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April 7, 2021
Animal Law CLE Presented by Katie Barrett Wiik and Brian Linnerooth

Katie Barrett Wiik and Brian Linnerooth recently presented “Pet Ownership Disputes in Minnesota” as part of the Animal Law Webcast Series co-sponsored by Minnesota CLE and the MSBA Animal Law Section.

Katie and Brian explored the facts and decisions in several recent Minnesota appellate cases involving pet ownership disputes, including the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision in Zephier v. Agate, in which the Court made an important ruling that Minnesota’s abandonment statute supplements, rather than abrogates, Minnesota common law regarding abandonment of personal property. The webinar also discussed the court of appeals’ decisions in Boehm v. Glick and Hamiton v. Aase, the latter of which Brian and Katie handled at the Minnesota Court of Appeals. 

While current Minnesota law continues to treat companion animals and household pets as tangible personal property, several other states have moved away from this approach in recent years to consider the interests of the animals as well as the humans involved. Katie and Brian also discussed other areas of law in which disputes relating to animals may occur, such as in divorce or other family law matters, orders for protection, contract disputes regarding horse purchases and stabling, and disputes regarding the care for animals removed from their owners due to abuse or neglect.

This session and the entirety of Minnesota CLE’s Animal Law Webcast Series can be viewed at If you or your client has a potential dispute regarding animals, Best & Flanagan has relevant experience to bring to their matter.