Rock Hill)
The Idaho Statesman
The Island Packet
The Kansas City Star
Lexington Herald-Leader
Merced Sun-Star
The Miami Herald
The Modesto Bee
The News & Observer
El Nuevo Herald
The Olathe News
The Olympian
The Sacramento Bee
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The State (Columbia, South Carolina)
Sun Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi)
Sun News (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
The News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington)
The Telegraph (Macon)
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Tri-City Herald
Wichita Eagle

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts only if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)

McClatchy | Chimps: Life in the Lab

Friday, April 22, 2011

Study links ProMeris Flea Treatment to Skin Disease

Fleas can be a significant problem in Florida. If you are treating your pet with flea treatment, read this!

Study links ProMeris Flea Treatment to Skin Disease

Fully Vetted Earth Day Special: Towards Greener Pet Foods | PetMD

Happy Earth Day! Do something special for the earth.

Fully Vetted Earth Day Special: Towards Greener Pet Foods | PetMD

Suspected Veterinary Malpractice

The article below chronicles one family's journey with suspected veterinary malpractice. A "routine" dental procedure resulted in the death of their pet. The laws for damages surrounding the loss of a pet are evolving. If you or someone you know has lost a pet due to suspected veterinary malpractice, we would like to help. The Center for Animal Advocacy represents pets and their families when negligence results in the loss of our beloved pet.

VCA Animal Hospital Complaints - Suspected Veterinary Malpractice

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Gratitude Effect

The effect of gratitude can never be underestimated! Thank everybody for everything.

The Gratitude Effect

YouTube - RMR: Bear Tagging

Another good reason to make sure your estate planning is up to date!

YouTube - RMR: Bear Tagging

Will Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Your Pets? Are You Sure About That? | PetMD

Dr. Khuly raises a really good question here. Have you read your homeowner's policy? Do you know what pets are excluded? My neighbor lost his policy because he had a Rottweiler mix-even though the dog was very aged and couldn't even scratch his fleas! There's a misconception about what breeds might be considered dangerous. Protect yourself, and your pets, by reading your policy and becoming an informed consumer.

Will Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Your Pets? Are You Sure About That? | PetMD

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Easter!

All I need to know
I learned from the Easter Bunny!
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
There's no such thing as too much candy.
All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off of other people's jelly beans.
Good things come in small, sugar coated packages.
The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.
To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
May the joy of the season fill your heart.
Happy Easter!

Words from a Broken Heart

The loss of a pet can be a devastating event. When the cause is as a result of negligence, it can be even worse.

Words from a Broken Heart

Monday, April 18, 2011

Legislative Update

There are a number of animal law related bills pending in the Florida Legislature.  Here is an update provided by The Humane Society of the United States.
Greyhounds Continue to Win! Last week the bill to remove minimum race requirements for dog tracks (HB 1145 Young/SB 1594 Sachs) known as the "greyhound decoupling" bill passed the House Finance and Tax Committee by a wide 21 to 2 margin and passed the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Finance and Tax 4-2. The bill is expected to have one more committee stop in each chamber before a Floor vote, so even though we're not there yet, we're getting close.

This bill would allow tracks to continue operating other gambling without subjecting greyhounds to long-term confinement, injuries, and other mistreatment.

Thanks to those of you on who received action alerts and for a second time made calls and sent emails to your legislators. The greyhound breeders have been trying very hard to kill these good bills-and it's much easier to kill a bill than pass one-but legislative offices reported lots of phone calls in support of the bills, so thank you!  (And if you're looking for a greyhound, check out Batman, available for adoption through Greyhound Adoptions of Florida).
Bestiality Bill Passes Final Two House Committees! A bill to prohibit bestiality in Florida SB 344 (Rich)/HB 125 (Kiar) cleared its final two committee hurdles in the House. It has already passed the full Senate, so we're hopeful it will pass in the near future and will continue working hard to see that the bill passes this year.
Factory Farm Cover-Up Stalled: SB 1246 (Norman, R-Tampa), which would criminalize farm workers or undercover investigators who take photographs or make video or audio recordings on a farm without the owner's written consent, passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously on 3/21.
The bill broadly defines agriculture and would make criminals of those who document all sorts of wrongdoing including, but not limited to, inhumane conditions on factory farms, puppy mills, animal fighting operations, etc.
The bill has not received another Senate hearing to date and does not have a House companion, which would be necessary for it to pass as a stand-alone bill. We will continue to closely monitor this bill. Similar power grabs by industrial agriculture are pending in other states. See this New York Times  piece for more info. If your Senator sits on the Agriculture Committee, she or he may have voted for the bill.
Bill To Give Ex-Fighting Dogs a Fighting Chance Advances: SB 722 (Norman)/HB
4075 (Garcia) to remove the automatic dangerous dog designation for dogs removed from fighting operations has cleared all of its House committees and its first two Senate Committees. The bill only has one more
Senate committee to go before heading to the Senate Floor.
Animal Fighting Bill Passes Senate Agriculture Committee: A bill to strengthen Florida's animal fighting law by clarifying the prohibition on animal fighting paraphernalia and protecting agencies from frivolous lawsuits by animal fighters passed the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously. Unfortunately, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, the first committee of reference, didn't hear the bill before the committee stopped meeting, which means this bill probably cannot pass this year. See the Naples News coverage of the story.
Spay/Neuter Bill Stuck in Committee: Since the spay/neuter funding bill (HB 359/SB 676) hasn't received a hearing, it won't be able to pass this year, unfortunately. Current legislative leadership frowns upon bills that contain fees or generate revenue. These bills  would raise funding for spay/neuter surgeries by adding a civil penalty onto citations written for violations of local animal control and cruelty ordinances. We are grateful to the sponsors, Senator Nan Rich, D-Weston, and Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, for filing these bills, and hope these bills will succeed next year.
Legislature Adopts Shelter Pet Resolution: On April 6, the Florida Legislature adopted a resolution  declaring April 2011 Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet Month. The resolution was sponsored by Senator Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, and Representative Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach.
Lawmakers Receive 2010 Humane Legislator Awards: We are pleased to announce that Florida state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, Rep. Trudi Williams, R-Ft. Myers, and Rep. Marlene O'Toole, R-The Villages, received Humane State Legislator awards for helping pass humane public policies in 2010. Senator Sobel and Representative Williams sponsored bills to prohibit the import into the state, breeding, sale and possession as pets of the large constrictor snakes and Nile monitor lizards considered "reptiles of concern"
in Florida. The bill also increases penalties for wildlife violations. Representative O'Toole vigorously called for an end to fox and coyote pens.Both policies passed into law last year. All three lawmakers have also co-sponsored the greyhound decoupling bills this year. 

On behalf of The Humane Society of the United States and our 787,000 Florida supporters, we commend Senator Sobel, Representative Williams, and Representative O'Toole for their leadership on humane legislation.  If Senator Sobel, Rep.Williams, or Rep. O'Toole are your elected officials, please congratulate them.
Want to help? Please contact your elected officials and voice your concern for these bills. Polite, respectful calls to lawmakers are the most effective way to communicate your views (second only to a face-to-face meeting). You can find contact info for your state lawmakers here.You will need your zip + 4. And if you are on Facebook, please join the Humane Society of the United States Facebook Group for more updates and information on animal issues in Florida.

This blog is brought to you by Central Florida's animal only law firm.  You can also find the Center for Animal Advocacy on Facebook, Twitter (@Petlawyers) and LinkedIn.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

YouTube - Pit Bull Blues by John Shipe

Pit Bulls often get a bad rap. Check out this video and you may change your mind!

YouTube - Pit Bull Blues by John Shipe

Bill gives ‘dangerous’ dogs another chance - Legislature -

Bill gives ‘dangerous’ dogs another chance - Legislature -

Pet Trusts, Wills, Estate Planning - Plan Long-Term for Care of Cats, Dogs, Birds - AARP

This is such an important topic, even AARP is writing about it. If you don't plan for your pets, who will? To get more information, read "All My Children Wear Fur Coats - How to Leave a Legacy for your Pet" by Peggy R. Hoyt, J.D., M.B.A., B.C.S. or attend one of her Central Florida workshops on planning for your pets.

Pet Trusts, Wills, Estate Planning - Plan Long-Term for Care of Cats, Dogs, Birds - AARP

Woman Sentenced in Horse Fraud Case | NBC Los Angeles

Congratulations to the lawyers in this case!
Woman Sentenced in Horse Fraud Case | NBC Los Angeles

Center for Animal Advocacy visits SPCA of Central Florida

On Friday, the Center for Animal Advocacy, represented by Casey Taylor, Kim Radcliffe, and Peggy Hoyt, visited with Paul McGlone (and many other staff members and volunteers) at the SPCA of Central Florida.  We were given a tour of the facilities and learned lots about the new improvements they are making.  The cats are going to have a new space where they can get to an outside area and enjoy the sunshine.  Of course, there were tons of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies we would have loved to take home!  The SPCA of Central Florida is doing a great job of finding homes for its animals--but they get approximately 40 surrenders each day.  That's just too many people giving up their beloved pets.  All of the pets at the Orlando SPCA are owned - they aren't strays. 

The Center for Animal Advocacy also learned about many of the programs offered by the Orlando SPCA including their Shelter Friends Summer Camp--a week long camp for both 3rd to 5th graders and another for middle schoolers.  At the camp, kids will learn all about the animals at the shelter and how to take care of them.   We are hoping to participate as a speaker.

Support your local Central Florida SPCA and do your part, "until there are none, adopt one!"

For more information on how you can get involved with the Central Florida SPCA, visit their website or attend one of their Community Classes including Cats 411, Puppy Class, Pit Bull Class, Dog Behavior Workshop, and Obedience courses.  

Contact us at Casey@CenterforAnimalAdvocacy if you have a legal issue involving an animal.  We are here to represent Central Florida pets and their families. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Leaving a Legacy for your Pet - Estate Planning for Pets

This is a video clip of a recent interview with Peggy Hoyt regarding the importance of planning for your pets - in the event of a disaster, disability or even death. For more information visit

Introducing the Center for Animal Advocacy

Central Florida has a new law firm, the Center for Animal Advocacy, dedicated to preserving the rights of animals and their owners.  The firm will concentrate on all types of animal law issues but specifically in the following areas:
  • Veterinary malpractice cases.
  • Cases involving the wrongful death or injury to a companion animal.
  • Animal custody disputes in divorce or separations.
  • Housing disputes involving “no pets” policies and discrimination laws.
  • Pet trusts to include your pets as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
  • Dog bites or attacks (on animals or humans).
  • Pet Lemon Law related to sick pets purchased from pet stores or breeders.
  • Criminal law encompassing domestic violence and anti-cruelty laws.
  • Contracts for the lease or purchase of pets and horses.
  • Equine law issues including the sale, lease, boarding and transportation of horses.  
  • Rescue Group representation.
Our team is dedicated to assisting you in evaluating your rights and the rights of your pets.  Read more about our services and commitment to you and your pets –
Love your pets? Contact us -

Our team includes:  Casey Taylor, J.D. as Chief Operating Officer and our Attorneys D. Kim Radcliffe, J.D., L.L.M. and Peggy R. Hoyt, J.D., M.B.A., B.C.S.