Conflict Coaching and Mediation Of Issues Over Animals

Conflicts, between people over animals, will always be with us. How we respond and resolve those conflicts is changing. At Hamilton Law and Mediation our focus is on the needs of our clients involved in a conflict about an animal BEFORE they resort to litigation.

Hamilton Law and Mediation is a premier New York law firm focused on the resolution of conflicts over animals using Mediation and Collaborative Process.

We work with pet owners who want to solve a conflict over a pet in a way that serves them and their pet.  We work with pet service providers who need a skill set to manage their expectations and their clients’ expectations in a way that addresses conflict early or if missed empowers them to solve conflicts for the benefit of all

Our clients love animals and want to do what is best for them.  Our valued clients know the need for authentic solution-oriented discussions and that is what we help them have and receive.

Our clients understand the benefit of employing our alternative dispute resolution method at the outset of their conflict because they alone have the knowledge about what’s best for them and their pet. We simply give them the chance to discuss that information in an environment where they can peacefully and respectfully pursue a mutual solution.

Because many people don’t have a clear understanding of the different methods of resolution available to them, they resort to litigation. We educate our clients while saving them time, money and emotional heartache. They can always choose to litigate. We empower them to make the most educated choice.

HLM’s approach to resolving animal conflicts enables our clients to retain a relationship with their adversary after the conflict is resolved –  a win-win solution to the conflict and the future relationship.

After seeking and failing to get legal advice on how to navigate a botched routine veterinary surgery that required costly emergency and intensive care that had serious financial repercussions, I was fortunate to find Debra Hamilton, who specializes in mitigation of issues concerning animals.

Backed by sound experience, Debra provided invaluable guidance as a conflict coach, giving moral support, and helping me find the right words to communicate with veterinarians and their insurance provider. She operates with ethics, compassion and dedication that were in keeping with my own personal morals and ethics, and guided me to a successful, non-adversarial resolution that I believe felt right for both parties.


I contacted Debra when I was having a pet custody dispute with my fiancée after a separation. My fiancée and I were not agreeing that I should be still be involved in our dog’s life and I was devastated.

After having contacted various attorneys to explore my options, I decided to try to search for pet mediators. I came across Debra’s name and some of the publications she had been featured in and decided to reach out to her to find out more about her services.

She was very timely in responding to my initial email and offered me a phone consultation to further discuss my situation. During the phone consultation, Debra was very knowledgeable and attentive regarding my circumstances.

I am pleased to announce that since then, my fiancée and I have come to an agreement where our beloved dog will remain a part of my life. I was very impressed with Debra’s promptness, understanding, and compassion to my situation.

Matthew L.

Thank you for the time sharing your wise counsel yesterday.  I realize this was precious time out of your busy schedule.  There is such an ease and friendliness to your approach which naturally would make anyone want a peaceful resolution to any dispute.  Your approach is so needed in this litigious society. Thank you again for your time.
Good luck to your red-haired baby.  They are a joy!
Regards, P.J. Kelley


Thank you for your time and speaking with me. I genuinely believe what you are doing with your career is fantastic.  If it were not for our call, I would be out a lot of money to an attorney who wanted to litigate. I wanted to send you an email of appreciation. It’s a hard time for me emotionally and having Z with me is making it a bit easier. 

Thank you for your help. BS & Z

I highly recommend Ms. Hamilton for veterinary mediation and law work. She exudes competence and compassion in all her work and relationships.

G Lynn Davis


Debra is kind and caring and very skilled in helping resolve issues surrounding our pets. She takes time to listen and offers wonderful guidance.

She recently assisted me with a health issue with one of my dogs and we are working towards a resolution. I would highly recommend Debra. She is dedicated and committed to getting to a positive outcome for all, especially our animals. Thank you, Debra.

Susan Wagner McKenna

New Jersey

Debra Hamilton is a great resource for pet parents. She taught me that setting up a trust and instructions on how I’d want my dogs cared for if something happened to me was of paramount importance.

It always made me very uncomfortable when my husband and I traveled together. What would become of our four furry babies, should tragedy strike? We don’t want to think that, but unless we’re prepared, our beloved animals are the ones who will possibly suffer.

Today, because of Debra’s insights and follow through, I have a safe haven for each of my dogs. Each trusted caretaker knows exactly how I’d want that pup cared for; their quirks and needs.

We pray this is proactive but never needed, of course, but I know that because of it, I feel so relieved and prepared! I highly recommend Debra for guidance, coaching, and legal services to prepare you to ensure your babies will be in good hands and live the life you’d want them to live.

Jody Miller-Young

Fashion Editor, Hamptons Pet Magazine, Bark And Swagger

I was in an irresolvable situation with Irish Setter Rescue, who contacted Debra. Debra provided a safe environment in which to resolve our conflict, to the satisfaction of all parties.

She set up a telephone conference in a timely manner and guided us through a very difficult but productive conversation wherein we were heard, respected, and which ended in a resolution that was truly in the best interest of the dog, and all the people involved I am so grateful to Debra, and would recommend her to anyone in conflict over animal custody.

Elizabeth Wood

Canine Behavior Specialist

We explain the benefits of employing mediation and
collaborative process to conflicts in:

Family Pet Conflicts Including:

• Divorce
• Civil partnership resolutions
• Estate matters involving surviving pets

Housing Animal Conflicts In:

• Coop / Condo
• Neighbor
• Landlord /Tenant
• Owner / Veterinarian; Groomer; Trainer; Dog Walker (and vice versa)

Breeder/Owner/Handler Animal Conflicts:

• Breeder / Owner Contracts
• Handler/ Owner contracts
• All Breed Club and Breed Club Relationships with members

Pet Service Providers In Conflicts Involving Animals:

• Owner / Veterinarian; Groomer; Trainer; Dog Walker (and vice versa)

How To Work Privately With Debra

Private Consulting

1.  30 Minute Quick Consult and Evaluation of a Conflict Situation
2.  90 Minute Deep Dive Conflict Consultation
3.  Customized Products, Services, and Corporate Retainers


Please contact Debra directly to discuss which of these options
is best suited for your situation prior to purchase.

As an animal lover and 21st century forward thinking lawyer, Debra fulfills the unique circumstances surrounding animal issues with effective and holistic mediation. For many people, pets are their children and that emotional connection is the heart and soul of Debra’s mission.

She is truly the go-to lawyer for ensuring that human and animal needs are properly attended to and resolved without the cost, time and stress of a court battle..

Jean Gillis, Esq.

Canine Behavior Specialist

When life decisions had to be made for a co-owned dog, Debra worked with all of us – the breeder, the co-owners, and the foster family. She helped us mediate our way to a solution that worked for the people AND the dog.

Avoiding a court battle was important to my husband and me. This was our first time using mediation and Debra guided us through the process. We will definitely use HLM if a future need arises.

Denise Porterfield

Thank you for making such a difference in our lives this year and giving of yourself so kindly.  You are truly an angel.

Joseph Malone

Debra's Work Has Been Featured On...

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