Largo-based lawyer specializes in pet law services

April Goodwin and her dog Chewie (photo: courtesy of Goodwin)

April Goodwin—an attorney and founder of Largo-based The Goodwin Firm, a law firm specializing in pet law services—recalls in a “Talking Animals” interview what animals meant to her growing up in a small town in Western Ohio.

Goodwin remembers feeling protective of animals back then, which may have telegraphed the work she’d go on to do as a lawyer many years later.

She explains that she’s been a lawyer for 22 years, working as a prosecutor, and in various other capacities: employment and business law, etc. But in 2015, feeling she wanted to strike out on her own—and be her own boss—she launched The Goodwin Firm.

Having read an article some years prior noting that pet law services were recession-proof, she opened her firm offering those service along with employment law representation.

By 2018, Goodwin says, the pet law side of the business was really starting to take off, a trend that’s not only continued in the ensuing years, but gained momentum.

She addresses the firm’s most common type of pet law case (pet custody), and one of the firm’s most unusual cases, involving ducks in an apartment building pond, and the grim fate of one resident’s pet duck.

We discuss the fundamental importance underlying so many pet law matters that, legally, animals are considered property. Goodwin also responds to my inquiry about the prospects of challenging Breed Specific Legislation or policies.

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