Recovery of "Non-Economic Damages" for Wrongful Killing or Injury of Companion Animals: A Judicial and Legislative Trend (pdf file - 144.54 KB)
The emotional bond between humans and their animal companions can be as strong as that experienced between two people, and animal companions are often looked upon and treated as members of the family. When they are wrongfully killed or injured, however, the legal system traditionally has not adequately recognized this important relationship. Instead, recovery has been limited to the market value of the animals. It is time for state laws to explicitly acknowledge the significance of the human-animal companion relationship and codify recovery for such non-economic injuries as emotional distress and loss of companionship. This article examines why damages for such non-economic harm are justified and sets forth an explicit legislative proposal to remedy the injuries suffered by humans whose animal companions have been wrongfully harmed.