Dallas Lawyer Specializes in Animal Welfare and Rights

Plus, if you want to bequeath your savings to Sparky she'll help you set up a pet trust

"I know of at least three cases where someone is living next to someone with 20 dogs," McDaniel says. "They are bombarded with the stench and the noise. There's nothing in the [current] ordinance that says you can't have 20 dogs living next to you."

Many breeders oppose putting a limit on the number of animals a property owner can have. "It's difficult to put limits because, as I said, animals are property," Eisenstein says. "Texas is a big property state. I think you have to show there is a problem. But if there are too many dogs, the location may not be sanitary and the dogs end up living in crates. The dogs aren't socialized." And that creates problem pets.

Another proposed ordinance would prohibit tethering dogs to trees or posts, with the rationale that it injures or makes animals aggressive.

Yolanda Eisenstein, who specializes in pet legal issues, with her pal Marley
Yolanda Eisenstein, who specializes in pet legal issues, with her pal Marley

The proposed ordinance that may elicit the most howls of protest requires owners to spay or neuter all cats or dogs more than 4 months of age.

"The concern is there are too many dogs, too many cats, too many animals that can't be adopted," Eisenstein says. "It's so sad how many animals are euthanized."

The "Responsible Pet Owners Alliance," based in San Antonio, has asked members to send protests to Dallas council members, saying the proposals are unworkable and stem from the "animals rights" agenda to end "all use, breeding and ownership" of animals.

"Every ordinance we are proposing is subject to high interest on both sides," says McDaniel. "For example, the tethering ordinance—the staff disagrees with that. The fear is that dog owners will turn their pets loose and we will have more strays on the streets than we do now."

Get ready for more dog fights. Given how creative lawyers can be in looking for new opportunities, we may begin seeing "wrongful impregnation" lawsuits, fights over wills that leave the bulk of a parent's assets to Cupcake instead of Junior and problems with "illegal immigration."

"There are cases where breeders are importing purebred puppies from Ukraine," Eisenstein says. "A lot of them don't live through the trip. Then the animals are supposed to be quarantined and vaccinated. [Law enforcement] can't police that. It's impossible. They don't have the resources."

Eisenstein expects lots of business in the future as our pets become as important to us as our kids. She should know. She takes her Airedale terrier Marley to work with her.

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