California

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Titlesort ascending Summary
Dixon v. City of Woodland
Detailed Discussion of California Great Ape Laws In California, all gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, and gibbons are classified as “wildlife” that must be restricted by the state for their own health and welfare. According to the legislature, it is necessary to regulate the import, possession, use, and treatment of Great Apes because “many animals die in captivity or transit…some keepers of wild animals lack sufficient knowledge or facilities for the proper care of wild animals … [and] some wild animals are a threat to public health and safety.”The following discussion begins with a general overview of the various state statutes and regulations affecting Great Apes. It then analyzes the applicability of those laws to the possession and use of apes for specific purposes, including their possession as pets, for scientific research, for commercial purposes, and in sanctuaries. The discussion concludes with a compilation of local ordinances which govern the possession and use of apes within geographic subdivisions of the state.
Deanna Wilson, the guardian of her beloved Avain companions v. PETCO Animal Supplies, INC. and DOES 1-10
Davis v. Gaschler


In this California case, plaintiff noticed two women in the process of assisting an injured dog, which was owned by defendants, while driving down the road. Plaintiff, an experienced dog breeder and handler, assisted the women and was bitten by plaintiff's dog. The dog had not been vaccinated for rabies, and plaintiff was required to undergo antirabies treatment. Plaintiff sought appeal of the lower court's granting of summary judgment for the defendant. The Court of Appeal reversed. It held that defendants had the burden to establish that this was a case of primary assumption of the risk-where, by virtue of the nature of the activity and the parties' relationship to the activity, defendants owed no legal duty to plaintiff. The court held that the complaint alleged facts sufficient to impose a duty on the part of defendants, based on allegations that they owned and negligently controlled the dog that bit plaintiff.

Davert v. Larson


On April 6, 1982, plaintiffs sued defendant Thomas Larson and others owned by defendant and others as tenants in common, for damages for negligence after plaintiffs' automobile collided with a horse.  On October 21, 1983, the trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment finding he owed no duty of care to plaintiffs as a landowner because his 1/2500th interest in the property was small and he exercised no control over the management of the property.  The Court of Appeal reversed

, holding that tenants in common of real property who delegate the control and management of the property to a separate legal entity should not be immunized from liability to third parties in the case of common area torts.  The Court found that it was clear that considerations of public policy require that any departure from the common law rule of liability of individual owners of property in common cannot operate to the substantial detriment of third parties. 

Conway v. Pasadena Humane Society



This appeal presents the question of whether animal control officers can lawfully enter a home, absent a warrant or consent, to seize and impound the homeowner's dog for violation of a leash law. The court held that that the Fourth Amendment precludes such conduct, where

entry of home to seize dog was not justified by exigent circumstances.  Further, the statute and municipal ordinance permitting animal control officers to impound dog found on private property did not authorize seizure in violation of Fourth Amendment.


Concerned Dog Owners of California v. City of Los Angeles


Dog owners mounted a constitutional challenge to a Los Angeles municipal ordinance that required all dogs and cats within the city to be sterilized. The Court of Appeal held that the ordinance did not violate the owners’ freedom of association rights, free speech rights. or equal protection rights. The court held that it was not unconstitutionally vague, was not outside of the city's police powers, did not vest unfettered discretion in city officials, did not constitute an unconstitutional prior restraint or an unconstitutional taking. Finally, the law did not violate individual liberties under the California Constitution.

Colleen Harrington v. David Hovanec, and DOES 1 through 20 inclusive This California complaint for damages raises five causes of action: (1) gross negligence; (2) trespass to chattel; (3) conversion; (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (5) violation of California Civil Code Section 3340 (related to damage to animals as property). The lawsuit arose from the negligent and/or intentional shooting of plaintiff's dog by defendant in May of 2004. According to the complaint, plaintiff's dog was shot at least thirteen times by defendant's two different guns.
Chee v. Amanda Goldt Property Management
Plaintiff, Lila Chee, a resident and owner of a condominium unit, appealed from a judgment entered in favor of all defendants on her complaint seeking damages for personal injuries she suffered when a dog belonging to Olga Kiymaz, a tenant of another unit in the same complex, jumped on Chee. In affirming the lower court's award of summary judgment, this court held that the landlord had no duty in absence of landlord's actual knowledge of dog's dangerous propensities. Further, the landlord was not liable to owner for nuisance. Finally, the condominium covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R's) did not impose vicarious liability on landlord.
CALIFORNIA VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, Plaintiff & Respondent, v. City of West Hollywood, Defendant & Appellant This California action concerns the adoption of an ordinance in 2003 by the City of West Hollywood that prohibits the de-clawing of house cats. Amici Curiae Animal Legal Defense Fund ("ALDF" ), the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (" A V AR" ), and the Paw Project submitted a brief to assist the Court in its determination of whether the ordinance at issue on this appeal legally prohibits non-therapeutic onychectomies (commonly known as " de-clawing") of domestic animals within the City of West Hollywood. The California Superior Court found that the Business and Professions Code section 460 preempts a municipal ordinance that attempts to regulate veterinarian procedures. The Amici contend that the CVMA examines only one section of the Code and disregards other sections that apply. Further, the amici find that the CVMA’s “. . . members have a pecuniary interest in performing the acts that the City has determined to be cruel.” On Friday, June 22, 2007, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles ruled 2-1 that a city can regulate the conduct of its professionals provided it does not prohibit procedures that state law expressly allows.

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