The Dog Days of Summer: The Legal Trivia of America's Most-Loved Pets!


Summer is slowly coming to a close, but the sweltering heat has by no means stopped us from taking our dog to the beach for a run, or on a stroll around the neighborhood.

Throughout history, dogs have played a huge role in the lives of humans, so much that they're often considered part of the family. Legislation has been adjusted to reflect the desire to care for these noble animals. Here's some interesting dog-related legal trivia that you may not have known:

1. Dogs are now being used to illustrate Supreme Court cases - #puppyjustice.

John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight, strongly believes and discusses in an episode back in October 2014 that the way SCOTUS topics are broadcasted to the media is boring. He suggests that the best way to broadcast this is to reenact SCOTUS discussions with footage of cute dogs, since the Supreme Court Justices are only allowed to be recorded via audio. See the hilarious bit here, as well as a brief reenactment of Florida v. Clayton Harris.

2. The value of dog bite claims have soared.

As of 2014, the value of dog bite claims is roughly at $530.8 million, compared to the $324.20 million it was at in 2003, California, Ohio, and New York (in that order) are the top three states that are raking in the dough on dog bite claims, ranging from vicious dog attacks to incidents where errant canines knocked over the elderly, children, cyclists, and (naturally) the mailman, resulting in blunt force trauma injuries.

3. Even dogs are entitled to their trust funds!

New York hotel heiress Leona Helmsley died in 2007 and left Trouble, her white Maltese, $12 million in a trust fund after turning her back on her relatives. About $100,000 was spent annually on Trouble's care and $3 million went towards burying the pooch in the family mausoleum back in December 2011.

4. Traveling with your pup can potentially be dangerous.

If you've traveled often enough, you have had your checked luggage go missing, or end up on the wrong flight. While you can survive without your clothes for a day or so, and certainly your clothes can survive without you, would your dog survive such an error? In 2012, United Airlines was sued for the death of 3-year old Bam Bam, who reportedly had been overheated in the cargo hold of a delayed flight.

5. Protection for Hot Dogs?

Sixteen states have legislated against leaving canines confined in cars under circumstances that could cause injury, death, or harm to the animal. Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia are looking out for the well-being of our four-pawed friends.

6. Pooper-scooper laws includes everyone, even the President of the United States.

The first law regarding the picking up of dog feces began in 1971 in Nutley, NJ after a Great Dane continued to leave his feces all over the neighborhood. New York City followed up in 1978 with it's own Canine Waste Law, enforcing a $50 fine for first offenses. This law affects all dog-owners, and that's including our own President Obama who admits to picking up after his Portuguese Water Dog, Bo.