Animal Law

2 posts

When Fido is Family: How Landlord-Imposed Pet Bans Restrict Access to Housing

By Kate O’Reilly-Jones

Renters today face widespread landlord-imposed pet restrictions. At the same time, Americans increasingly view their pets as family members, and many do not see giving up their animals as an option when looking for housing. Consequently, pet-owning renters often struggle to find suitable places to live and end up compromising on quality, location, and safety. As homeownership drops and renting becomes more prevalent across the United States, landlord-imposed pet restrictions increasingly constrain choices, effectively reducing access to housing for many Americans. These policies particularly impact low-income families and those with socially-maligned dog breeds.

This Note analyzes how landlord-imposed pet restrictions burden renters with dogs, with a particular focus on renters in the Los Angeles area. Parts II and III explain how legal and cultural attitudes toward pets are evolving, and how public and private restrictions constrain pet ownership. Part IV discusses the impact of landlord-imposed pet restrictions on renters and compares the situation to non-rental contexts in which people have sacrificed their own well-being to protect their pets. Part V asserts that the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause and the penumbral right to privacy can be interpreted to protect pet-owning families from government-imposed pet restrictions. It argues that while these constitutional protections do not apply in the private rental context, they do suggest that landlords unreasonably infringe on renters’ privacy interests and that legislators should act to constrain landlord control.

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Leashed: How Veterinarian Noncompetes Accelerated Industry Consolidation

By Logan Wilke

The veterinary services industry, once characterized by locally-owned general care providers, has been rapidly consolidating into one dominated by multinational conglomerates. These corporate consolidators leverage their size and capital both to fund acquisitions and to attract debt-laden veterinary school graduates with above-market starting salaries. Whether they join a corporate practice through entry-level hiring or an acquisition, veterinarians typically become bound by employment contracts containing restrictive noncompete provisions. Regardless of their specific terms, legal enforceability, or actual enforcement, these noncompetes appear to keep young associates from leaving to competitors until later than they otherwise would have. These provisions serve to withhold scarce labor from competitors, which has increased pressure on independent veterinarians to sell their practices and accelerated consolidation.

In detailing the effects of veterinary consolidators’ use of noncompetes, this Note lends support to a broad federal rule prohibiting these provisions without an exception based on income or job function. A rule eliminating all veterinarian noncompetes except those covering practice owners or those used in the sale of a practice can best foster more equitable and sustainably competitive growth in the veterinary services industry.

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