Animal Rights & Pet Laws
Exotic animals, pets, animals used for research or product testing, and service animals all have rights.
Most animal laws are at the state level or under city and county ordinances. However, some federal laws provide comprehensive rules. Common animal rights issues include buying and selling animals, animal care, noise, businesses within animal industries, hoarding, abuse, and animal bites or attacks.
Find a qualified attorney near you
Laws That Protect Animals
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is a federal law for animals used in research or kept in zoos. It also includes rules for commercially bred pets and some animal abuse.
Other notable laws include the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA), the Endangered Species Act, and the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT). Other laws typically fall under criminal, civil, personal injury, or consumer areas of the law.
Looking for common pet laws? Watch a comprehensive overview video of the laws related to pets and companion animals.
Animal Bites & Accidents
- Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
- Dog Bite Lawsuit Settlement Basics
- Dog Bites on Your Property
- What Is the 'One Bite Rule'?
- Dog Bite Laws by State
- Cat Bite Lawsuit Basics
- Does the Type of Animal Affect a Bite Injury Case?
- Types of Animal Bite Injuries
- Is it Legal to Break a Car Window To Rescue an Animal?
- "Hot Car" Laws for Pets
- Accidents and Animals: Pet Hit and Run Laws
Pet Laws & Adopting a Pet
- Dog Laws Overview
- What Are the Pet Adoption Laws in My State?
- Buying a Pet
- Who Gets the Pets in a Divorce?
- Dog Walking Business 101
- Animal Cruelty: Legal Definition
- Is Animal Neglect a Crime?
- Animal Cruelty Laws: It Is a Federal Crime
- States That View Your Pet as Property
- Gifting Dogs, Cats, or Other Pets
- Pet Insurance
Service Animals & Therapy Pets
- Service Animal Laws & Resource Guide
- Can I Bring My Pet to Work?
- A Business Owner's Guide to Service Dogs
- Emotional Support Animal Licenses Spurs New Laws
- Small Business Pet Policies
- Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act
- Is It Legal to Ask for Service Dog Papers?
- Upcoming Animal Advocacy Laws
- Emotional Support Animals: New Laws
Farm Animals & Animal Testing
- Keeping Farm Animals in the City
- Your Neighbors' Right to Farm
- Food Contamination from Animals
- Common Food Poisoning Sources
- Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Farm Animals Act
- The Farm System Reform Act
- Humane Cosmetics Act
- Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2017
- Horse Transportation Safety Act
Wild Animals & Exotic Pets
- Exotic Animal Laws by State
- Is it a Crime to Own an Exotic Pet?
- 5 Animals You Can't Keep as Pets
- Is There a Safe Haven Law for Wildlife?
- Is It Legal to Release a Wild Animal?
- Preventing Future Pandemics Act
- Big Cat Public Safety Act
- Captive Primate Safety Act
- Predator Control: Chemical Poisons Reduction Act
- Circus Animal Protection Act
- History of Wild Horse Legislation