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.


Suzana Gartner

Suzana Gartner

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

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 emerging field of animal law. Her LL.M. thesis focused on reducing euthanasia rates for homeless companion animals in shelters with a new animal welfare model, an Acceptable Companion Animal Philosophy (ACAP).

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 is the Past-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 companion animal guardian’s legal concerns. She has successfully helped clients deal with alleged dog bite incidents, dog “breed” bans, dog and cat custody disputes between separating couples, condominium disputes involving pet (s), including pet limits, and many other animal-related disputes.

Aram Simovonian

Aram Simovonian

B.A.A., LL.B., LL.M

Aram obtained his LL.B. from the University of Birmingham Law School. In 2016, he graduated with a Master of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.

There are a number of roles that animals play in modern society; indeed, they may be categorized as athletes, vehicles and law enforcement animals. Aram’s primary interests are these varying legal definitions which certain animals are subjected to under provincial and federal legislation. He is further interested in the relationship between animal ownership and property disputes, specifically relating to the categorization of animals as ‘personal property’.

Aram is excited to join the team at Gartner & Associates Animal Law and use legal principles and arguments in order to advance animal welfare needs across Canada.


Students At Law

Maxine Jagdeo

Maxine Jagdeo

B.Comm, J.D. (CDN), J.D. (US) Fall Law Student 2017

Maxine is a recent graduate of the Dual Program at the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She developed her strength in oral advocacy while working at the 36th District Court in Detroit and through various moot competitions. She is excited to use this skill to speak on animal law issues.

Maxine has always had a passion for helping animals and hopes to dedicate her life to making a tangible difference in advancing the rights of farmed and companion animals. She is a vegan, making the welfare of animals a personal commitment. Maxine supports the work of local animal shelters through donations and is involved with the care and maintenance of a feral cat colony in Windsor, Ontario. She also has an adopted black cat.

David Samuels

David Samuels

Fall Law Student 2017

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.

Firm Staff

Olena Stevenson

Olena Stevenson


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.

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.


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.

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