Companion Animal Law (LAW-446)

This course provides an intensive examination of contemporary companion animal law and policy issues in the judicial and legislative arenas. The United States has witnessed a surge in the population of companion animals over the past thirty years and the vast majority of Americans now regard companion animals as members of the human family. Yet, in all fifty states, the law categorizes companion animals (like all animals) as property. This course introduces students to the diverse legal and policy issues that affect companion animals. Among the topics students will examine include: anti-cruelty laws; the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence/intimate partner violence; tort laws relating to injury or death of a companion animal caused by private individuals or government actors, including the measure of damages; breed specific legislation; service and assistance animals; custody disputes; animal testing and experimentation, and more. In doing so, this course explores the challenges and opportunities available to advocates interested in companion animal protection issues.