About Us

Gartner & Associates Animal Law is Canada’s leading animal law firm. Located in downtown Toronto, we deal exclusively with animal law matters and are dedicated to helping clients resolve animal disputes with our tailored mediation and litigation services.

With extensive and specialized knowledge and experience in animal law matters, our team understands your issues and concerns.

Our practice areas include pet custody disputes, dog breed discrimination/bite allegations, veterinary malpractice, condominium disputes involving pets, wills and estates matters for surviving pets, resolving pet insurance claims, and animal care related negligence claims.


Lawyers

Suzana Gartner

Suzana Gartner

B.A., J.D., LL.M (ADR)

Following graduation from law school, Suzana completed her Master of Laws degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at Osgoode Hall Law School, combining mediation methodology with the field of animal law. Her LL.M. thesis focused on reducing euthanasia rates for homeless dogs and cats left in shelters in Ontario with a new sheltering model, ACAP, an acceptable companion animal philosophy. She is also currently writing a book on this topic.

Suzana speaks frequently on animal law issues. She proposes ADR methods for the resolution of animal related disputes. Suzana is a member of the Jackman Humanities Institute in Animal law at the University of Toronto. She serves on the Board of Advisors for Animal Justice Canada and serves as the Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Animal law section.

Suzana launched the first law firm in Canada dedicated exclusively to animal law matters. Her legal practice focuses primarily on dog owner’s legal concerns. She has experience dealing with alleged dog bite incidents, dog “breed” bans, dog custody disputes between separating couples, condo disputes with dogs, dog limits, and other legal issues dog owners might have to deal with.


Associates

Natasha Germanakos

Natasha Germanakos

B.Sc., M.Sc. Mediator Intern

Natasha is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph where she received her master’s degree in animal biosciences, with a specialization in applied animal welfare and behaviour. Natasha has experience researching the laws and regulations regarding Ontario’s companion animals, the animal cruelty section of the Canadian Criminal Code and Ontario’s captive wildlife regulations. Natasha is currently preparing to submit her research for publication.

Natasha’s extensive research into Canadian and Ontario laws and regulations regarding animal welfare inspired her to complete a Certificate in Negotiation at Osgoode Hall Law School. The certificate provided Natasha with the necessary tools and skills for dealing with cases involving negotiation and mediation.

Natasha has been dedicated to helping animals from a very young age and has always admired individuals who spoke up for those who cannot. She is excited for the opportunity to combine her love of animals with her passion for law at Gartner and Associates.


Students At Law

David Samuels

David Samuels

Summer Law Student

David comes to Gartner & Associates after receiving his law degree from the University of Exeter (LL.B.) in the United Kingdom. David also completed a BA in Law at Carleton University in Ottawa. While attending law school, David formed and managed an extracurricular peer group that actively administered voluntary research in the community and provided guidance to wrongfully evicted families. He gained legal experience while abroad through a two-year internship at Trowers and Hamlins, focusing on litigation, family and trust law.

David knew from an early age that animals would always be a part of his life. His passion has developed since he was a child, being raised around a wide range of pets. He trained his Bichon Frise to be a show dog who worked towards being a Canadian champion.  He currently owns a rescue dog, a Parson Russell Terrier, who required years of patience and understanding and has become well adjusted. He promotes the welfare of animals by donating to local animal shelters and supports the adoption process as he has adopted two cats.

In his spare time, David enjoys travelling, exercising, and playing tennis.

Nimisha Dubey

Nimisha Dubey

Summer Law Student

Nimisha is a second year law student at the University of Windsor who believes strongly in the power of oral advocacy and hopes to establish a career as a litigator to encourage judicial reform and provide a voice for those that need it most. She is a passionate animal rights activist and hopes to advance the field of animal law through her research and advocacy, while encouraging a lifestyle that supports the equality of all living beings. This Spring, Nimisha looks forward to presenting her paper entitled “Dogs on Death Row: Why Capital Punishment Still Exists in Ontario through the Current Legal Status of Animals as ‘Personal Property’” at the Windsor 10th Annual Canadian Law Conference in the presence of peers, faculty of law, and judges from across the country.

In her spare time, Nimisha enjoys reading non-fiction literature, relaxing with her dog, Duke, and developing her wine palate…preferably all at the same time.

Nimisha is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about this field and help animals while working with a team of like-minded professionals at Gartner & Associates Animal Law.


Firm Staff

YJ Noh

YJ Noh

Paralegal Student

YJ is in her last semester of paralegal education at Humber College, and she is due to take her licensing test in August 2017.

She is fascinated with the subject of law and wants to use her knowledge to help protect those who are vulnerable, specifically animals. YJ feels that animals deserve high levels of advocacy because they do not have the means to enforce or regulate their own welfare.

Her connection with animals has been fostered from an early age. Her passion to defend animal welfare was amplified when she began volunteering for the Etobicoke Humane Society. During her time at the shelter, she witnessed some of the many travesties that animals have to bear on a daily basis, and this emboldened her to dedicate herself to the protection of animals.

Although the shelter has brought to light some harsh realities, it has also served as an outlet of love. She has formed relationships with many animals at the shelter and has adopted two of the cats. They surround her with love at home and never cease to remind her that there are more animals in the world that need love and protection just as they do. That is why she is eager to integrate her passion for animal rights into her professional career at Gartner and Associates, and hopes to work towards changing the paradigm of how animal welfare is viewed on a grand scale.

Olena Stevenson

Olena Stevenson

BComm, CPA, CMA, Bookkeeper

Olena graduated from the University of Ottawa with a major in Accounting and earned her professional accounting designation as a Chartered Accountant. Olena is the firm accountant for Gartner & Associates and proud to be part of a team committed to giving a voice to animals in our society.

Olena also has her own bookkeeping and accounting firm OM Bookkeeper. Her firm focuses on providing bookkeeping to companies and non-profits working for good causes, specifically on animal welfare issues and vegan lifestyle.

Olena is very active with environmental and animal welfare causes. Olena dedicates her time volunteering for numerous organizations, such as: Toronto Bruce Trail Club, The Literacy Group, etc. She is founding a new charitable organization the Grand River Veg Association and working on Vegan Theatre project together with other animal lovers.

Samantha Galway

Samantha Galway

Summer Law Student, 2016

Samantha developed a strong relationship with animals from an early age. Prior to attending law school at Queen’s University, she was a competitive horseback rider for 15 years. Samantha competed internationally and trained with her horse Willow up to the CCI two-star level while completing a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology. She was the top intermediate rider, under 21, in Ontario in 2011 and the top placed Canadian at the Bromont CCI one-star in 2010.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Samantha trained an ex-race horse to the Pre-Training level but gave up competitive riding when she started law school. She is excited for the opportunity to merge her passions for law and animals while working at Gartner & Associates Animal Law.

Maura Dunk

Maura Dunk

Fall Law Placement Student, 2016

Maura has an undergraduate degree in classical civilizations and history from the University of Toronto. She is beginning her third year at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law in September and as part of their integrated practice curriculum is completing a 15 week placement with Gartner & Associates Animal Law.

She is the founder of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Chapter, which raised awareness about animal cruelty cases in Thunder Bay and held multiple fundraisers in support of the Thunder Bay Humane Society.

Maura has had a passion for animals her whole life and in her spare time writes a blog about palm oil and its adverse impact on the orangutan. She enjoys fitness, travelling, and spending time with her two wheaten terriers.

Maura is currently a summer student with Animal Justice Canada.

Services

Animal Law has many aspects. The links below lead to discussions of common issues and of the expertise Gartner & Associates can offer you if you are facing such issues.

Articles / Blogs

Here’s what we have been thinking about lately.