"Pets and Life" Legal Issues about Pets(2)

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1. Your Dog's Bark and Your Neighbors

When you own a pet (especially a dog), you may face some challenges with your neighbors because your pet makes too much noise. If your neighbor or neighbors demand some resolution, do you have to comply with it?

You cannot always control your dog barking, but it is possible to have your dog make noise no more than necessary by giving enough food or taking it to walk. Generally speaking, one has to take into account how loud the dog is, how often and which time periods it barks, and how far your neighbors are from your house, and decides whether the dog's noise is within the limits of maximum permissible level for the neighbors.

In case of a lawsuit concerned with reparation for a dog's noise in a residential area, the court has ruled as following: "The animal's breeder owes the duty care to look after the dog with affection, feed it regularly, walk it to have the dog get some exercise, train it on daily activities, and even order a dog trainer if necessary so that the breeder does not cause a nuisance with the dog's extraordinary bark to his or her neighbors as long as the breeder lives and owns a dog in a residential district."

As you have seen, the owner does not owe any responsibility if the dog barks within in the limit of normality, but when the dog's noise is extraordinarily loud and frequent, and exceeds the limits of maximum permissible level, the owner does owe the duty to prevent the dog from barking too much and if he or she neglects it, the person may become subject to making reparation for damages. Therefore, when you notice your dog is too loud that it may cause a nuisance to your neighbors' everyday life, you are obliged to take some measures to ease your dog's noise.

2. Getting into a Store and Going on a trip with Your Dog

It may sometimes occur that store clerks prohibit you from getting into a restaurant with your dog. This is because shop managers have the right to determine who to let in, and therefore you have to comply with it when your entrance with your pet is rejected.

Other facilities including hotels and inns may have their lodging agreements in which they state no pets allowed. The statement itself prohibiting customers from bringing their pets is reasonable and therefore is not against the Inns and Hotels Act.

However, nowadays the number of hotels allowing pets is increasing. These hotels include the kind that allows pets to stay with their owners or the kind with which you can leave your pets. When you plan to go on a trip with your pet, you must make sure if the hotel allows it. If they find you bringing your pet without informing and if the pet has caused any damages, you are subject to the obligation of compensation for the damages, and may be required to leave due to the breach of contract.

It is absolutely better to look for in advance a place allowing pets or a facility where you can leave your pet with in case of going on a trip with your pet.

On the other hand, when physically handicapped people bring their helper dogs to shops or hotels, these facilities cannot reject their entrance with their animals, according to Act on Assistance Dogs for Physically Disabled Persons. The same rule applies to public transportation.