Country of Origin: ColombiaCourt Name: Juzgado Tercero Laboral del Circuito de BucaramangaPrimary Citation: Sentencia de Tutela Juzgado 3 de Bucaramanga Date of Decision: Wednesday, July 26, 2017
This is the first time an animal, more specifically a dog, filed a lawsuit seeking that the government grant protection for the dog’s rights to life and health. The judge denied the action of "tutela" filed by the dog ("Negro") based on the definition of person given by the civil code. As a result, the judge concluded that "Negro" was not a person and therefore was not entitled to have rights. However, there is a possibility that the Constitutional Court on appeal will grant the plaintiff the rights he is seeking based on Decision T-622 de 2016, where the court declared that a river was subject to rights that guarantee its protection, conservation, maintenance, and restoration, and that the government was the main guarantor of these rights.
"Negro" is a stray dog that was rescued by an 11-year old boy after being struck by a car. The boy took care of the dog, but he did not have the financial means to pay for the surgery that the dog needed to be able to walk normally. Based on the argument that Negro is a sentient being and due to the injuries he sustained after being struck by a car, he is not living up to the standards set by the current legislation and jurisprudence. According to the current laws, the government has to guarantee the respect and care for nature, and therefore, it should provide the required veterinary care for Negro to be able to have a dignified life. The judge denied the action of "tutela" filed by the dog ("Negro") based on the definition of person given by the civil code. As a result, the judge concluded that "Negro" was not a person and therefore was not entitled to have rights.
(Source: https://www.elespectador.com “Por improcedente, niegan tutela que buscaba proteger la vida de un perro en Bucaramanga”, July (2017)).