Animal Welfare Issues

For over 18 months Lawyers for Companion Animals has provided a pro bono law service. We have assisted many people with their companion animal legal problems free of charge.

As of 7 January 2013 we will be unable to continue to provide a free service for private clients.

Our legal fees are $420 per hour. However, we can provide discounts for rescue groups and low income earners.

We will continue to provide a pro bono service in certain circumstances (for example chasing up cruelty complaints where it is alleged the RSPCA has refused to act or allegedly failed to take appropriate action). Another example includes pounds or shelters breaching Acts or Codes of Practice with regards to care of impounded cats and dogs.

Each matter will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and you will be advised in advance of fees and charges.

Specific issues that we may be able to provide general information and/or advice include:


  • Dangerous Dog Issues. If a council has threatened to declare your dog Dangerous or if you have received a Notice of Intention letter, please contact us immediately.
  • Menacing Dog Issues. If a council has threatened to declare your dog Menacing or if you have received a Notice of Intention letter, please contact us immediately.
  • Dog Destruction Orders. If a council ranger intimidates you and tells you you must surrender your dog and that you have no rights and that you will end up with a criminal record and over $10,000 worth of fines, please contact us. Sadly there are council rangers who bully dog owners and mislead them into surrendering their dogs, including advising them that they have no rights!
  • Barking dog Issue. If a ranger has approached you with regards to complaints about your dog barking please contact us immediately.
  • Nuisance Dog Issue. If a council has threatened to declare your dog Nuisance or if you have received a Notice of Intention letter, please contact us immediately.
  • Bullying and harassment (including termination of employment) from employers to those employees who have raised concerns about the welfare of companion animals (in pounds, shelters or pet shops)
  • Letters threatening defamation (including “whistleblowers“)
  • Poor regulation of the welfare of companion animals
  • Lack of proper transparent record keeping relating to companion animals, including births, sales, deaths and includes traceable transfer of ownership
  • Lack of transparency regarding sale of pets in pet shops including the sale of sick puppies and puppies who have not been properly socialised
  • Failure of pet shops to provide details of the breeder of the puppies and kittens as well as the parents of the puppies/kittens
  • Failure of the pet industry to acknowledge that there are different markets for puppies/kittens as opposed to full grown dogs/cats
  • Lack of regulation of back yard breeders and puppy farms
  • Issues surrounding cruelty to greyhounds
  • Alerting authorities to illegal dog fighting operations
  • How to making submissions to government agencies on issues relating to companion animal welfare
  • Possible reasons for the high numbers of healthy cats and dogs killed in Australia every year (estimated to be in the range of 250,000)

We are rectifying a technical problem with regards to Areas of Law Affecting Companion Animals.

In the meantime please click here