Pets and the Law in BC

  • Recorded on: March 28, 2023

  • Length: 60 minutes


Lawyers Rebeka Breder and David Turner answer common questions about pets and the law in British Columbia. Learn how to deal with such issues as the neighbour’s noisy (albeit cute) puppy, who gets to keep the cat after a breakup, and what extra precautions you might take when adopting that soulful rescue dog with a “troubled past.”


In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Examples of everyday legal issues that arise in relation to pets. [4:10]

  • What to do if you’re hosting a party where there will be children and a guest wants to bring their dog, and you have previously seen the dog get worked up around children. [7:45]

  • What happens to your pet if you and your partner split up. [11:55]

  • What happens when your aging parent has pets that will likely outlive them. [16:25]

  • Whether your child, who has been walking the neighbour’s dog for pocket money, is responsible for the dog’s actions during their walks. [19:50]

  • What it means to have a “dangerous” dog and whether a rescue dog with a “troubled past” would require extra care. [25:20]

  • Whether you would be considered negligent if your dog dug a hole under the fence, entered your neighbour’s yard, and damaged their garden. [30:40]

  • Whether a neighbour in a residential neighbourhood is breaking any laws when their new puppy barks at all hours of the night, and how to deal with a neighbour without ruining your relationship. [32:25]

  • Whether you need to report a neighbour whose pets appear to be in very poor health. [35:15]

  • How to address a pet-related noise complaint when you live in a strata complex. [38:35]

  • How to deal with people who don’t respect off-leash areas when you or someone you care for has a fear of dogs. [43:20]

  • What rights you have if you’re bitten by a dog at a park. [48:25]

  • The legal responsibility of a pet sitter if something happens to the pet under their watch. [51:45]

  • What responsibility dog rescue organizations have after an adoption if it proves to be an inappropriate fit. [57:15]


Rebeka Breder

Rebeka Breder

Rebeka is the founding lawyer at Breder Law, Western Canada’s first exclusive animal law firm. Her combined experience of over 30 years in the animal protection movement and as a practising lawyer makes her a leading animal law lawyer in Canada. She has experience at all levels of court and various tribunals. Rebeka is the founder and chair of the Animal Law section of the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, and also sits on the board of directors of various animal protection organizations.

David Turner

David Turner

David Turner is a partner at EKB, a Vancouver law firm. He has a civil litigation practice with a focus on commercial litigation, employment law, and administrative law. His clients include individuals, small and medium privately held corporations, and pharmacies. David prides himself on obtaining a cost-effective resolution on his files. He has appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia, as well as before such tribunals as the Human Rights Tribunal and the Employment Standards Tribunal.

Attendee feedback

“The info provided was well put together and very informative. Great job!”

“As a dog owner it was very enlightening as to the types of problems that may arise and how to approach resolution.”

“Good advice re legal obligations of pet owners.”

“This was very welcoming; thank you for providing this. As an animal lover and someone who wants to advocate for animal rights, I feel a sense of relief knowing their rights are being instilled in the courts.”

“This far exceeded my expectations. I was calling in for work purposes but it was super helpful personally as I am a dog owner. Thank you!!!”

“The webinars are brilliant.”

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This website explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. The cases we refer to reflect real experiences, but names have been changed. See our full disclaimer.

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