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DETERMINING THE VALUE OF COMPANION ANIMALS IN WRONGFUL HARM OR DEATH CLAIMS: A SURVEY OF U.S. DECISIONS AND AN ARGUMENT FOR THE AUTHORIZATION TO RECOVER FOR LOSS OF COMPANIONSHIP IN SUCH CASES.

Marcella S. Roukas


Animal Legal & Historical Center
Publish Date:
2007 (updated 2011)
Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law
Printable Version

DETERMINING THE VALUE OF COMPANION ANIMALS IN WRONGFUL HARM OR DEATH CLAIMS: A SURVEY OF U.S. DECISIONS AND AN ARGUMENT FOR THE AUTHORIZATION TO RECOVER FOR LOSS OF COMPANIONSHIP IN SUCH CASES.

The law in United States categorizes animals as personal property. As a result, recovery of damages for the loss of a companion animal is oftentimes the fair market value. This inflexible approach to companion animals fails to distinguish between personal property such as a chair and a beloved pet.  Needless to say, awarding damages at fair market value serves as little or no deterrence for the tortfeasor. This is especially true in cases where the companion animal lacks pedigree or special training.  However, some decisions have authorized human guardians of companion animals to plead and recover the “unique value” of the companion animal. Such decisions reflect a shift in the court’s view of companion animals, which acknowledges public policy concerns for the guardian of the companion animal. This article discusses the law in United States concerning recovery of damages in cases involving harm to companion animals and the reasoning behind why courts should acknowledge such a recovery.  

"He is the friend and companion of his master, accompanying him on his walks; his servant aiding him in his hunting; the playmate of his children, an inmate of his home, protecting it against all assailants." In his well-known tribute to the dog, United States Senator Vest characterizes him as "the one absolutely unselfish friend a man may have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, never fails him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous." [1]

 

INTRODUCTION

It is not unusual in the United States to find a companion animal being treated as a family member.[2] Such treatment can be attributed to Americans forming strong bonds with their companion animals, or even having a companion animal in lieu of children.[3] Where the latter takes place, a human guardian may become extremely devastated when his or her companion animal is harmed or killed in a wrongful manner.[4]

Domestic and captured wild animals are recognized as personal property at common law.[5]  As a result, the valuation of damages for the loss of a companion animal is often times the fair market value.[6] This inflexible approach to determining the value of a companion animal fails to distinguish between personal property such as a chair and a beloved pet.[7]  Needless to say, awarding damages in the amount of the fair market value of a companion animal serves as little or no deterrence for the tortfeasor. This is especially true in cases where the companion animal is not a pedigree or lacks special training.[8] This writing explores the social and psychological valuation of a companion animal in the United States. In addition, the writing covers decisions in the United States that authorizes a human guardian to plead and recover the “unique value” (cases involving intrinsic damages) of their companion animal.[9] 

Such decisions reflect a shift in the court’s view of companion animals, and acknowledge public policy concerns for the guardian of a companion animal.[10] Currently, several jurisdictions allow recovery for intentional infliction of emotional distress, mental pain and suffering, and/or punitive damages where the tortfeasor has engaged in an intentional harm and/or gross negligence involving a companion animal.[11] This writing covers federal and state decisions concerning recovery for “loss of companionship” damages for intentional or grossly negligent acts resulting in the death of a companion animal.[12]  

The writing is organized in the following manner: Section II covers the legal roots concerning the classification of companion animals; Section III gives a succinct overview of companion animal valuation; Section IV details the social and psychological value human guardians of companion animals place on their companion animals; Section V surveys both federal and state decisions on damages for harm to companion animals; and, using all of the material that precedes it, Section VI concludes on the topics discussed throughout the writing.

 

II. THE LEGAL CLASSIFICATION OF COMPANION ANIMALS

The U.S. legal framework on the law of property is a creature of the common law.[13] According to common law, animals are considered personal property.[14]           

The concept of animals as property is not, however, an original creation of the common law. Its lineage lays in antiquity. Steven Wise, in several articles dealing with, among other things, the history of the legal status of animals, notes that the present view of animals as property is based on the ancient Stoic view of the world. In this vision, the world was created for the benefit of humans who crown the natural hierarchy.[15]          

To illustrate this view, Steven Wise, in Rattling the Cage, astutely points out how Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, in his Politics, said “that all nonhuman animals were created for (Great Chain of Being) the sake of humans”.[16] Nevertheless, Greek philosophers such as Plato, a Pythagorean, elevated the moral status of animals, and practiced vegetarianism.[17] Religious philosophy also played a crucial role in defining modern views concerning the property status of animals.[18] According to traditional Christian theology, treating animals as mere property stems from belief systems that maintain humans as having a superior status in the world, and that animals are not legitimately the subject of such moral rights.[19] Interestingly, such belief systems were not only used to oppress animals, but applied to support slavery and the subjugation of women.[20]  

In the Seventeenth Century, Africans brought into the U.S. were bought and sold as chattel. During this same period, women, once married, became the property of their husbands. Possibly the biggest barrier to the exertion of rights by either group was their status as property. Similarly, the subordination of non-human animals stems from a refusal to recognize that animals have interests of their own.[21]

In line with these traditional and historical systems of belief, American jurisprudence has failed to recognize that companion animals have their own interests. As a result, the companion animal continues to hold little value and legal status as mere property.[22]  Nevertheless, progress concerning the legal status of companion animals is occurring outside the US. France altered its legal system by amending its 300 year old civil code to recognize companion animals as “protected property/living sentient beings.”[23]  In contrast, the U.S. legal framework concerning the legal status of animals involves a look at the common law. At common law, property rights for such animals were maintained as a result of the animal’s mobility. Classification for these animals was divided between wild and domestic.[24] If the animal is considered to be a “wild animal” a property right held by an individual would only exist upon the capture or taming of such a beast.[25] If the wild animal escaped, the property right held by the individual would disappear as well.[26] However, the holder of a property right to a domestic animal would not lose this property right if the animal escaped.[27]  Where the animal is categorized as a companion animal (a subcategory of domestic animals), a holder of this property right has more rights to the animal, but may have more duties under statutory law concerning the treatment and care of the companion animal.[28]  The property status concerning companion animals has been under scrutiny where strained definitions of property such as “animate, constitutive, sentimental, sentient or personhood” have arisen on behalf of companion animals.[29]

Nevertheless, the property status concerning companion animals in the United States remains intact. It is important to note that legal decisions and legislative action have actually improved the status of companion animals by providing their human guardians with a greater valuation for the companion animal, and damages in excess of the fair market value for the companion animal in question.[30]

 

III. VALUATION OF COMPANION ANIMALS

Working under the assumption that a wrongful injury or death to a pet has occurred, the question of appropriate valuation (economic and non-economic value) arises.[31] In an attempt to place a pet owner in the position prior to the wrongful harm or loss of her companion animal, damages are calculated based on the fair market value of the companion animal at the time of its death.[32] “Because of these property-based notions of animals, tort law applied to the personal property concept and as to the valuation of animals.”[33]  Various courts agree that the following factors are appropriate to consider in adequately compensating the owner, in excess of the fair market value: the “age” of the animal; the general “health” of the animal; the specific “breed” of the animal; the special “training” of the animal; the “usefulness” of the animal; and the “special traits or characteristics of value” of the animal.[34]

Companion animals with champion blood lines or popular purebreds can cost hundreds, and even thousands of dollars. However, a problem concerning adequate compensation arises when the majority of companion animals are mixed breeds that have little or no calculated value. The owner of a companion animal would tend to disagree with the courts system for the valuation of a companion animal.  A strong argument can be made that the legal system’s valuation of a companion animal is not in line with what an average pet owner is willing to spend on veterinary bills in order to preserve such chattel.[35]

 Notwithstanding an owner’s willingness to pay exorbitant amounts for treatment, only veterinary care that is reasonable and not in excess of the fair market value of the companion animal is used as a measure for the recovery of normal and foreseeable consequential damages arising from harm to the animal.[36] If the market value of the animal cannot be determined, courts have engaged in assessing the animal’s value (pecuniary value) to the owner.[37] “In some cases, human guardians of companion animals have been able to plead and prove damages resulting from the sentimental loss experienced” upon their companion animal’s wrongful death.[38]

Where the companion animal is a victim of a tortfeasor’s reckless or intentional acts, some courts have also authorized recovery for punitive damages.[39] “In assessing the appropriateness of punitive damage awards, some courts seemingly use a test of proportionality, and examine whether the amount of punitive damages is proportional to the amount of actual damages awarded.”[40] Punitive damages compensate a human guardian of a companion animal for injury to his/her companion animal, and punish the tortfeasor for his/her behavior.[41]

The following factors are taken into consideration by the courts when determining an award for punitive damages: degree of malice; amount needed to punish the defendant; wealth of the defendant; sentimental value of the companion animal; and degree of pain and suffering displayed by the human guardian of the companion animal.[42] Interestingly, the courts assessment of compensatory damages has generally been low, and in turn, results in a low recovery rate for courts deciding to apply punitive damages.[43]

The recovery of “mental pain and suffering” is considered within the broad policy and practical conflicts on the issue within each jurisdiction.[44] American jurisprudence has a history of being unwilling to award damages for “mental pain and suffering.”[45] The strongest argument for this reluctance lies in the court’s assumption that the floodgates may open.  Moreover, fraud and issues of proof, while inherent to any action, are also a concern for courts, as is the questionability of to whom the defendant may be liable.  It is the fact that these damages are not tangible, and there exists unpredictable liability for the defendant based on peculiar claims of value to the owner.[46]

“Some animal advocates believe that ‘loss of companionship’ for the death of a companion animal has the potential to evolve into a separate cause of action for non-economic damages.”[47] However, courts have rejected these claims as an independent cause of action.[48] The basis for this rejection stems from a traditional adherence to animals maintaining property status or the continuation of a state’s wrongful death statute preventing recovery for emotional distress and loss of companionship for the loss of a child or spouse.[49] Courts that take the stance of not allowing  for the recovery of non-economic damages have based their decisions on science, public policy, and legal reasoning existing centuries ago, and thus not in tune with the modern times.[50]

Historically, the common law was reluctant to claims for emotional distress and loss of companionship, even in the case of humans.[51] Nevertheless, not all decisions within the U.S. legal framework have entertained the archaic view of awarding damages only where a physical impact is present or at the fair market value. The decisions below will shed light on how harm to companion animals is measured and when recovery is authorized from a federal and state standpoint. Some of the decisions are in favor of increasing damages for the value of companion animals, while other decisions have perpetuated a companion animal’s property status. The cases are listed in alphabetical and chronological order.

 

IV. FEDERAL AND STATE DECISIONS ON DAMAGES FOR HARM TO  COMPANION ANIMALS

Federal Decisions

In the case of Hatahley v. United States, 351 U.S. 173 (1956), a group of Navajo Indians living in Utah sued the government under the Federal Torts Claim Act, to recover the confiscation and destruction of horses and burros that were kept as pets and uniquely valued to the owners.[52] The federal agents confiscated these animals and then sold them to a glue factory.[53] The petitioners vehemently argued that these horses had unique and sentimental value to them, and served as a means of income to yield crops. Although the government agents argued that they were authorized to engage in this taking pursuant to the Utah Abandoned Horse Slaughter Act, the trial court ruled in favor of the petitioners.[54] The court awarded the petitioners a judgment of $100,000 based on the fair market value, consequential damages for deprivation of use, and “mental pain and suffering” of the petitioners.[55] The decision was reversed and remanded to the District Court with instructions to assess damages with sufficient particularity.[56] According to the Court, in order to plead damages with sufficient particularity, calculating the replacement cost of the animal included costs related to the purchase of a new animal of the same breed, immunization, neutering, and comparable training, and a disregard to the valuation of pain and suffering had to be made.[57]

In Mitchell v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 188 F.Supp. 869 (S.D. Cal. 1960), an expert was allowed to testify about a dog’s income-potential based on evidence that the dog could perform special tricks and made numerous appearances at charitable events.[58] A jury verdict amounting to $5,000 was upheld where the court determined that the amount was not excessive and evidence of the dog’s income potential was not improper.[59]

In the case of Gluckman v. American Airlines, Inc., 844 F.Supp. 151 (S.D.N.Y. 1994), the companion animal was negligently stowed in the cargo hold during an airline flight, which resulted in its death.[60] The plaintiff alleged that he suffered intentional infliction of emotion distress from the death of his companion animal.[61] Plaintiff made a claim for loss of companionship.[62] The court dismissed these claims, and held that no cause of action existed under New York law to recover for pain and suffering or loss of companionship.[63]

[2011 Update: In Stephens v. Target Corp., 482 F.Supp.2d 1234 (9th Cir. 2007), Plaintiff lamp owners brought action under Washington Products Liability Act against the lamp’s manufacturer and seller, alleging that the lamp caused a fire that destroyed their personal property and injured their dog. The District Court held that Plaintiffs could not recover damages for emotional harm arising from damage to or destruction of their personal property, or arising from injury to their dog. The appropriate measure of damages for personal property is market value, but if it has none, then the value to the owner is the proper measure. Plaintiffs' recovery was limited to the actual or intrinsic value of the dog. Washington law did not allow for a separate recovery for loss of companionship or emotional harm for a dog's injury.]

Such decisions at the federal level are limited, however, these cases illustrate how some courts have taken a black and white approach to assessing the value of companion animals, while other courts have reached beyond the property status and taken the unique value of a pet into consideration.

The cases below concern state damages and recovery for companion animals, and are listed in the alphabetical order of the state.

 

State Decisions

Alabama

In Parker v. Miser, 27 Ala. 480 (Ala. 1855), the court recognized that at common law, an action existed for the conversion or injury to property, and acknowledged dogs as property.[64] The court went on to note that some amount of nominal damage existed for the wrongful killing of an animal, even in the absence of a precise amount.[65] Where the killing of the animal was done in reckless disregard, a plaintiff could seek punitive damages.[66]

In a gruesome case also out of Alabama, the defendant broke into the plaintiff’s home in search of the dog that bit his daughter.[67] The defendant had asked the plaintiff to kill the dog and have it tested for rabies, but the owner refused to do such a thing.[68] Upon finding the dog, defendant took the dog from the plaintiff’s home, killed it, and then decapitated its head to test the head for rabies. Devastated, the plaintiff filed suit alleging damages for emotional distress.[69] The Appellate Court did not address the claim for emotional distress and instead found that any damage was too remote and unforeseeable to grant recovery.[70]

On November 2, 1920, on a “moonlit night”, plaintiff was fox hunting by a railroad track when his dog was hit by the train.[71] Plaintiff claimed that defendant’s employee negligently ran over his dog while acting within the scope of his duties as an operator of the train.[72] In Louisville & N.R. Co. v. Watson, 208 Ala. 319 (1922), the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a jury award of $50,  and held that it was proper for the plaintiff to show the excellent hunting qualities displayed by this dog to determine its market value.[73] 

Alaska

In Richardson v. Fairbanks North Star Borough, 705 P.2d 454 (Alaska 1985), the companion animal’s market value was determined at the time of death and did not include subjective estimations of the animal’s value.[74] The owner of the companion animal made a claim for non-economic damages where the dog was mistakenly killed by an employee of an animal shelter.[75] The court stated that they were willing to recognize a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress in an appropriate case.[76] The court ruled that the severity of plaintiff’s mental distress did not warrant such a claim.[77] 

In a recent case, the Alaska Supreme Court moved beyond fair market value, establishing that “value to the owner may be based on such things as the cost of replacement, original cost, and cost to reproduce.”[78] (Mitchell v. Heinrichs, 27 P.3d 309 (Alaska, 2001).  The case involved a woman who shot the plaintiff’s dog when it came into her yard and allegedly threatened her livestock.[79] In deciding upon recovery for mental distress, the Court took note of case law in other jurisdictions that authorized such damages for harm to companion animals.[80] The Alaska Supreme Court specifically declined, however, in allowing the plaintiff to include sentimental value as a component of the actual value to her as the dog’s owner.[81]                                                                                                                  

Arizona

Arizona courts look at animals purely from a property classification. For example, in Roman v. Carroll, 621 P.2d 307 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1980), plaintiff’s poodle was dismembered by a St. Bernard while plaintiff was walking the dog in the neighborhood.[82] The poodle died two days after the attack.[83] The plaintiff stated that during the attack she experienced great emotional distress and feared for the safety of her poodle and herself.[84] She then claimed that she was entitled to a trial on the question of damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress due to her close relationship with her pet poodle. The court disagreed and held that the poodle was personal property, pursuant to a state statute and that a plaintiff could not recover damages based on the negligent infliction of emotional distress from witnessing injury to property.[85]

[2011 Update: In Kaufman v. Langhofer, 223 Ariz. 249, 222 P.3d 272, 274 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2009), review denied (May 20, 2010), a pet owner sued a veterinarian and a veterinary clinic for veterinary malpractice after his scarlet macaw died. The plaintiff brought claims for professional negligence, wrongful death, negligent misrepresentation, and damage to and destruction of personal property. The main issue on appeal was whether a pet owner is entitled to recover emotional distress and loss of companionship damages due to the death of a pet. While the court acknowledged the emotional distress Plaintiff suffered over the macaw’s death, he was not entitled to recover emotional distress or loss of companionship damages since the defendant veterinarian’s negligence did not directly harm him. The court felt it inappropriate to expand Arizona common law to allow a pet owner to recover emotional distress or loss of companionship damages because that would offer broader compensation for the loss of a pet than for the loss of a human. The judgment of the superior court was affirmed.]

Arkansas

Case law out of Arkansas, awards damages based on the fair market value at the place and time of the killing.[86] However, if evidence is not available in that location, outside locations may be considered.[87] Evidence concerning the qualities of a particular breed by an out-of-state breeder is also admissible.[88] In McDaniel v. Johnson, 225 Ark. 6 (Ark. 1955), a neighbor intentionally shot and killed the plaintiff’s pointer bird dog.[89] The defendant neighbor admitted to intentionally killing the dog to protect his property.[90] In affirming an award of actual and punitive damages, the court held that punitive damages were available where the defendant acted in a willful, malicious, and wanton manner.[91]

Thirty-five years later, a verdict for consequential and punitive damages was reversed for the conversion of a three-legged dog in Elliot v. Hurst, 307 Ark. 134 (Ark. 1991).[92] The appellee in this case had placed an ad stating that he had a certain breed of dogs for sale.[93] When appellant went to see the dogs, she noticed a serious leg infection.[94] After consulting with the local prosecutor’s office and an animal organization, she returned to the owner’s home to take the dog in for treatment.[95] The consulting veterinarian determined that the leg had to be amputated. The court held that the recovery was limited to the market value at the time prior to the amputation.

California

In 1919, a California court determined damages to be limited to the veterinary expenses connected with the injury to the animal.[96] (Roos v. Loeser, 41 Cal. App. 783 (Cal. App. 1919).  The case in question involved the untimely death of a Pomeranian dog.[97] In the opinion, the court lovingly discusses the value of the animal as follows: “The Pomeranian was small, weighing about four and a half pounds, but history discloses that the small dog had rendered modest, but heroic service and by his fidelity has influenced the course of history.”[98] Notwithstanding these words of praise for the small animal, the court decided that the value was limited to the fair market value and related expenses.

In Dreyer v. Cyriacks, 112 Cal. App. 270 (Cal. Ct. App. 1931), an altercation at defendant's house ensued, and as plaintiffs were leaving in a car, defendant fired shots from a rifle toward the vehicle.[99] The owner’s dog that was riding in the car was shot by one of the bullets.[100] Plaintiffs argued that the dog was worth $ 150,000 to $ 200,000 because he was a German police dog that appeared in movies and was a gift to humanity.[101] The court held that dogs are personal property and their value should not be of the kind recovered for a human being.[102] Therefore, the verdict of $100,000 in compensatory and 25,000 in punitive damages for an intentional killing was deemed to be in excess.[103]

In Wells v. Brown, 97 Cal. App. 361 (Cal. Ct. App. 1950), damages were assessed beyond the purchase price of a dog involved in a hit and run case where the defendant negligently ran over and killed a 15 month old pure-bred Waeimaraner.[104] After the defendant ran over the dog, he shot the dog and buried it.[105]  The next morning he contacted the veterinarian listed on the collar, as well as the owner of the dog.[106] The court upheld the jury verdict of $1,500 since the purchase price was determined to not reflect the market value at the time of the dog’s death.[107] The decisions out of California continue to recognize animals as property, and recovery at fair market value. However, legislation in California was introduced on February 13, 2003, which would authorize an owner of a companion animal to recover up to four thousand dollars for the loss of society, and loss of companionship experienced by the owner.[108] Nevertheless, the bill never passed, and exceptions to the bill significantly hampered its purpose by limiting liability to specific locations, circumstances, and individuals.[109]

[2011 Update: In McMahon v. Craig, 176 Cal. App. 4th 222, 1506, 97 Cal. Rptr. 3d 555, 557-58 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009), as modified on denial of reh'g (Aug. 31, 2009), Plaintiff's dog died after surgery due to veterinarian’s negligence. Defendant then lied to Plaintiff and falsified treatment records. Plaintiff sued Defendant, alleging claims for, inter alia, veterinary malpractice and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court also held that the owner could not recover emotional distress damages. The defendants' alleged acts of malpractice did not meet the prerequisites for an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim because they were neither directed at the plaintiff nor were they done in her presence.  Because the plaintiff was not present at the scene when the injury-producing event occurred, she did not fall under the “bystander” category of persons to whom a duty to avoid causing emotional distress is owed. The defendant’s conduct was not so extreme or outrageous as to support a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court also found that it would be incongruous to impose a duty on a veterinarian to avoid causing emotional distress to the owner of the animal being treated, while not imposing such a duty on a doctor to the parents of a child receiving treatment. In addition, the court cited concerns over increased litigation by pet owners that would have a significant impact on the courts' limited resources. The court felt that extending emotional distress damages to owners of companion animals for veterinary malpractice may have an unknown or even chilling effect on the cost and availability of veterinary care. The court held that a dog's value as a companion was not recoverable as an element of the dog's “peculiar value” to its owner.  “Peculiar value” under Civil Code section 3355 refers to an item's characteristics that enhance its economic value to the owner, and does not include the owner's emotional attachment to it. Therefore, the plaintiff could not recover damages for loss of companionship based on her dog's peculiar value to her.]

Colorado

In Burlington & M.R.R.R. in Nebraska v. Cambell, 14 Colo. App. 141 (Colo. Ct. App. 1899), plaintiff’s horse was killed by a train.[110] Although the court reversed the verdict for the plaintiff for failure to prove defendant’s negligence, the court allowed witness testimony on the market value of the mare.[111] Other cases following Burlington, have held that recovery is calculated by determining the difference between fair market value before and after the injury and reasonable veterinary expenses incurred.[112] In radical contrast to the decisions in Colorado, the legislature proposed an exceptional bill that authorized non-economic damages capped at one hundred thousand dollars.[113] The bill acknowledged a modern view of animals in the following language: “[c]ompanion dogs and cats are often treated as members of a family, and an injury to or the death of a companion dog or cat is psychologically significant and often devastating to the owner.”[114] The bill even provided liability without an exemption for veterinarians who practiced in a negligent manner resulting in the killing of a companion animal.[115] Unfortunately, Colorado’s model bill did not get passed. Yet, it may serve as an effective tool for the drafter proposing similar legislation in their state.

Connecticut

A decision in 1885 held consequential losses as a result of the harm to an animal to be a proper element of damages in addition to the fair market value of the animal.[116] (Brown v. Southbury, 53 Conn. 212 (Conn. 1885).  In a more recent decision, the court acknowledged the limitation to the fair market value, but stated that other damages are sometimes allowed.[117] (Altieri v. Nanvati, 41 Conn. 317 (Conn. Super. 1989).   The plaintiffs in this case sought recovery for the emotional distress they experienced when their Lhasa Apso (dog) was neutered without their consent.[118] The court went on to discuss a Connecticut Supreme Court decision that disallowed bystander emotional disturbance claims arising from medical malpractice on another person.[119] The court further stated that “[t]here is no reason to believe that malpractice on the family pet will receive higher protection than malpractice on a child or spouse.” In line with the unfavorable case law coming out of Connecticut, a failed bill that was proposed in 2002, allowed for economic damages and punitive damages.[120] This bill was never passed as a result of not receiving responses on the house floor.[121]

Delaware

Decisions in Delaware only acknowledge the fair market value approach before and after the injury, with interest.[122]

Florida

Florida is given special acknowledgement for its relatively long history of recognizing that companion animals are more valuable to an owner than the mechanical fair market value. The case of Wertman v. Tipping, 166 So. 2d 666 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1964), for example, set the wheels in motion for companion animals when the court affirmed a verdict of $1000, for a purebred dog.[123] The court declined in only applying the fair market value and held that recovery could include special or pecuniary value to the owner.[124]  Two year later, The Florida Supreme Court decided Laporte v. Associated Indpendents, Inc., 163 So. 2d 267 (Fla. S. Ct. 1964), and concluded: “(T)he affection of a master for his dog is a very real thing and…the malicious destruction of the pet provides an element of damage for which the owner should recover, irrespective of the value of the animal.”[125] The facts in Laporte involved a defendant garbage man who laughed after he crushed plaintiffs’ dog to death upon throwing a garbage can on the tethered dog.[126] The Court held that plaintiffs were entitled to recover mental suffering as an element of damages since the act was malicious.[127]

In Levine v. Knowles, 197 So. 2d 329 (3rd DCA 1967), the court found that plaintiff was entitled to proceed with a claim for punitive damages when the veterinarian intentionally cremated the plaintiff’s pet to destroy evidence of veterinary malpractice.[128] In a landmark verdict, the court in Knowles Animal Hospital v. Wills, 360 So. 2d 37 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1978), upheld a jury award of $13,000, when an animal hospital left plaintiff’s dog on a heating pad to burn for two days.[129] The court found gross negligence and authorized an award for plaintiff’s pain and suffering.[130] Finally in Johnson v. Wander, 592 So. 2d 1225 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1992), the Florida Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision to not allow claims for punitive damages and emotional distress after a veterinarian had left plaintiff’s dog to endure severe burns when the dog was left on a plugged in heating pad.[131] Strangely enough, it is not an uncommon occurrence for veterinarians to burn companion animals.[132]

Florida’s progressive trend was hampered by the decision in Kennedy v. Byas, 867 So. 2d 1195 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2004).  Kennedy appears to be one of the strongest limitations for owner’s of companion animals.[133] In that decision the court concluded:

One area that was identified as having the gravity of emotional injury and lack of countervailing policy concerns to justify exceptions to the impact rule involves familial relationships, such as injury to a child as a result of malpractice. See Welker. We decline to extend this exception to malpractice cases involving animals. As we stated in Bennet v. Bennet, 655 So. 2d 109, 110 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995), "While a dog may be considered by many to be a member of the family, under Florida law animals are considered to be personal property." In making this point we have not overlooked the decision of the Florida Supreme Court in La Porte v. Associated Indeps., Inc., 163 So. 2d 267, 269 (Fla. 1964).[134]

The court further concluded:

We acknowledge there is a split of authority on whether damages for emotional distress may be collected for the negligent provision of veterinary services. See Jay M. Zitter, Annotation, Recovery of Damages for Emotional Distress Due to Treatment of Pets, 91 A.L.R. 5th 545,  §§ 3 and 4. We find ourselves in agreement, however, with the New York courts which recognize that while pet owners may consider pets as part of the family, allowing recovery for these types of cases would place an unnecessary burden on the ever burgeoning caseload of courts in resolving serious tort claims for individuals. Johnson v. Douglas, 187 Misc. 2d 509, 723 N.Y.S. 2d 627 (N.Y. Supp. Ct.), aff'd, 289 A.D. 2d 202, 734 N.Y.S. 2d 847 (N.Y. App. Div. 2001). We decline to carve out an exception to the impact rule for cases involving veterinary malpractice.[135]

The Kennedy court’s decision to side with the New York courts indicates a shift in the wrong direction for owners of companion animals. Effective tools similar to the enacted legislation in Tennessee (discussed below), can be used to statutorily erode the split of authorities discussed above, and protect a Floridian’s right to recover damages when their companion animal is wrongfully harmed or killed. 

Georgia

In line with most states, a decision out of Georgia held that the value of an animal could be proved using the market value, including certain qualities such as the particular breed.[136]  However, in the recent decision of Carroll v. Rock, 220 Ga. App. 260 (Ga. Ct. App. 1996), a cause of action for pain and suffering and punitive damages was upheld, but reversed based on certain facts.[137] The facts in that case involved a plaintiff who took her cats to the veterinarian to be neutered, but upon returning to claim her cats she was informed that one of the cats had escaped.[138] The veterinary clinic never found her cat, despite their efforts in searching the area and contacting animal control.[139] According to a “Vindictive Damages Statute” relied upon by the plaintiff, a defendant had to have acted in a malicious, willful or wanton manner for the recovery of “mental pain and suffering.[140]” The court determined that an action for emotional distress and punitive damages did not exist since the veterinary office had not acted in a malicious, willful or wanton manner.[141]

Hawaii

In 1981, the Hawaii Supreme Court issued a victory decision for companion animal owners.[142] In Campbell v. Animal Quarantine Station, 632 P.2d 1066 (Haw. 1981), Princess, the family dog, died of heat prostration after being left in a hot, unventilated, state agency transportation van for at least an hour after arrival at a local animal hospital.[143] The family did not find out about the death of their 9-year-old female boxer until the next day when they received the fateful phone call. The issue in this case was whether the family had to witness the dog’s death to recover for mental distress.[144] On appeal, the Supreme Court found the owners and their four children could recover a combined $1,000 award against the state based on foreseeability of the dog’s death and the unreasonable actions of the state.[145] Interestingly, the award was upheld even though the family never saw the dead dog’s body, and never sought medical or psychiatric care for their emotional distress.[146] The Court held that the lower “court correctly applied the standards of law enunciated in our previous holdings in this area, and the issues of whether the damages were proximately caused by the defendant and have resulted in serious emotional distress to the plaintiffs are therefore within the discretion of the trier of fact.”[147] Essentially, the Hawaiian Supreme Court “eliminate[d] the preconditions of time, place, relationship, and physical injury that are imposed by other jurisdictions.” 

Idaho

Similar to Hawaii, Idaho is one of the few states that apparently authorizes recovery for infliction of emotional distress. In Zenier v. Spokane Intern. R. Co., 78 Idaho 196 (Idaho 1956)[148], a rancher’s mare and colt was killed, and the rancher sought statutory damages and attorney fees. [149] A jury found for the rancher and imposed damages mainly on his testimony as to value.[150] The railroad sought review, stating that the rancher's own negligence in allowing the horses to run barred recovery and there was no objective evidence as to value.[151] The court upheld the award, finding that the animal’s value to the rancher was permitted as a basis for determining damages where personal property has been injured by the willful or negligent act of another.[152]

In a more recent decision in Idaho, the plaintiffs alleged that defendant "negligently and recklessly" shot and killed their donkey, and since the donkey was a pet, it caused the plaintiffs to suffer "extreme mental anguish and trauma."[153] The court went on to state that if the plaintiffs could prove that the defendant acted recklessly and as a result, had caused them to suffer extreme “mental pain and suffering,” then recovery could be sought for intentional infliction of emotional distress.[154] Because the plaintiffs made no allegation of physical injury, a recovery for this cause of action was not allowed.[155] Nevertheless, the court held that in the case of harm to a companion animal, mental distress was a proper basis for recovery where specific facts were alleged and proven.[156]

Illinois

One of the earliest cases recorded in Illinois, concerning damages and recovery for a companion animal dates back to 1871.[157] In this case, plaintiff sought recovery for his dog that was shot and killed when it entered into defendant/neighbor’s backyard.[158] The Court held that the plaintiff could recover at least nominal damages, regardless of the fact that the animal had no actual market value.[159] D One year later, a decision out of Illinois authorized recovery of an animal based on the qualities, traits, consequential losses, and the market price.[160] (Spray v. Ammerman, 66 Ill. 309 (Ill. 1872).  Over a century later in Demeo v. Manville, 68 Ill. App. 3d 843 (Ill. App. 2 Dist. 1979), a hit and run case, the treating veterinarian stated that the cause of the dog’s death was due to either a beating or a car running it over.[161] Defendant denied plaintiff’s allegations that defendant ran over the dog and used a cover-up story.[162] The court upheld an award of five-hundred dollars although the purchase price was two-hundred.[163] Plaintiff testified that he paid $200 for his dog when it was a puppy, but it had appeared in four shows, winning first prize in each.[164] Evidence was considered for commercial value and special qualities in that case.[165] Similarly, in Jankoski v. Preiser Animal Hospital LTD, 157 Ill. App. 3d 818 (Ill.App. Ct. 1987), plaintiffs sought recovery for loss of companionship, loyalty, security and friendship of their wrongfully killed dog.[166] Plaintiffs alleged that defendant veterinarian improperly administered anesthesia and failed to monitor their dog afterwards.[167] The court held actions such as loss of companionship were not permitted in Illinois.[168] The court’s reasoning was as follows:

The Brousseau court [in New York] did not, as plaintiffs ask us to do, recognize loss of companionship as an independent cause of action, but rather considered it as an element to be used in measuring the actual value of the dog for purposes of calculating damages in a property damage case. In doing so, it followed the previously discussed rules regarding the assessment of damages in cases where the object destroyed has no market value. In line with these cases, we believe that the law in Illinois is that where the object destroyed has no market value, the measure of damages to be applied is the actual value of the object to the owner. The concept of actual value to the owner may include some element of sentimental value in order to avoid limiting the plaintiff to merely nominal damages.[169]

As such, Illinois does not allow loss of companionship as an independent cause of action, but it can be considered as an element.[170] In 2005, the Anzalone v. Kragness Animal Hospital LTD, 356 Ill. App. 3d 365 (Ill. App. Ct. 2005), court held that although an award for $100,000 was excessive, dismissal was not proper on solely those grounds.[171] Plaintiff in this case sought recovery for intentional infliction of emotional distress when a Rottweiler dog mauled plaintiff’s cat to death while visiting a private veterinary clinic.[172]  The court acknowledged the Jankowski precedent and held that the value of a pet to an owner could include elements of sentimental value to avoid the injustice of nominal damages.[173]

[2011 Update:  In Leith v. Frost, 387 Ill. App. 3d 430, 430-31, 899 N.E.2d 635, 637 (Ill. App. Ct. 2008), Plaintiff dog owners sued the Defendant after his Siberian husky entered their backyard and attacked their dachshund. The trial court found in Plaintiffs' favor with an award of $200, the dog’s fair market value, rather than the $4,784 in veterinary expenses. On appeal, the Court stated that a reasonable person in Defendant's position should have reasonably foreseen that, if his dogs escaped and seriously injured Plaintiffs' pet, Plaintiffs would feel obligated to pay more than a nominal amount for veterinary care. While the court recognized fair market value is the traditional ceiling for damage to personal property, Illinois courts have held that certain items of personal property have no market value. Thus, the basis for assessing compensatory damages in such a case is to determine the actual value to the Plaintiff beyond nominal damages. The Court adopted the rationale “[W]hen an injured pet dog with no discernable market value is restored to its previous health, the measure of damages may include, but is not limited to, the reasonable and customary cost of necessary veterinary care and treatment.” This Court found that the dog’s worth to Plaintiffs was established by the $4,784 Plaintiffs paid for the dog's veterinary care. The Court affirmed the trial court's judgment, but modified the damages amount.]

Indiana

Seider v. Dill, 137 Ind. App. 177 (Ind. App. Ct. 1965), involved a companion animal that was shot and killed by the defendant neighbor who alleged that the dog was after his livestock.[174] A statute in Indiana provided that a person was authorized to kill a dog “known” for “roaming” that harmed or threatened to harm the livestock.[175]  A verdict of six hundred dollars for the wrongful killing of the dog was affirmed.[176] Hunter, J. in a concurring opinion stated the following on dogs:

[T]he indiscriminate killing of a dog, without proof of more cannot be justified especially when such a dog is a child's or a household pet or the companion of an elderly person or a seeing-eye dog of a blind person, which dog regularly has a place of abode and is regularly fed by a master and is often temporarily beyond the control of, or who momentarily escapes or eludes the custody of,  its natural master and after a short absence will customarily return to the place of abode or custody of its master. We hold that neither should a dog, when in the pursuance of natural animal instincts, and is not vicious, or committing acts of injury, or a nuisance and is not a public health menace be considered "roaming" within the purview of Burns' § 16-204. In other words, a dog should not be judicially declared to be the object of target practice merely upon the whim of a person who would justify its killing simply on the grounds that it was outside the custody of, or momentarily and temporarily beyond the immediate recall command, of its master without proof of more than the strict hard language of the statute Burns' § 16-204.[177]

Unfortunately, the wise words of Judge Hunter were not adhered to, and the case was overruled thirteen years later in Puckett v. Miller, 178 Ind. App. 174 (Ind. App. Ct. 1978), as to defendant’s immunity for killing a dog that trespassed on to property and bothered the livestock.[178]

Iowa

Between the time period of 1865 and 1996, little or nothing has changed concerning the valuation of companion animals in Iowa.[179] (See the 1865 case of Anson v. Dwight, 18 Iowa 241 (Iowa 1865).  Early case law established that damages could be recovered based on habits, traits, breed, and purpose.[180] Recent case law held that damages can be determined by the purchase price, breed, usefulness, and habits.[181] In addition, the Iowa Supreme Court in Nicholas v. Sukaro Kennels, 555 N.W. 2d 689 (Iowa 1996), flatly rejected an argument for the intrinsic value of a companion animal.[182] Progress in history is not always linear, as evidenced in this state.

Kansas

Case law in this state recognizes the availability of punitive damages where the act is willful, wanton or malicious.[183] (Mc Donald v. Bauman, 199 Kan. 628 (Kan. 1967).  Veterinary costs and consequential losses are also allowed in determining damages (while it should be noted that the animal at issue in Webber v. Patton, 221 Kan. 79 (Kan. 1976) was a domestic pig versus a companion animal, and the award of damages was secured by a statute that allows recovery for all damages for attacks on domestic animals by dogs).[184]

[2011 Update: Burgess v. Shampooch Pet Industries, Inc. 2006 WL 908691 (Kan.App.) presented an issue as to the proper measure of damages recoverable for injury to a pet dog. The plaintiff's dog, a 13-year old dog of negligible market value, suffered a dislocated hip after being groomed at defendant's business. The appellate court found the award of damages based on the veterinary bills was proper where the bills were not disputed and represented an easily ascertainable measure. The court held that when an injured pet dog with no discernible market value is restored to its previous health, the measure of damages may include, but is not limited to, the reasonable and customary cost of necessary veterinary care and treatment.]

Kentucky

In Burgess v. Taylor, 44 S.W. 3d 806 (Ky. Ct. App. 2001), plaintiff owned two horses for over 10 years and cared for like children.[185] When plaintiff became ill and could no longer care for the horses, she hired boarders who promised to care for the horses and let her visit with them when plaintiff desired.[186] Upon obtaining possession of the horses, the callous boarders quickly sold the horses for slaughter.[187] After months of searching and attempting to locate her horses which had been slaughtered by then, the devastated plaintiff brought suit against the boarders for intentional infliction of emotional distress.[188] The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld an award of $50,000 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.[189] Kentucky is one of the six states that authorize recovery for infliction of emotional distress in cases in which an animal has been wrongfully harmed or killed.[190]

Louisiana

Plaintiff’s father brought an action and recovered for infliction of emotional distress when defendant shot and killed the child’s horse that was also pregnant.[191] The Court of Appeal in Brown v. Crocker, 139 So. 2d 779 (La. Ct. App. 1962), upheld an award of $250 for shock and mental anguish experienced by the child who could not stop crying about the loss of his horse and the colt that never was.[192] In 1984 in Quave v. Bardwell, 449 So. 2d 81 (La. Ct. App. 1984), the court upheld an award of $2,650, finding that the assessment of damages for plaintiff’s dog were proper since they were based on the value paid, stud fees, medical care, loss of income, and replacement costs.[193]

Maine

In Chapman v. Decrow, 93 Me. 378 (Me. 1899), the court held that a defendant who killed a dog could not plead that the dog was unlicensed as a defense.[194]

Maryland

The Maryland statute, Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Judicial Proc. § 11-110(b), codifies common law by stating that the measure of damages in the tortious injury or death of a pet is “the market value” of the pet before the injury or the reasonable cost of veterinary care, not in excess of $5,000.[195] In addition, Maryland proposed a bill in 2002, which allowed an owner of a companion animal to recover up to $25,000 in non-economic damages, where intentional acts of harm to a companion animal were proven.[196] Unfortunately, the 2002 bill was never passed.

Massachusetts

In Krasnecky v Meffen, 56 Mass App. Ct. 418 (Mass App. Ct. 2002), the plaintiffs sought damages for emotional distress, loss of companionship, and society when defendant’s dogs broke into plaintiff’s backyard and killed their seven sheep.[197] The plaintiffs loved their sheep like a parent would love a child, and went so far as to throw birthday parties for them. [198]

Plaintiff’s counsel, Steven Wise, Esq., also instructed the court to consult a text on veterinary ethics, which defined companion animals to include the plaintiff’s sheep within the definition.[199] The court did not address the issue concerning the emotional distress claim, but instead stated that the class of persons authorized to recover were “persons” closely related to the injured person.[200] Furthermore, Justice Jacobs noted that it would be irrational for plaintiffs to have greater rights in the case of a companion animal than in a case of the tortious death of an immediate family member.[201]

In Legislation, Massachusetts proposed a bill that provided for the fair monetary value of a wrongfully killed companion animal, to include loss of companionship, loss of society, comfort, protection and service.[202] In cases where punitive damages are warranted the legislation provides for a minimum award of $2,500 where willful, wonton, or reckless conduct is the culprit of the injury or death of a companion animal.[203] According to a law review article in 2003, by Elaine T. Byszewski, Tennessee’s T-Bo Act of 2002, is the first and only companion animal bill that has passed.[204] Tennessee’s T-Bo Act will be discussed later in the writing.

Michigan

In Koester v. VCA Animal Hospital, 244 Mich. App. 173 (Mich. Ct. App. 2000), plaintiff brought his dog to the veterinarian for weekend boarding.[205] Specific instructions to not place a collar on the dog because of a condition were disregarded.[206] The dog developed an unusual swelling and was negligently bandaged, which resulted in strangulation, according to a necropsy.[207] The Michigan Court of Appeals held that there was no cause of action for emotional distress concerning personal property.[208]

Minnesota

In Soucek v. Banham, 524 N.W. 2d 478 (Minn. Ct. App. 1994), the Appellate Court held that non-economic damages and punitive damages were not recoverable in the killing of a pet.[209] Consistent with existing law in Minnesota, the Appellate Court declined to regard companion animals as anything more than personal property.[210]

Mississippi

In 2002, Mississippi legislation proposed a companion animal bill that provided up to $5000 in liability for the negligent or intentional killing of a companion animal.[211] Although the bill was never passed, the intent of the bill was to make the owner of a companion animal whole again for loss of companionship.[212]

Missouri

The state of Missouri authorized punitive damages in a case where defendant maliciously took plaintiff’s dogs to a veterinarian to be euthanized for previous fatal attacks on defendant’s sheep.[213] (Propes v. Griffith, 25 S.W.3d 544 (Miss. Ct. App. 2000).  The court upheld damages in the amount of $4000.[214]

Montana

In Bedford v. Jorden, 215 Mont. 508 (Mont. 1985), plaintiff brought suit for veterinary malpractice against veterinarian alleging that veterinarian willfully or by gross negligence broke pet bird’s wing.[215] The bird was brought in for a second treatment and died at the veterinarian’s clinic shortly thereafter.[216] The court ruled that no prima facie evidence for negligence existed, let alone willful conduct.[217]  In McPherson v. Schlemer, 230 Mont. 81 (Mont. 1988), plaintiff’s cows were killed by defendant when they wandered onto the highway.[218] The court determined that damages were calculated at the present and future profits for fair market value.[219]

Nebraska

In Fackler v. Genetzky, 257 Neb. 130 (Neb. 1999), plaintiffs brought action against a veterinarian, alleging veterinary malpractice and sought damages for emotional distress.[220] The court held that the horses were personal property and that emotional damages could not be recovered for the negligent destruction of personal property.[221]

Nevada

No case law found was found that specifically discusses the award of damages for injury to companion animals.  (However, in Armstrong v. Riggi, 92 Nev. 280 (Nev. 1976), the Nevada Supreme Court discussed the issue of attorney fees in a case where damages had been awarded at trial to owners whose dogs were killed while being bathed and groomed by defendants). 

New Hampshire

In McBride v. Orr, 124 N.H. 66 (N.H. 1983), defendant animal control officer killed plaintiff’s dog believing that it was in pursuit of a deer.[222] Defendant claimed immunity pursuant to a state statute.[223] The Court reversed and remanded for a determination of damages for the plaintiff.[224] The Court went on to state that the purpose of the statute was not to authorize defendant’s killing of plaintiff’s dog when the dog was no longer pursuing the deer.[225]

New Jersey

In Hyland v. Borras, 316 N.J. Super 22 (App. Div. 1998), Plaintiff brought action for damages after defendants' dog, an American bulldog, got into plaintiff's backyard and attacked her ten year old shih tzu, causing the dog to be hospitalized and undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments and broken bones.[226] The court recognized the defendant’s claim that the veterinary costs ($2,500) exceeded the fair market value for the Shih Tzu.[227] However, the court applied a more flexible approach to traditional market value and ruled as follows:

Most animals kept for companionship have no calculable market value beyond the subjective value of the animal to its owner, and that value arises purely as the result of their relationship and the length and strength of the owner's attachment to the animal. In that sense then, a household pet is not like other fungible or disposable property, intended solely to be used and replaced after it has outlived its usefulness. Plaintiff raised the dog from the time it was a puppy. Both parties stipulated that plaintiff loved her dog and devoted time, energy, and money to train and feed it, in order to bring it to the level of maturity it had attained at the time of the attack. It is purely a matter of  "good sense" that defendants be required to "make good the injury done" as the result of their negligence by reimbursing plaintiff for the necessary and reasonable expenses she incurred to restore the dog to its condition before the attack.[228]

The veterinary costs to place the companion animal in the same position prior to the attack was five times the amount for the fair market value. In Harabes v. Barkery, 791 A.2d 1142 (N.J. Super. L. 2001), the Court held that practical and public policy reasons existed against allowing a claim for loss of companionship.[229] Legislation in New Jersey was proposed in 2003, which would allow a companion animal owner to recover damages against “anyone” who committed an act of cruelty against a companion animal, and also provided capped damages in the amount of $500 for loss of companionship or emotional distress.[230] In the unpublished action of Small Dog Rescue v. McKenney, the court held that plaintiffs could prove damages other than the market value of the dog, such as the intrinsic value to the owners.[231]

New Mexico

In Wilcox v. Butt’s Drug Stores, 38 N.M. 502 (N.M. 1934), plaintiff came into pharmacy to purchase her usual laxative for her show dogs when pharmacist recommended a different brand that ended up killing one of the dogs.[232] The New Mexico Supreme Court held that although sentimental value was not appropriate when calculating the dog’s value, it found recovery not to be limited to market value.[233] Factors such as breed, special qualities, and purchase price were looked at to determine value.[234]

New York

Corso v. Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital, 415 N.Y.S. 2d 182 (N.Y. City Civ. Ct. 1979), involved a plaintiff dog owner who alleged that the animal hospital wrongfully disposed of her poodle’s body and gave her the body of a cat rather than a dog for an elaborate funeral she had planned for her dog.[235] Boldly the Court held that a pet was not only an item of personal property as New York precedent had held, but rather a pet occupied a special place in between a person and a piece of personal property.[236] In addition, the court ruled that, withholding or destruction of the dog’s body was actionable in tort, just as a case involving a human body.[237] The Court authorized the plaintiff to recover emotional distress damages beyond the market value of her poodle.[238]

A year later in the landmark case of Brousseau v. Rosenthal, 110 Misc. 2d 1054 (N.Y. Misc. 1980), the following factual scenario was presented: plaintiff delivered her healthy, eight-year-old dog for boarding at Dr. Rosenthal's veterinary office.[239] When she returned to the kennel on August 10, she was told that her dog had died.[240] In an effort to make the plaintiff whole again, the Court held that it would include loss of companionship as an element going towards damages and found:

Had the dog been alive, no one would have entered her apartment undetected, for the dog would have barked vigorously at the mere sound of a presence in the hallway outside her apartment. Resisting the temptation to romanticize the virtues of a "human's best friend", it would be wrong not to acknowledge the companionship and protection that Ms. Brousseau lost with the death of her canine companion of eight years. The difficulty of pecuniarily measuring this loss does not absolve defendant of his obligation to compensate plaintiff for that loss, at least to the meager extent that money can make her whole. The dog's age is not a depreciation factor in the court's calculations, for "manifestly, a good dog's value increases rather than falls with age and training.

However, in Jason v. Parks, 224 A.D. 2d 494 (N.Y. App. Div. 1996), the Court dismissed plaintiff’s cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress for the wrongful death of a companion animal.[241] In Legislation, New York proposed a bill for companion animals in 2003 that would authorize non-economic damages for intentional and negligent harm or death to a companion animal.[242]  Unfortunately, the legislation never passed.[243]

North Carolina

The plaintiff in Jones v. Craddock, 210 N.C. 429 (N.C. 1936), brought a cause of action for negligent injury to her dog.[244] In this case of first impression, the court embraced, “. . . the modern view that ordinarily dogs constitute a species of property, subject to all the incidents of chattel and valuable domestic animals.”[245]  The court determined that plaintiff was entitled to a cause of action for negligence since defendant could have avoided running over plaintiff’s companion animal with a slight turn.[246]

North Dakota

In Trautman v. Day, 273 N.W. 2d 712 (N.D. 1979), defendant shot plaintiff’s dog when it ran through defendant’s herd of cows.[247] The court affirmed a verdict of $300 for plaintiff’s dog.[248] In addition, the Court declined to apply the defense of immunity based on a statute concerning the “worrying of livestock.”[249]

Ohio

Ohio is interesting in that one court has presented a route for recovery for emotional distress to owners in companion animal cases, despite Ohio law viewing animals as property.  In Langford v. Emergency Pet Clinic, 96 Ohio App. 3d 174 (Ohio 1994), the Court suggests that a plaintiff could bring a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress involving a companion animal if plaintiff could prove the conduct was intentional or reckless, and that conduct was so extreme that it went beyond the reasonable boundaries of human decency (which the plaintiff failed to prove here).[250] In addition to proving this standard of conduct, plaintiff would have to prove mental anguish.[251] While Langford left open the issue of whether emotional distress based on a pet’s death or injury was judiciable, a decision two years later, held that since Ohio law recognizes animals as personal property, a claim for emotional distress does not exist.[252]  Defendant was granted summary judgment as a matter of law since Ohio law recognizes animals as personal property, and a claim of emotional distress does not exist for such property.[253]  Further, the recent case of Oberschlake v. Veterinary Assoc. Animal Hosp., 151 Ohio App. 3d 741 (Ohio App. 2 Dist. 2003), recognized that Langford “. . . has impliedly indicated that dog owners may present claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress.”[254]  Again, however, the mental anguish circumstances were not present in this case and the court opined that, “[e]ven conceding the bond between many humans and their pets, the burden is one that would be very difficult to meet.”[255]

Oklahoma

Plaintiff’s dog was hit by a car when negligent defendant left plaintiff’s gates open.[256]  (McConnell v. Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., 1974 OK. 156 (Ok. 1974),  Although the case was dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence, the Court recognized punitive damages in cases of gross negligence involving companion animals.[257]

Oregon

In Williams v. Spinola, 50 Or. App. 87 (Or. Ct. App. 1981), the decision was in favor of defendant who shot and killed plaintiff’s dog.[258] However, the Court acknowledged that punitive damages for personal property (dog) were warranted where a defendant’s conduct met the standard.[259] In 2001, a failed bill in Oregon proposed up to $250,000 in non-economic damages for harm or death to a companion animal.[260] Although the intentions were present in Oregon, progress on the law concerning recovery for companion animals would have to wait till another session.[261]

Pennsylvania

In Banasczek v. Kowalski, 10 Pa. D & C 3d 94 (Pa. D & C 1979), the court held the following: “[T]he claim for emotional distress arising out of the malicious destruction of a pet should not be confused with a claim for the sentimental value of a pet, the latter claim being unrecognized in most jurisdictions.  Secondly we do not think, as defendant argues, that the owner of the maliciously destroyed pet must have witnessed the death of his or her pet in order to make a claim for emotional distress.” [262]  Pennsylvania has summarily rejected a claim for loss of companionship for the death of a dog.  In Daughen v. Fox, 372 Pa. Super. 405 (Pa. Super 1988), the court stated that, “Under no circumstances, under the law of Pennsylvania, may there be recovery for loss of companionship due to the death of an animal.”[263]

Rhode Island

In Rowbotham v. Maher, 658 A. 2d 912 (R.I. 1995), the Supreme Court held that a cause of action did not exist for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress for the killing of a dog.[264] In legislation, a Companion Animal bill was proposed during the 2001-2002 legislative session.[265] Although the bill was never passed, its enactment would have provided up to 10,000 in non-economic damages for intentional or negligent acts against a companion animal.[266]

South Carolina

In Ott v. Pittman, 320 S.C. 72 (S.C. 1995), defendant shot and killed plaintiff’s two “champion dogs."[267] The Court affirmed a verdict in that case looking at specific qualities of the breed, which amounted to $19,800.[268]

South Dakota

In Henry v. Henry, 2000 SD 4 (SD 2000), defendant ex-husband continuously harassed and tormented plaintiff ex-wife.[269] Although the case fell under family law, the court cited to a codified statute concerning punitive damages as follows:  

In any action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, actual or presumed, or in any case of wrongful injury to animals, being subjects of property, committed intentionally or by willful and wanton misconduct, in disregard of humanity, the jury, in addition to the actual damage, may give damages for the sake of example, and by way of punishing the defendant. S.D. Codified Laws § 21-3-2 (2000).

Tennessee

In 1898, Citizen’s Rapid-Transit Co. v. Dew, 100 Tenn. 317 (Tenn. 1897), affirmed a verdict for $200 after defendant train killed plaintiff’s dog.[270] The Court reasoned that:

Large amounts of money are now invested in dogs, and they are extensively the subjects of trade and traffic. They are the negro's associates, and often his only property, the poor man's friend, and the rich man's companion, and the protection of women and children, hearthstones and hen roosts. In the earlier law books it was said that "dog law" was as hard to define as was "dog Latin." But that day has passed, and dogs have now a distinct and well established status in the eyes of the law.[271]

A big win for companion animal advocates arrived in 2000, after the death of T-Bo, Senator Cohen’s dog.[272] The Tennessee T-Bo Act, provides up to $4,000 in non-economic damages for intentional or negligent acts to compensate an owner for the loss of a pet.[273] The law only applies when a companion animal (the definition of pet is limited to a cat or dog) is injured or killed in its own yard or while it is under its owner's control.[274] The second exception involves the limited application to incorporated areas of counties with a population of 75,000 or more.[275] The third exception provides exemptions for non-profit entities, government agencies, and veterinarians.[276] Tennessee made history when they became the first state in the nation to provide such a bill for companion animal owners.[277]

Texas

In Bueckner v. Hamel, 886 S.W. 2d. 368 (Tex. App. 1994), an award of $1,825 in compensatory and $2,500 in punitive damages was upheld for the intentional shooting of two dogs, resulting in their death.[278]  It should be noted that defendant only challenged the computation of actual damages and not the award of punitive damages on appeal.  The court did first reaffirm the fact that Texas law recognizes a dog as personal property.[279]

Utah

No cases found concerning damages for harm to companion animals.

Vermont

In 1997, the Vermont Supreme Court stated in the case of Morgan vs. Kroupa, 702 A. 2d 630 (Vt. 1997), that the worth or value of a pet “is not primarily financial, but emotional; its value derives from the animal's relationship with its human companions.”[280]  In 1999 in the case of Lamare v. North Country Animal League, 743 A. 2d 598 (Vt. 1999), the Vermont Supreme Court left open the prospect of future plaintiff’s recovering for the emotional distress or other damages concerning the negligent handling of a seized animal.[281]

Ironically in 2006, the Vermont Superior Court shot down a case involving an intentional killing to a companion animal where the owners sought civil damages for loss of companionship and emotional distress. In ruling, the judge stated that there was nothing in that state's law that would allow the couple to seek damages based on those losses. The plaintiffs plan to appeal the ruling to the Vermont Supreme Court.

[2011 Update: In Goodby v. Vetpharm, Inc., 2009 VT 52, 186 Vt. 63 (2009), cat owners sued veterinarians and pharmaceutical company that manufactured a medicine that killed their cats. After the cats were brought into defendant-veterinarians' office, plaintiff contends that defendant veterinarians negligently or wantonly failed to diagnose the toxicity in the cats, and improperly treated the cats as a result.  The Plaintiffs failed on their negligent infliction of emotional distress claim because they were never the objects of the negligent acts of the veterinarians and pharmacy, were never in physical danger themselves, and did not have any reason to fear for their own physical well-being, and thus, were never in the necessary “zone of danger.” Plaintiffs urged the court to adopt a special exception to recover noneconomic damages for the loss of their personal property (the cats), the court declined, stating that to be a role more suited to the state legislature.]

[2011 Update: In Scheele v. Dustin, 998 A.2d 697 (Vt. 2010), Defendant fatally shot a dog that wandered onto his property. Plaintiffs saw their dog get shot and witnessed the pain and death she experienced. The dog’s owners sued under an intentional tort theory and a claim for loss of companionship. The parties stipulated that, as a direct and proximate result of the intentional act of the defendant, Plaintiffs suffered severe emotional distress. They also stipulated that plaintiffs incurred economic and noneconomic damages, including emotional distress and “the destruction of the special relationship that each had with Shadow,” as a direct and proximate result of the Defendant's intentional conduct. The Vermont Supreme Court awarded full economic damages for the intentional destruction of property, but held that Vermont common law did not allow owners to recover noneconomic damages for emotional distress resulting from Defendant's intentional shooting of their dog.]

[2011 Update: In Brinton v. Codoni, 148 Wash. App. 1034 (Wash. Ct. App. 2009) (unpublished opinion), Plaintiff’s dog died after it was attacked in her yard by a neighbor's dog. Plaintiff sued under theories of negligence and nuisance, seeking damages for the loss of her dog’s intrinsic value and utility, as well as her emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. The trial court ruled on partial summary judgment that the plaintiff's damages were limited, as a matter of law, to the dog's fair market value. On appeal, this court held that since the plaintiff failed to carry her burden of showing that her dog had no fair market value, the trial court properly limited damages to that value.]

Virginia

Breedlove v. Hardy, 132 Va. 11 (Va. 1922), concerned the shooting of a companion animal where defendant alleged that they were worrying his livestock.[282] The court reversed judgment for defendant, finding that defendant’s act of killing dog while not engaged in the act of “worrying the livestock,” was not authorized within the statute.[283]  More recently, however, in Kondaurov v. Kerdasha, 271 Va. 646, 629 S.E.2d 181, (Va. 2006), the Supreme Court held that the plaintiff-motorist could not recover damages for emotional or mental anguish she suffered either because of her concern for injuries sustained by her dog, who was riding in motorist's car at time of accident.[284]

Washington

In Dillon v. O’Connor, 68 Wash. 2d 184 (Wash. 1966), the court applied the fair market value in determining the dog’s value.[285] This jurisdiction approaches recovery of companion animals in the traditional manner, for negligent injury.[286]  In 2006, the Court of Appeals distinguished Dillion and other cases involving negligent injury to companion animals in Womack v. Von Rardon, 133 Wash. App. 254 (Wash. App. Div. 3, 2006). In Womack, the pet owner sued a minor and his parents who set the pet owner’s cat on fire.  As an issue of first impression, the court held that “. . . malicious injury to a pet can support a claim for, and be considered a factor in measuring a person's emotional distress damages.”[287] 

[2011 Update: In Sherman v. Kissinger, 146 Wash. App. 855, 862, 195 P.3d 539, 543 (Wash. Ct. App. 2008), as amended (Nov. 18, 2008), a dog owner sued a veterinarian and the veterinary hospital for negligence and other causes of action after her dog died in their care. The plaintiff sought economic damages for the intrinsic value of a dog, and noneconomic special and general damages. Expert testimony indicated that the dog did not have a market value and could not be replaced because of a blood-clotting disorder. The Court of Appeals held that the medical malpractice act did not bar owner from bringing claims for breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, conversion, trespass to chattels, and breach of bailment contract because the act did not apply to veterinarians or veterinary clinics. Because there were material issues of fact concerning whether there was a market value for the dog, whether the dog could be replaced, and whether plaintiff was entitled to present evidence of the intrinsic value damages for the loss of the dog, the court denied the motion for partial summary judgment to limit damages to the dog’s market value.]

[2011 Update: In Sexton v. Brown, 147 Wash. App. 1005 (Wash. Ct. App. 2008), Plaintiffs sued a veterinarian for damages arising from the death of their dog, alleging negligence, breach of bailment, conversion, and trespass to chattels. The court affirmed the trial court's decision that the medical malpractice act does not apply to veterinarians and affirmed dismissal of Plaintiff’s breach of bailment claim, finding that Defendant was not a finder under relevant Washington law. Because there were material issues of fact about the measure of damages, the court reversed the decision to limit damages to the fair market or replacement value of the dog. This court did, however, reverse the decision to award search costs Plaintiff incurred to locate her lost dog because Defendant did not find the dog and there was no evidence to suggest Defendant sought to claim ownership of the dog. Finally, the court affirmed the trial court's decision that Defendant was not entitled to attorney fees under the small claims statute.]

West Virginia

In Carbasho v. Musulin, 618 S.E. 2d 368 (W. Va. 2005), plaintiff’s dog was negligently killed by a vehicle.[288] Plaintiff sued to recover damages for loss of companion, but the court held that dogs are personal property and such damages are not recoverable for the negligent death of a dog.[289]

Wisconsin

In Rabideau v. City of Racine, 243 Wisc. 2d 486 (Wis. 2001), the plaintiff pleaded a claim for emotional distress damages after she witnessed a police officer shoot her dog.  The court, while expressing in great detail the important bond between humans and dogs, held that the same bystander rule for negligent infliction of emotional distress applies here.  We note that this rule of nonrecovery applies with equal force to a plaintiff who witnesses as a bystander the negligent injury of a best friend who is human as it does to a plaintiff whose best friend is a dog.”[290]

Wyoming

No cases found concerning damages for harm to companion animals.

 

Each state brings a unique twist to interpreting an appropriate recovery for harm to companion animals. Some states have gone so far as to draft progressive companion animal legislation. Other states have steered clear of changes and maintained the archaic property status valuation of fair market value. The issue that is now before the courts is whether the fair market valuation is appropriate in light of the growing number of plaintiffs who seek damages pertaining to intrinsic value. After carefully examining the language used by the courts in such cases, it is apparent that a growing number of decisions acknowledge a companion animal’s worth to its owner. Regardless of whether the judge sets precedent on the issue, such acknowledgment sheds light on why the courts should regard companion animals above mere chattel. The birth of new law must nevertheless wrestle with stare decisis, here being the traditional property status. In the past, the necessity for a dog arose from agricultural concerns. However, today’s American keeps a dog for companionship, comfort, and in some cases in lieu of children. Admiration and respect for companion animals is not only an American trend it is something that is found throughout various cultures and dates back to many centuries ago.    

 

VII. THE SOCIAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL VALUE OF COMPANION ANIMALS

The domestication of animals began almost 14,000 years ago.[291] Egyptians held burial ceremonies where their beloved pet was placed right next to his master.[292] When a dog died, the Egyptian owners of the companion animal practiced a ritual of shaving their entire bodies and heads.[293] Today in the United States, more than sixty percent of households include pets.[294] In caring for and pampering their pets, Americans spent over $28.5 billion in 2001.[295] Modern social science has discovered that after the loss of a pet, pet owners experience similar or greater stress levels as to when a family member dies.[296] Counseling for loss of animal companions became an important human service by the 1980’s.[297]  In response, a number of North American veterinary schools provided animal bereavement support hotlines.[298] Studies indicate that the reason why guardians of companion animals experience this extreme level of sadness is a result of the strong and unique bond developed with their companion animal.[299]

From childhood to geriatric stages in life, the ownership of a companion animal has served as a benefit to society. Children who owned a companion animal and were victims of child abuse, reported that the animal was sometimes their only friend, and in turn had better coping skills as adults through owning a companion animal.[300] Studies of pet ownership and mental health have indicated lower levels of depression in a nursing home following a pet therapy session.[301] Individuals with disabilities who at one point could not handle everyday tasks are now able to accomplish so much with their service dog.[302]

The list concerning how companion animals have benefited humans can continue, and interestingly, the list on how owners reciprocate their love for their animals is well documented.[303]

Like children, companion animals are being dropped off at doggie day care to spend their day socializing, playing, and getting the attention they would not derive from their owners who are busy at work.[304] In addition, some Americans send their companion animals to receive behavioral assistance in an effort to correct problems and create a more rewarding life for themselves and their pets.[305] Furthermore, the protection of animals is seen in criminal anti-cruelty statutes that regard certain crimes against animals as a felony offense. Fla. Stat. § 828.12, (2006).

Another example of how owners love their pets beyond the living is the creation of a pet trust. [306] Recently, the Florida Bar Journal featured a co-authored article that discusses how a Florida statute provides for the creation of an enforceable trust for a pet to be acknowledged as a primary beneficiary.[307]  To date, over thirty states have enacted companion animal trust laws.  (See the Map of Companion Animal Trusts to see which states have laws).[308]  These are just some of the ways in which owners of companion animals value their animals. The idea of companion animals being calculated at the fair market value in the legal system does not add up to the value American society places on these creatures.   

VIII. CONCLUSION

The legal system must recognize society’s favorable view of companion animals above the mere personal property status. Tennessee’s T-Bo Act, has already paved the way for companion animal owners to recover statutorily.[309] Other states should follow suit by enacting their own legislation for companion animal owners to recover intrinsic damages such as loss of companionship. Careful consideration to issues such as over-flowing the docket system, and fraud can be monitored and assessed prior to making this proposal a reality. However, this should not bar recovery for owners of companion animals to receive adequate compensation as a result of their loss. The time has come for the expansion of tort law concerning such cases since the companionship between a dog and its owner is such that the owner is entitled to compensation when that relationship is destroyed. A change in the way the legal system functions to compensate owners of companion animals would uphold the goal of damages in tort law, which seeks to make their victims whole again.


[1] State v. Harriman, 75 Me. 562, 565 (Me. 1884). (Appleton, J., dissenting).

[2] Carol Marie Cropper, Strides in Pet Care Come at Price Owners Will Pay, N.Y. Times, April, 5, 1998, § 1 at 16. (A 1995 report by the American Animal Hospital Association found that 70 percent of former and current pet owners surveyed thought of their pets as children. Asked what one companion they would want on a deserted island, 53 percent listed a dog or cat); See generally Steven M. Wise, Recovery of Common Law Damages for Emotional Distress, Loss of Society, and Loss of Companionship for the Wrongful Death of Companion Animals, 4 Animal L. 33 (1998).

[3] Carol Marie Cropper, Strides in Pet Care Come at Price Owners Will Pay, N.Y. Times, April, 5, 1998, § 1 at 16.  (Quoting Sally Prewett, on why she obtained a kidney transplant for her cat: “I don’t have any children. I’m single. These cats are like my kids. I just can’t imagine not doing it”).

[4] Sandra B. Barker & Randolph T. Barker, The Human-Canine Bond: Closer Than Family Ties?, 10 J. Mental Heath Counseling 46, 54 (Jan. 1988). (During the 1980’s, U.S. mental health practitioners began to take notice of the demand for counseling services in loss of companion animal cases).

[5] See David S. Favre & Murray Loring, Animal Law, (Quorum Books 1983). (Owners of non-human animals are afforded all the property protections offered by the law, but owners may disregard these protections since non-human animals do not have legal rights).

[6] See Peter Barton & Frances Hill, How Much Will You Receive in Damages from the Negligent or Intentional Killing of Your Pet Dog or Cat, 34 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 411 (1989). (As a general rule, the measure of damages for tortious injury or killing of an animal is the fair market value of the animal, and this standard applies to inanimate property as well); See Thomas G. Kelch, Toward a Non-Property Status for Animals, 6 N.Y.U. Envtl. L. J. 531 (1998); See Derek W. St. Pierre, The Transition from Property to People: The Road to Recognition of Rights for Non-Human Animals, 9 Hastings Women’s L. J. 255 (1998); See Gary L. Francione, Animals As Property, 2 Animal L. I. (1996). 

[7] Compare, Steven M. Wise, Recovery of Common Law Damages for Emotional Distress, Loss of Society, and Loss of Companionship for the Wrongful Death of Companion Animals, 4 Animal L. 33 (1998). (“If the economic value of companion animals was important to their human companions, as is normally the case with sofas, chairs, and other inanimate property, small animal veterinarians would close their doors, because human companions would never bring their companion animals for treatment. Instead, they would abandon them.”).

[8] David Favre, How Much Is That Doggie in the Window: Valuation for a Lost Pet, TortSource, Vol. 7, No. 3 at 1&4, (spring 2005). (“[S]ome pets win awards and command high-dollar breeding and offspring fees”); See Mitchell v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 188 F. Supp. at 869, (S.D. Cal. 1960). (Upheld a jury verdict of $5,000 since the award was based on evidence that the dog could do special tricks and appeared at many charity events as a result of the special tricks. The income potential determined by the plaintiff’s experts was considered to be proper evidence in assessing damages).

[9] Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss at 9, Riff v. Welleby’s Veterinary Medical Center, et al, (17th Cir. 2006) (No. 02-012991-08). Citing to La Porte v. Associated Independents, Inc., 163 So. 2d at 267 (1964). (Upheld award of $2,000 compensatory damages and $1,000 in punitive damages for the malicious killing of dog where garbage man threw garbage can on top of leashed dog resulting in its death. The Florida Supreme Court held that “the affection of a master for his dog is a very real thing and the malicious destruction of the pet provides an element of damage for which the “owner” should recover, irrespective of the value of the animal…”); See also Bluestone v. Bergstrom, No. 00CC00796 (Cal. Sup. Ct. Orange Co. 2003). (Court upheld a judgment of $39,000, an award that applied special/unique value damages). (Provided by Fred Kray, Esq.).

[10] Jankowski v. Preiser Animal Hospital, LTD., 157 Ill. App. 3d at 818 (1987). (Dismissed a cause of action based on loss of companionship, but found that “the actual value to the owner may include some element of sentimental value in order to avoid limiting plaintiff to merely nominal damages.”).

[11] See Levine v. Knowles, 197 So. 2d 329 (3rd DCA 1967); La Porte v. Associated Independents, 163 So. 2d 267 (Fla. S. Ct. 1964); Johnson v. Wander, 592 So. 2d 1225 (Fla. S. Ct. 1992); Knowles Animal Hospital v. Wills, 360 So. 2d 37 (Fla. S. Ct. 1978); and Wertman v. Tipping, 166 So. 2d 666 (Fla. App. 1st Dist, 1964). 

[12] RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS, Sec. 903, ("Compensatory damages' are the damages awarded to a person as compensation, indemnity or restitution for harm sustained by him. Comment: a. Where there has been harm only to the pecuniary interests of a person, compensatory damages are designed to place him in a position substantially equivalent in a pecuniary way to that which he would occupy had no tort been committed.”).

[13] Thomas G. Kelch, Toward a Non-Property Status for Animals, 6 N.Y.U. Envtl. L. J. 531at 533 (1998). (Citing to Blackstone, Holmes and Pound, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England, II, 15-19, 20-21, 384-387, 401-05 (1969); Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Common Law, 206-46 (1881)); (Roscoe Pound, The Spirit of the Common Law, 185-87, 197-200 (1921)).

[14] See Rebecca J. Huss, Valuing Man’s and Woman’s Best Friend: The Moral and Legal Status of Companion Animals, 86 Marq. L. Rev. 47 at 69 (2002) citing to Gary L. Francione, Animals, Property, and the Law, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, (1995). (The first U.S. judicial decision to authorize a property right in dogs was recorded in 1871); See generally Steven M. Wise, The Legal Thinghood of Nonhuman Animals, 23 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 471 (1996).

[15] See Thomas G. Kelch, Toward a Non-Property Status for Animals, 6 N.Y.U. Envtl. L. J. 531at 534 (1998)  (Citing to Steven M. Wise, The Legal Thinghood of Nonhuman Animals, 23 Envtl. Aff. 471, 475 (1996); Steven M. Wise, How Nonhuman Animals Were Trapped in a Nonexistent Universe, 1 Animal L. (1995).

[16] See generally Steven M. Wise, Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals (2000).

[17] Martha C. Nussbaum, Animal Rights: The Need for a Theoretical Basis, 114 Harv. L. Rev. 1506 at 1514 (2001).

[18] Rebecca J. Huss, Valuing Man’s and Woman’s Best Friend: The Moral and Legal Status of Companion Animals, 86 Marq. L. Rev. 47 at 69 (2002). (Discussion on Judaism and how humans have dominion over animals and Christianity on human superiority due to animals lacking morality).

[19] Id at 55;  (citing to Andrew Linzey, Animal Rights: A Christian Assessment of Man’s Treatment of Animals, 20 (1976)).

[20] See generally Derek W. St Pierre, The Transition from Property to People: The Road to the Recognition of Rights for Non-Human Animals, 9 Hastings Women’s L. J. 255 (1998). (Analyzing the classification of a living being as property and how at one point this effective tool of oppression created slavery and married women’s lack of rights).

[21] Id at 256.

[22] This statement strictly reflects the author’s opinion based on readings of legal scholars on animal rights and the law.

[23] Animal Liberation Front Article on the New French Civil Code: Available at: http://www.animalliberationfront.us/News/Apr-May05/FrenchCode.htm (last visited April 5, 2006). (quoting Justice Minister Dominique Perben, “Compared to 1804, men and animals now live together in a way that is completely different from two centuries ago.” The change to the civil code- which is likely to go into law by the end of the year—will create for animals a third kind of property, alongside movable and immovable goods). 

[24] Id at 69.

[25] Id at 69.

[26] Id at 69.

[27] Id at 69.

[28] Id at 69.

[29] See Barbara J. Gislason, Veterinary Malpractice: Leading the Evolution of Animal Law, TortSource, Vol. 7, No. 3 at 1, (Spring 2005).

[30] Thomas G. Kelch, Toward a Non-Property Status for Animals, 6 N.Y.U. Envtl. L. J. 531 (1998); David Favre, How Much Is That Doggie in the Window: Valuation for a Lost Pet, TortSource, Vol. 7, No. 3 at 1&4, (Spring 2005). (“One objective measure of a pet’s value to a person is the amount of money an owner is willing to spend for veterinary care. A cat with little or no market value may require surgery that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and many owners are willing to pay such amounts.”).

[31] David Favre, Overview of Damages for Injury to Animals- Pet Losses, Michigan State University - Detroit College of Law (2003).

[33] See generally Margit Livingston, The Calculus of Animal Valuation: Crafting a Viable Remedy, 82 Neb. L. Rev. 783 (2003).

[34] Id at 218.

[35] This opinion is the editor’s beliefs based on assessing the purebred market in United States and conversations with top breeders in Florida. This opinion is the editor’s view on veterinary costs and the owner’s willingness to pay, which was reached by discussions with veterinarians in Florida and elsewhere.

[36] Id at 218.

[37] Id at 218. (Citing to Brosseau v. Rosenthal, 443 N.Y.S. 2d 285 (N.Y. Civ. Ct. 1980); (Jankoski v. Prieser Animal Hosp., 510 N.E. 2d 1084 (Ill. App. 1987). (Case law authorizing elements of sentimental value of the companion animal to the owner).

[38] Margit Livingston, The Calculus of Animal Valuation: Crafting a Viable Remedy, 82 Neb. L. Rev. 783 (2003). (Citing to Laporte v. Associated Independent’s, Inc., 163 So. 2d 267, 269 (Fla. 1964) (authorizing damages for the affection of an owner for her companion animal); (Jankoski v. Preiser Animal Hosp., Ltd., 510 N.E. 2d 1084, 1087 (Ill. App. Ct. 1987) (authorizing damages to include elements of sentimental value for the companion animal).

[39] Id at 791.

[40] Id at 791 (citing to Porras v. Craig, 675 S.W. 2d 503 (Tex. 1984) (where a companion animal has a negligible legal value, plaintiffs may not receive compensatory nor punitive damages).

[42] Id at 424.

[43] Id at 791.

[44] See generally David Favre, Overview of Damages for Injury to Animals- Pet Losses, Michigan State University - Detroit College of Law (2003).

[45] Id at Favre (2003).

[46] Id at Favre (2003).

[48] Id at 223.

[49] Id at 223.

[50] Steven M. Wise, Recovery of Common Law Damages for Emotional Distress, Loss of Society, and Loss of Companionship for the Wrongful Death of Companion Animals, 4 Animal L. 33 at 62 (1998).

[51] Id at 62.

[52] Hatahley v. United States, 351 U.S. 173 (1956).

[53] Id at 173.

[54] Id at 173.

[55] Id at 173.

[56] Id at 173.

[57] Id at 173.

[58] See Animal Legal Defense Fund: Animal Case law: Damages and Recovery at http://www.aldf.org/packets.asp?sect=resources  (Citing to Mitchell v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 188 F. Supp 869 (S.D. Cal. 1960)).

[59] Id at 188.

[60] Gluckman v. American Airlines, Inc., 844 F. Supp. 151 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).

[61] Id at 844.

[62] Id at 844.

[63] Id at 844.

[64] Parker v. Mise, 27 Ala. 480 (Ala. 1855).

[65] Id at 480.

[66] Id at 480.

[67] Allen v. Camp, 14 Ala. App. 341 (Ala. 1915).

[68] Id at 341.

[69] Id at 341.

[70] Id at 341.

[71] Louisville & N.R. Co. v. Watson, 208 Ala. 319 (Ala. 1922).

[72] Id at 319.

[73] Id at 319.

[74] Richardson v. Fairbanks North Star Borough, 705 P. 2d 454 (Alaska 1985).

[75] Id at 454.

[76] Id at 454.

[77] Id at 454.

[78] Mitchell v. Heinrichs, 27 P.3d 309, 314 (Alaska 2001).

[79] Id at 309.

[80] Id at 309.

[81] Id at 309.

[82] Roman v. Carroll, 621 P. 2d 307 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1980).

[83] Id at 307.

[84] Id at 307.

[85] Id at 307.

[86] Jones v. St. Louis I.M.&S. Ry. Co., 53 Ark. 27 (Ark. 1890) (Plaintiff’s colt was killed and was estimated at $1,000.00. The court looked at areas in the market outside of the locality since local information on the colt’s market value was not available).

[87] Id at 27.

[88] St. Louis I.M.&S. Ry. Co. v. Philpot, 72 Ark. 23 (Ark. 1903). (plaintiff alleged negligence where the bloodhound bitch was ran over by a train. Apparently the bloodhound bitch was searching for a man that escaped from prison).

[89] McDaniel v. Johnson, 225 Ark. 6 (Ark. 1955).

[90] Id at 6.

[91] Id at 6.

[92] Elliot v. Hurst, 307 Ark. 134 (Ark. 1991).

[93] Id at 134.

[94] Id at 134.

[95] Id at 134.

[96] Roos v. Loeser, 41 Cal. App. 783 (Cal. App. 1919).

[97] Id at 783.

[98] Id at 783

[99] Dreyer v. Cyriacks, 112 Cal. App. 279 (Cal. Ct. App. 1931).

[100] Id at 279.

[101] Id at 279.

[102] Id at 279.

[103] Id at 279.

[104] Wells v. Brown, 97 Cal. App. 2d 361(Cal. Ct. App. 1950).

[105] Id at 361.

[106] Id at 361.

[107] Id at 361.

[108] Elaine T. Byszewski, Valuing Companion Animals in Wrongful Death Cases: A Survey of Current Court and Legislative Action and a Suggestion for Valuing Pecuniary Loss of Companionship, 9 Animal L. 215 (2003). (Citing to Cal. Sen. 225, 2003-2004 Leg., Reg. Sess. (Feb. 13, 2003)).

[109] Cal. Sen. 225, 2003-2004 Leg., Reg. Sess. (Feb. 13, 2003).

[110] Burlington & M.R.R.R. in Nebraska v. Cambell, 14 Colo. App. 141 (Colo. Ct. App. 1899).

[111] Id at 141.

[112] State v. Morison, 148 Colo. 79 (Co. 1961); Lindaver v. LDB Drainlaying, Inc., 38 Colo. App. 266 (Colo. Ct. App. 1976).

[113] Colo. H. 1260, 64th Gen. Assembly, 1st Reg. Sess. (Jan. 31, 2003).

[114] Elaine T. Byszewski, Valuing Companion Animals in Wrongful Death Cases: A Survey of Current Court and Legislative Action and a Suggestion for Valuing Pecuniary Loss of Companionship, 9 Animal L. 215 (2003); (Colo. H. 1260, 64th Gen. Assembly, 1st Reg. Sess. (Jan. 31, 2003)).

[115] Colo. H. 1260, 64th Gen. Assembly, 1st Reg. Sess. (Jan. 31, 2003).

[116] Brown v. Southbury, 53 Conn. 212 (Conn. 1885); Fritts v. New York & N.E.R. Co., 62 Conn. 503 (Conn. 1893). (Applying fair market value, but disallowing consequential damages for lost profits where plaintiff failed to show an effort to mitigate such damages).

[117] Altieri v. Nanvati, 41 Conn. Supp. 317 (Conn. Super. Ct. 1989).

[118] Id at 317.

[119] Id at 317. (Citing to Maloney v. Conroy, 208 Conn. 392, 402, 545 A.2d 1059).

[120] Conn. H. 5571, 2002 Reg. Sess. § 1(d) (1)-(3) (Feb. 26, 2002).

[121] Id.

[122] Klair v. Philadelphia, B. & W.R. Co., 25 Del. 274 (Del. 1910); Dickerson v. Brittingham, 27 Del. 93 (Del. 1913).

[123] Wertman v. Tipping, 166 So. 2d 666 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1964).

[124] Id at 666.

[125]Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss at 9, Riff v. Welleby’sVeterinary Medical Center, et al, (17th Cir. 2006) (No. 02-012991-08). (Citing to La Porte v. Associated Independents, Inc., 163 So. 2d 267, 269 (Fla. S. Ct. 1964)).

[126] Id at 267.

[127] Id at 267. (Compensatory damages at $2000 and punitive damages at $1000).

[128] Levine v. Knowles, 197 So. 2d 329 (3rd DCA 1967). (Court concluded: “owner has the same right of action to recover compensatory damages for the intrinsic value, if any, of a dead dog wrongfully destroyed”).

[129] Knowles v. Animal Hosp. v. Wills, 360 So. 2d 37 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1978). (Plaintiff’s dog endured severe burns and disfigurement.

[130] Id at 37.

[131] Johnson v. Wander, 360 So. 2d 37 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1978).

[132] In light of the two cases with similar fact patterns and the departure from the standard of care exercised by a reasonable veterinarian, the editor has reached an opinion on veterinarians in this jurisdiction.

[133] Kennedy v. Byas, 867 So. 2d 1195 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2004).

[134] Id at 1195. (Bennet v. Bennet, is a custody dispute case concerning a dog. The court reversed the trial’s court ruling for the former wife that allowed her to have visitation rights to the dog).

[135] Id at 1195.

[136] Columbus R. Co. v. Woolfolk, 128 Ga. 631 (Ga. 1907).

[137] Carroll v. Rock, 220 Ga. App. 260 (Ga. Ct. App. 1996).

[138] Id at 260.

[139] Id at 260.

[140] Id at 260.

[141] Id at 260.

[142] Campbell v. Animal Quarantine Station, 632 P.2d. 1066 (Haw. 1981).

[143] Id at 1066.

[144] Id at 1066.

[145] Id at 1066.

[146] Id at 1066.

[147] Id at 1066.

[148] David Favre, Overview of Damages for Injury to Animals- Pet Losses, Michigan State University - Detroit College of Law (2003). (discussion of Cambell v. Animal Quarantine Station, 632 P.2d 1066 (Hawaii 1981).

[149] Zenier v. Spokane Intern. R. Co., 78 Idaho 196 (Idaho 1956).

[150] Id at 196.

[151] Id at 196.

[152] Id at 196.

[153] Gill v. Brown, 107 Idaho 1137 (Idaho Ct. App. 1985).

[154] Id at 1137.

[155] Id at 1137.

[156] Id at 1137.

[157] Brent v. Kimball, 60 Ill. 213 (Ill. 1871).

[158] Id at 213.

[159] Id at 213.

[160] Spray v. Ammerman, 66 Ill. 309 (Ill. 1872).

[161] Demeo v. Manville, 68 Ill. App. 3d 843.

[162] Id at 843.

[163] Id at 843.

[164] Id at 843.

[165] Id at 843.

[166] Jankowski v. Preiser Animal Hospital, LTD., 157 Ill. App. 3d 818 (Ill. App. Ct. 1987).

[167] Id at 818.

[168] Id at 818.

[169] Id at 818.

[170] Id at 818.

[171] Anzalone v. Kragness Animal Hospital, LTD., 356 Ill. App. 3d 365 (Ill. App. Ct 2005).

[172] Id at 365.

[173] Id at 365.

[174] Seider v. Dill, 137 Ind. App. 177 (Ind. App. Ct. 1965).

[175] Id at 177.

[176] Id at 177.

[177] Id at 177.

[178] Puckett v. Miller, 178 Ind. App. 174 (Ind. App. Ct. 1978).

[179] Anson v. Dwight, 18 Iowa 241 (Iowa 1865); Nichols v. Sukaro Kennels, 555 N.W. 2d 689 (Iowa 1996).

[180] Ellis v. Oliphant, 159 Iowa 514 (Iowa 1913).

[181] Nichols v. Sukaro Kennels, 555 N.W. 2d 689 (Iowa 1996).

[182] Id at 689.

[183] McDonald v. Bauman, 199 Kan. 628 (Kan. 1967).

[184] Webber v. Patton, 221 Kan. 79 (Kan. 1976).

[185] Burgess v. Taylor, 44 S.W. 3d 806 (Ky. Ct. App.  2001).

[186] Id at 806.

[187] Id at 806.

[188] Id at 806.

[189] Id at 806.

[190] NABR Animal Law Section at: http://www.nabr.org/animallaw/emotionaldistress/index.htm. (Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, and Louisiana).

[191] Brown v. Crocker, 139 So. 2d 779 (La. Ct. App. 1962).

[192] Id at 779.

[193] Quave v. Bardwell, 449 So. 2d 81 (La. Ct. App. 1984). (Defendant was a known animal killer who shot and killed plaintiff’s German Shepherd after hearing a barking ruckus outside of his home. The killing was unprovoked).

[194] Chapman v. Decrow, 93 Me. 378 ( Me. 1899).

[195] Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Judicial Proc. § 11-110(b) (2000).

[196] Md. H. 221, 416th Gen. Assembly, 2002 Reg. Sess. (Jan. 18, 2002).

[197] Krasnecky v. Meffen, 56 Mass. App. Ct. 418 (Mass. App. Ct. 2002).

[198] Id at 418.

[199] Id at 418.

[200] Id at 418.

[201] Id at 418.

[202] Mass. Sen. 462, 183rd Gen. Ct., 2001 Reg. Sess. (July 12, 2001).

[203] Id.

[205] Koester v. VCA Animal Hosp., 244 Mich. App. 173 (Mich. Ct. App. 2000).

[206] Id at 173.

[207] Id at 173.

[208] Id at 173.

[209] Soucek v. Banham, 524 N.W. 2d 478 (Minn. Ct. App. 1994).

[210] Id at 478.

[211] Miss. H. 220, 2002 Leg., Reg. Sess. (Jan. 8, 2002).

[212] Id.

[213] Propes v. Griffith, 25 S.W. 3d 544 (Mo.App. W.D., 2000).

[214] Id. at 544.

[215] Bedford v. Jorden, 215 Mont. 508 (Mont. 1985).

[216] Id at 508.

[217] Id at 508.

[218] McPherson v. Schlemmer, 230 Mont. 81 (Mont. 1988).

[219] Id at 81.

[220] Fackler v. Genetzky, 257 Neb. 130 (Neb. 1999).

[221] Id at 130.

[222] McBride v. Orr, 124 N.H. 66 (N.H. 1983).

[223] Id at 66.

[224] Id at 66.

[225] Id at 66.

[226] Hyland v. Borras, 316 N.J. Super. 22 (App. Div. 1998).

[227] Id at 22.

[228] Id at 22.

[229] Harabes v. Barkery, 791 A.2d 1142 (N.J. Super. L. 2001).

[230] Elaine T. Byszewski, Valuing Companion Animals in Wrongful Death Cases: A Survey of Current Court and Legislative Action and a Suggestion for Valuing Pecuniary Loss of Companionship, 9 Animal L. 215 (2003). (Citing to N.J. Assembly 3339, 210th Leg., 2d. Reg. Sess. (Feb. 13, 2003)).

[231] Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss at 9, Riff v. Welleby’s Veterinary Medical Center, et al, (17th Cir. 2006) (No. 02-012991-08). (Citing to Small Dog Rescue v. McKenney, SOM-L864-04 (N.J. Sup. 2004)).

[232] Wilcox v. Butt’s Drug Stores, 38 N.M. 502 (N.M. 1934).

[233] Id at 502.

[234] Id at 502.

[235] Corso v. Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital, 415 N.Y.S. 2d 182 (N.Y. City Civ. Ct. 1979).

[236] Id at 182.

[237] Id at 182.

[238] Id at 182.

[239] Brousseau v. Rosenthal, 110 Misc. 2d 1054 (N.Y. Misc. 1980).

[240] Id at 1054.

[241] Jason v. Parks, 224 A.D. 2d 494 (N.Y. App. Div. 1996).

[242] N.Y. A.B. 4545, 2003-2004 Reg. Sess. (Feb. 19, 2003).

[243] Id.

[244] Jones v. Craddock, 210 N.C. 429 (N.C. 1936).

[245] Id. at 559.

[246] Id at 429.

[247] Trautman v. Day, 273 N.W. 2d 712 (N.D. 1979).

[248] Id. at 712.

[249] Id at 713.

[250] Langford v. Emergency Pet Clinic, 96 Ohio App. 3d 174 (1994).

[251] Id at 174.

[252] Strawser v. Wright, 80 Ohio App. 3d 751 (Ohio Ct App. 1992).

[253] Id at 751.

[254] Oberschlake v. Veterinary Assoc. Animal Hosp., 151 Ohio App. 3d 741, 745-746 (Ohio App. 2 Dist. 2003).

[255] Id. at 746.

[257] Id at 156.

[258] Williams v. Spinola, 50 Or. App. 87 (Or. Ct. App. 1981).

[259] Id at 87.

[260] Elaine T. Byszewski, Valuing Companion Animals in Wrongful Death Cases: A Survey of Current Court and Legislative Action and a Suggestion for Valuing Pecuniary Loss of Companionship, 9 Animal L. 215 (2003). (Citing to Or. Sen. 166, 71st Leg. Assembly, 2001 Reg. Sess. 1(2)(b) (Jan. 11, 2001)).

[261] Id.

[262] Id at 94.

[263] Daughen v. Fox, 372 Pa. Super. 405 (Pa. Super 1988).

[264] Rowbotham v. Maher, 658 A. 2d 912 (R.I.1995).

[265] R.I. H. 7020, 2001-2002 Leg., Reg. Sess. (Jan. 29, 2002).

[266] Id.

[267] Ott v. Pittman, 320 S.C. 72 (S.C. 1995).

[268] Id at 72.

[269] Henry v. Henry, 2000 SD 4 (S.D. 2000).

[270] Citizen’s Rapid-Transit Co. v. Dew, 100 Tenn. 317 (Tenn. 1897).

[271] Id at 324.

[272] Tenn. Code Ann. § 44-17-403 (2000); 2000 Tenn. Pub. Acts, Ch. 762, § 1.

[273] Id.

[274] Id.

[275] Id.

[276] Id.

[277] Id.

[278] Bueckner v. Hamel, 886 S.W. 2d. 368 (Tex. App. 1994).

[279] Id. at 370.

[280] Morgan vs. Kroupa, 702 A. 2d 630 (Vt. 1997).

[282] Breedlove v. Hardy, 132 Va. 11 (Va. 1922).

[283] Id at 11.

[284] Kondaurov v. Kerdasha, 271 Va. 646 (Va. 2006).

[285] Dillon v. O’Connor, 68 Wash. 2d 184 (Wash. 1966).

[286] Id at 184.

[287] Womack v. Von Rardon, 133 Wash. App. 254, 263 (Wash. App. Div. 3 2006).

[288] Carbasho v. Musulin, 618 S.E. 2d 368 (W. Va. 2005).

[289] Id at 368.

[290] Rabideau v. City of Racine, 243 Wisc. 486 (Wis. 2001).

[291] Margaret Sery Young, The Evolution of Domestic Pets and Companion Animals, 15 Veterinary Clinics No. Am. Small Animal Practice 297, 302-03 (1985); Sonia S. Waisman & Barbara R. Newell, Recovery of “Non-Economic” Damages for the Wrongful Killing or Injury of Companion Animals: A Judicial and Legislative Trend, Animal Law (2001). (Both articles address the time period for domestication, but there seems to be a discrepancy of 2000 years with respect to beginning of domestication of animals).

[293] Sonia S. Waisman & Barbara R. Newell, Recovery of “Non-Economic” Damages for the Wrongful Killing or Injury of Companion Animals: A Judicial and Legislative Trend, Animal Law (2001).(Citing to State v. Wallace, 271 S.E. 2d 760, 761 (N.C. App. 1980) (referring to Herodotus in An Account of Egypt (5th Century) (dogs regarded as sacred)).

[294] American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Inc. 2000-2001APPMA National Pet Owners Survey 2 (2001).

[295] Rebecca J. Huss, Valuing Man’s and Woman’s Best Friend: The Moral and Legal Status of Companion Animals, 86 Marq. L. Rev. 47 at 69 (2002). (Citing to Azell Murphy Cavann, Animal Magnetism- Doggone it! Americans Have a Soft Spot for Their Pets, Boston Herald, June 27, 2001, at 56. 

[296] See generally Margit Livingston, The Calculus of Animal Valuation: Crafting a Viable Remedy, 82 Neb. L. Rev. 783 (2003). (Citing to Boris M. Levinson, Grief at the Loss of a Pet, in Pet Loss and Human Bereavement, 51-64 (William J. et al. eds., 1984) (cites to several studies)).

[297] Sonia S. Waisman & Barbara R. Newell, Recovery of “Non-Economic” Damages for the Wrongful Killing or Injury of Companion Animals: A Judicial and Legislative Trend, Animal Law (2001). (Citing to Sandra B. Barker & Randolph T. Barker, The Human-Canine Bond: Closer Than Family Ties?, 10 J. Mental Health Counseling 46, 54 (Jan. 1988).

[298] Barker at 54.

[299] See Betty J. Carmack, The Effects on Family Members and Functioning After the Death of a Pet, In Pets and Family 149 (Marvin B. Sussman ed., 1985) (this article contains information on animal-human bonds).

[300] Sandra B. Barker, Therapeutic Aspects of the Human-Companion Animal Interaction, 16 Psychiatric Times, at  http://www.psychiatric times.com/p990243.html   (1999).

[301] Brickel, C. M. (1984). Depression in the Nursing Home: A Pilot Study Using Pet-Facilitated Psychotherapy, In R.K. Anderson, B.L. Hart, & L.A. Hart (Eds.), The Pet Connection (pp. 407-415): Minnesota: University of Minnesota, Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments.

[302] Service Animal Information from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the National Association of Attorneys General, at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/animal.htm (  “The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability”).

[303] The editor is reaching a conclusion based on the numerous services provided for animals in United States, as discussed in the writing.

[304] Nationwide service called Happy Tails Dog Spa at: http://www.happytailsdogspa.com/daycare.php (“Each playgroup goes outdoors for a scheduled bathroom break in the morning before heading off to play[t]ime. After several hours of romping, sniffing and lounging, all dogs take a well-deserved nap between noon and 2:00 p.m. During this time, dogs receive requested snacks or medications. After naptime, the dogs are back outside for another bathroom break, with possible ball throwing or "swimming," depending on the weather”).

[305] Animal Behavior Associates at: http://faculty.washington.edu/jcha/abainfo8.htm (“The field of domestic and companion animal behavior research has been a rapidly expanding one in recent years. Successful treatment of companion animal behavior problems today requires a strong background in the evolution and genetics of the species or breed, the practical application of modern learning theory, the latest research findings, and the application of these findings to clinical situations”).

[306] Darin I. Zenov & Barbara Ruiz-Gonzalez, Trusts for Pets, The FL Bar J. at 22 (Dec. 2005). (F.S. § 737.116, (2004).

[307] Id. (a trust may be established for the pet’s lifetime to care and maintain its existence. The trust does not violate the Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP), and in the case of several animals, it ceases to exist upon the death of the last animal involved in the trust. The settlor can appoint a trust protector who has the power to enforce the trust and ensure proper care and maintenance of the animal).

[309] Tenn. Code Ann. § 44-17-403 (2000); 2000 Tenn. Pub. Acts, Ch. 762, § 1.

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