Cases

  • Plaintiff appealed an order denying her claim to emotional distress damages presumably for the death of her dog.  The court held that it is well established that a pet owner in New York cannot recover damages for emotional distress caused by the negligent killing of a dog.

  • After a repairman was injured by a dog that grabbed his leg through his jeans and made him fall from a ladder, the victim sued the owners under the dog bite statute, Civ. Code, § 3342. The court held that the statute applied, even though the plaintiff was not wounded by the bite. The word “bite” did not require a puncture or tearing away of the skin.

  • The Court upheld a decision of local justices to dismiss an information that the defendant "did cruelly ill-treat, abuse, and torture a certain animal" contrary to the Cruelty to Animals Act 1849, s. 2 (1). The Act made it an offence to ill-treat, abuse, or torture an animal, and thereby established three separate offences from which the prosecutor should have elected. Note: Although the 1949 Act has been repealed, similar language appears in the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(a), and presumably the same reasoning applies to that statutory provision.

  • Petitioner pet owner alleged that respondent veterinarian took her dog to be spayed, and left the animal on heating pads, which resulted in serious burns, so petitioner filed a claim for damages on the basis of gross negligence, damage to property, and emotional distress. The trial court entered partial summary judgments on the claims for punitive damages and emotional distress and, on a subsequent motion, transferred the case to the county court as a claim for less than the circuit court jurisdictional amount.  The appellate court held that there remained a jury question on the issues of gross negligence and physical and mental pain and suffering as claimed by petitioner.

  • Seeking compensatory and injunctive relief, Plaintiffs commenced a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Defendants County of Erie, Erie County Sheriff's Department, and John Does 1 and 2; Defendants Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ("SPCA") and a SPCA peace officer; and a dog control officer based on alleged searches of Plaintiffs' property and seizure of animals purportedly belonging to Plaintiffs. After reviewing the defendants moved for summary judgment, the district court granted and dismissed the motion in part.

  • In this New York case, the plaintiffs, organizations concerned with the treatment of animals in the New York City zoos, sought injunctive and declaratory relief against city officials who were charged with operating the zoos. Due to a citywide fiscal crisis, the City had to make “Draconian” choices with its human and animal charges, according to the court. In granting a motion to dismiss, this court declined to accept the responsibility for matters that it found to be administrative in nature.

  • This action involves a challenge, under the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, to the Humane Slaughter Act and in particular to the provisions relating to ritual slaughter as defined in the Act and which plaintiffs suggest involve the Government in the dietary preferences of a particular religious (e.g., Orthodox Jews) group.  The court held that there is no violation of Establishment Clause because no excessive governmental entanglement and by making it possible for those who wish to eat ritually acceptable meat to slaughter the animal in accordance with the tenets of their faith, Congress neither established the tenets of that faith nor interfered with the exercise of any other.

  • The plaintiff in Jones v. Craddock , 210 N.C. 429 (N.C. 1936), brought a cause of action for negligent injury to her dog. 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.” 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.

  • A permit was authorized to Sea World to capture killer whales. No environmental impact statement was prepared. Plaintiffs allege that the issuance of the permit without preparation of an environmental impact statement violated the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The Court holds that the permit must be reconsidered after an environmental impact statement is prepared.

  • This involved an action by R. D. Jones against the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway Company, claiming $2,000 damages,--$1,000 for the value of a colt killed by defendant's train, and $1,000 damages for not posting notice of the killing as required by the statute. The court looked at areas in the market outside of the locality since local information on the colt’s market value was not available. The court affirmed the lower court's judgment due to a lack in plaintiff's proofs at trial.

  • Defendant was convicted of unlawfully owning, possessing, keeping or training a dog or dogs with intent that such dog or dogs be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog, and he appealed. The Court of Criminal Appeals held that: (1) dogfighting statute was not unconstitutionally vague; (2) testimony of animal cruelty investigator was sufficient for jury to conclude that defendant owned dogs after effective date of antidog-fighting statute; (3) evidence as to poor conditions of dogs and their vicious propensities exhibited while lodged at animal shelter was relevant to issue of defendant's intent to fight the dogs; and (4) evidence gained by police officer pursuant to search warrant was not inadmissible.

  • The California Department of Forestry approved a developer's Timber Harvest Plan of cutting trees down to build a housing development. The court found that The California Department of Forestry abused its discretion by approving the Timber Harvest Plan because it had not given the public sufficient information about the plan, including the impact on the Northern Spotted Owl before approving it, and because the Timber Harvest Plan did not adequately address the issue of how the plan would affect water quality in the area.

  • The appellant was convicted of failing to provide food and water to dogs who were chained to a spot. Citing the extreme nature of the neglect and the need for general deterrence, the trial judge sentenced the appellant to three months' imprisonment. On appeal, the appellate judge found the sentence to be manifestly excessive and reduced the sentence.

  • In this case, the husband and wife had agreed to shared ownership of their dog, which the lower court incorporated into its order.Based on danger the dog faced by other dogs in the wife’s home and increased contention between the parties, the lower court next gave the husband custody with an order for the wife’s visitation, and finally awarded sole custody to the husband. The state’s Supreme Court affirmed the modified order.
  • Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the United States Humane Society requested that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) disclose a certain Animal Welfare Act form. Arguing that two FOIA exemptions prevented the USDA from releasing certain information on this form (the number of dogs that they buy and sell each year and their annual revenue from dog sales), three Missouri dog breeders and dealers sought to prevent this information’s disclosure. After finding that the public interests in disclosing the information outweighed the privacy concerns for the breeders, the district court granted the USDA's and the U.S. Humane Society's motion for summary judgment.    

  • An animal control facility's practice of euthanizing feral cats without holding them for 72 hours was challenged by a non-profit organization.  The animal control facility's method for determining if a cat is feral consisted only of poking the animal and gaging its reaction.  The trial court dismissed the claim, but the Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

  • Non-profit and advocate challenged the improper treatment/euthanasia of animals and complaint was dismissed.  On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff's qualified as "aggrieved persons" within the statute, but that all administrative remedies were not sought.  Affirmed.

  • In this Texas appeal, defendant Brent Justice contends that his conviction for a single count of cruelty to a nonlivestock animal was based on insufficient evidence. The incident stemmed from defendant's filming of his co-defendant, Ashley Richards, torturing and killing of a newly-weaned puppy. Justice and Richards ran an escort business named "Bad Gurls Entertainment" that focused on the production and distribution of animal "crush" videos (fetish videos involving the stomping, torturing, and killing of various kinds of animals in a prolonged manner). The evidence that supported the conviction involved the confessions of both perpetrators and the video of the puppy being tortured and ultimately killed. On appeal, defendant argues that he cannot be found guilty since was not the principal involved in the offense. This court was unconvinced, finding that the evidence was sufficient to support a state jail felony since "[t]here is no shortage of evidence that appellant aided Richards in her cruelty," including handing Richards the knife and filming the killing. The one issue in defendant's "hybrid" pro se and represented brief on appeal that the court granted was related to a finding that defendant used a "deadly weapon." After the filing of initial briefs, the Court of Criminal Appeals in Prichard v. State, No. PD-0712-16, --- S.W.3d ---, 2017 WL 2791524 (Tex. Crim. App. June 28, 2017), held that “a deadly weapon finding is disallowed when the recipient or victim is nonhuman.” Thus, in the case at hand, the court deleted the deadly weapon finding since it was directed at the puppy rather than a human. The case was remanded for a new hearing on punishment only since the conviction was affirmed for a state jail felony.
  • In this Utah case, the defendant appeals the decision of the district court finding him guilty on four counts of failing to maintain a city dog license and one count of running an illegal kennel. In December 2005, a Kanab City animal control officer responded to numerous complaints of barking dogs at Defendant's residence. This officer observed four dogs over the age of three months on the premises during two separate visits to Defendant's home that month and on subsequent random visits in the following months. On appeal, defendant argued that the city ordinance on which his conviction for operating an illegal kennel is based is unconstitutionally vague. This court disagreed, finding that an ordinary person reading the ordinance would understand that, in order to keep more than two dogs over the age of three months in the same residence, a citizen must register for a kennel permit.

  • Plaintiff, a passenger of a horse-drawn sled sued the owner of the property on which the accident occurred, as well as the owner of the horses and the sled for the injuries she suffered when thrown from the sled.   The Court of Appeals found that the equine immunity statute provided protection for the owner of the horse against tort liability.   The plain language of the statute provides that immunity from civil liability is available to all persons , “ including an equine activity sponsor or equine professional…”; thus, protection is not limited only to those who are sponsors or professionals, rather they are examples of types of people to whom the statute applies.

  • A district court found the appellant’s animals had been lawfully seized, and then divested appellant of ownership of the animals and vested custody to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The appellant filed an appeal in the civil division of the circuit court, but the circuit court dismissed the appeal as untimely and not properly perfected. Upon another appeal, the Arkansas Court of Appeals found it had no jurisdiction and therefore dismissed the case.

  • Plaintiff cruise company filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to halt scientific research of the defendant government, alleging standing under the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), the Marine Mammal Protection Act ("MMPA"), and the Endangered Species Act ("ESA").

  • Plaintiff's neighbor, a livestock rancher, shot plaintiff's sheepdogs after they escaped and trespassed on his property.  As a matter of first impression, the court construed the California Food and Agricultural Code provision that allows one to kill a dog that enters an enclosed or unenclosed livestock confinement area with threat of civil or criminal penalty.  The court affirmed defendant's motion with regard to the code provision, finding it gave them a privilege to kill the trespassing dogs.  Further, the court found defendants owed no duty to plaintiff thereby denying the claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress as a result of negligence in supervising the ranchhand who killed the dogs.  With regard to the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, plaintiffs cite the manner in which the dogs were killed and then dumped in a ditch and the fact defendant denied knowing the fate of the dogs.  Relying on the "extreme and outrageous conduct" test, the court held that the defendant's conduct did not fall within the statutory privilege and remanded the issue to the trial court for consideration. 

  • This Arizona based appeal arises out of a veterinary malpractice action filed by plaintiff/appellant David Kaufman against defendants/appellees, William Langhofer, DVM, and Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic over the death of Salty, Kaufman's scarlet macaw. The main issue on appeal is whether a pet owner is entitled to recover emotional distress and loss of companionship damages over the death of his or her pet. Plaintiff argues that the court here should “expand” Arizona common law to allow a pet owner to recover emotional distress damages and damages for loss of companionship in a veterinarian malpractice action. While the court acknowledged the emotional distress Kaufman suffered over Salty's death, it noted that Dr. Langhofer's negligence did not directly harm Kaufman. Thus, the court felt that it would not be appropriate 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.

  • Plaintiffs sued defendants in their official capacities as law enforcement officers for shooting and killing their five dogs after the dogs escaped from plaintiffs' residence and began roaming the streets.  The intentional infliction of emotional distress claim was dismissed because the court held that conduct could not reasonably be viewed as extreme and outrageous after receiving testimony that the dog were aggressive toward the officers.  However, the court remanded the negligent infliction of emotional distress claim for further consideration.  Plaintiffs asserted that two statutes conferred a duty upon the officers; one an anti-cruelty statute and the other a statute allowing officers to take custody of abandoned animals.

  • Plaintiff, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected (KMWP), appealed an order of the Court of Claims concluding that PA 281 does not violate Michigan's Constitution or statutes, and the granting of summary disposition in favor of defendants, the State of Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Natural Resources Commission. The issue began in 2011 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the federal list of endangered species, returning management of wolf populations to Michigan. In 2012, the governor of Michigan signed PA 520 into law, which added the wolf to the definition of "game" animals. Plaintiff KMWP organized a statewide referendum petition drive to reject PA 520 at the November 4, 2014 general election, which would have rendered PA 520 ineffective unless approved by a majority of voters. In 2013, Michigan's Governor signed into law PA 21 and PA 22, which granted the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) authority to manage wolves. In addition, the laws also gave qualified members of the military free game and fish licenses. Another petition drive was initiated by plaintiff and required signatures were collected to place the issue on the November 2014 ballot. However, in December 2013, before this, Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management (CPWM) circulated a petition to initiate the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Management Act also known as PA 281. This new law would reenact PA 520 and 21, giving the NRC authority for designating game animals, offering free military hunting and fishing licenses, and appropriating $1 million to manage invasive species. In May of 2014, the CPWM certified this initiative petition and submitted directly it to the Legislature to enact or reject the law. The Legislature adopted the law, which became known as PA 281. Notably, at the November 2014 election, a majority of voters rejected PA 520 and PA 21. Regardless, PA 281, which included the voter-rejected designation of the wolf as a game species, was signed into law and the NRC designated wolves as a game species effective March 2015. Following this, plaintiff filed the underlying complaint that challenged the constitutionality of PA 281, specifically that it violated the Title–Object Clause of Michigan's Constitution, Const 1963, art 4, § 24, which states that (1) a law must not embrace more than one object, and (2) the object of the law must be expressed in its title. The Court of Claims granted defendants' summary disposition motion, holding the the general purpose of PA 281 is to “manage fish, wildlife, and their habitats” and that all of the law's provisions relate to this purpose, and concluded that the law did not violate the single-object requirement of the Title–Object Clause. The Court of Appeals found that some provisions of PA 281 did not violate the Title-Object Clause including (1) free licenses to military and (2) appropriating $1 million to respond to the threat of invasive fish species. However, the court did find that the free licenses to members of the military has no necessary connection to the scientific management of fish, wildlife, and their habitats violating the single-object rule of the Title-Object Clause. While the court noted that there is a severability option with provisions of laws that violate the Title-Object Clause, the court cannot conclude the Legislature would have passed PA 281 without the provision allowing free hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses for active members of the military. Thus, this provision cannot be severed from PA 281, and, consequently, the court found PA 281 is unconstitutional. The court noted that its decision rests solely under an analysis of the Michigan Constitution and related cases. However, the court noted that plaintiff's assertion that the initiating petition by defendant put "curb appeal" of free military licenses and invasive species control to "surreptitiously" reenact a provision that would ensure wolves would be on the game species list was an "accurate" assessment. The court even said that PA 281 "conjures up images of a Trojan Horse, within which the ability to hunt wolves was cleverly hidden." The order granting summary judgment for defendants was reversed and the matter was remanded.
  • This case focuses on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's preliminary objection that Petitioners' had taxpayer standing to request injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that regulations promulgated by the Department were in conflict with the mandates set forth in the Pennsylvania Dog Law Act. Petitioners asserted that the Department was not authorized to exempt nursing mothers from the statutory ban on metal strand flooring and from the statutory requirement of unfettered access to exercise areas. Department argued that Petitioners had not pled sufficient facts to show that those directly and immediately affected by the regulations were beneficially affected. The court found Petitioners were at least as well inclined and situated as any other entities to challenge regulations that might be in conflict with those provisions. The court therefore overruled the Department's preliminary objections to Petitioners' standing.
  • In this case, Kennedy House appealed the lower court’s decision in finding that it had violated Section 9–1108 of the Philadelphia Fair Practice Ordinance when it denied Jan Rubin’s request for a housing accommodation in the form of a waiver of its no-dog policy. Rubin applied for a housing accommodation at Kennedy House because she suffered from multiple physical aliments. In a meeting with Kennedy House, Rubin did state that her dog was not a trained service animal that helped with her physical and mobility issues but rather helped with reminding her to take medication and getting out of bed. The lower court determined that Rubin had satisfied her burden of proving that her dog was necessary in helping with her medical issues. After reviewing the lower court’s decision, the Commonwealth Court held that the lower court had erred in its decisions. Ultimately, the court found that because Ms. Rubin's physician described a disability related to her mobility, and there was no evidence establishing a nexus between her mobility-related needs and the requested assistance animal, Ms. Rubin did not meet her burden necessary for Kennedy House to waive its no-dog policy. As a result, the court reversed the lower court’s decision.

  • Plaintiff filed for a Writ of Certiorari requesting that his case be transfered from circuit court to county court.  He was seeking damages for emotional distress, following alleged veterinary malpractice by the defendant.  The Court held that Florida would not consider pets to be part of an actual family, that damages for emotional distress will not be permitted, and therefore the plaintiff did not have sufficient damages to met the circuit court jurisdictional amount.   Petition denied..

  • The Iowa Supreme Court held that a county ordinance regulating possession of dangerous and vicious animals did not violate the due process, equal protection, or takings clauses of the Constitution (in this instance, appellant was the owner of a lion). The regulation was a legitimate exercise of police power, which was rationally related to the legitimate government interest of protecting public safety.

  • The operator of a dog kennel brought an that alleged the Kansas Animal Dealers Act violated the Constitution. The District Court held that the Kansas Animal Dealers Act did not violate commerce clause and was, in fact, a valid exercise of the state's traditional police power.

  • Donald Ray Kervin was found guilty of felony animal cruelty stemming from a 2012 incident at his residence. Animal control officers arrived to find defendant's dog "Chubbie" in a small, hot laundry room a the back of his house that emitted a "rotten-flesh odor." Chubbie was visibly wet, lying in his own feces and urine, with several open wounds infested with maggots. After questioning Kervin about the dog's injuries, defendant finally admitted to hitting Chubbie with a shovel for discipline. The dog was ultimately euthanized due to the severity of his condition. In this instant appeal, Kervin contends that the lower court erred in using the 2014 revised jury instruction to instruct the jury on the charged offense rather than the 2012 version of the instruction. Kevin argued that the 2014 version expanded the 2012 version to include the “failure to act” in felony animal cruelty cases. Also, Kervin argued that the 2012 version should have been used because it was in place at the time the offense occurred. Ultimately, the court found that the lower court did not err by using the 2014 jury instruction. The court held that the 2014 jury instructions merely “clarified” the 2012 jury instruction and that the “failure to act” was already present in the 2012 jury instruction. As a result, the court upheld Kervin’s guilty verdict.
  • In an action for conversion of household goods kept for use and not for sale, it is not necessary to prove that such goods have no market value as a condition precedent to the right to introduce proof of actual value. If they have no market value, the measure of damages for their conversion is their value to the owner based on the actual money lost.

  • After neighbors shot a cat, the owners sued to recover costs of its medical care and punitive damages. The owner of an injured pet may recover the lesser of the diminution of the market value of the animal, or the reasonable cost of repair.  The Court of Appeal held that the owner could recover damages for costs incurred in treating the cat even if the costs exceeded the market value of the cat. The owner could also recover punitive damages upon a showing that the shooting was willful.

  • Plaintiff was kicked by a horse ridden by her friend while trail riding.  Plaintiff sued the Defendant who owned the horse and trail Plaintiff was riding on.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendant and the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision holding Plaintiff assumed the risk.

  • Plaintiff was an employee of a dairy farm owned by defendants. In 2007, he was injured by a bull owned and controlled by defendants while working on the defendants' farm . The Appellate Court disagreed with the lower court, finding that the employee's allegations were sufficient to support a claim against the farm owners under the Animal Control Act. The court found it was a question of fact whether it was plaintiff's job to care for the bull, and whether that animal was in the care and/or custody of plaintiff at the time of the injury.

  • Horseback rider was bitten during a trail ride and brought suit in personal injury.  After removal to Federal Court, the Court held that Hawaii's recreational activity liability statute was applicable and that summary judgment was not appropriate.  Motion for summary judgment denied.

  • Plaintiff sued for damages after a cow was sent to slaughter after a veterinarian had determined that she was incapable of breeding. The court recognized “peculiar value” of the cow where there was evidence that she was slaughtered before she had completed a course of treatment meant to restore her to brood status, that she could have produced for another five or six years, that the three bull calves she had produced were outstanding, that defendant took a half interest in them as the breeding fee and exhibited them at shows, that the cow's blood line produced calves particularly valuable for inbreeding, that plaintiff needed this type of stock to build up her herd, and that defendant had knowledge of these facts. The value of the bull to which the cow had been bred was also material to the cow’s actual value.

  • A dairy farmer sued electric utility for trespass and damages after 14 cows were electrocuted by downed power lines. The Superior Court held that the dairy farmer was not entitled to loss-of-use damages because he chose to replace the electrocuted cows by raising others from his herd rather than by immediately buying mature milk-producing cows.

  • In this North Carolina case, defendant dog owners appealed from a decision of the County Board of Health that ruled their dog could not be returned home because of the dog's potential exposure to rabies as result of attacking a raccoon (the dog was scheduled for euthanization). After the Board denied the owners' appeal, they filed a complaint against county which contained motions for preliminary and permanent injunctions to prevent dog's quarantine and for class certification. The Court of Appeals held that the owners' appeal of Board's decision to quarantine dog was moot because dog had already been returned home. The action against the animal control officers was dismissed because the officers were shielded by governmental immunity.

  • The state of New Mexico challenged the constitutionality of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act after they were ordered by the U.S. government to recover several wild horses they had rounded up from public lands within their state and sold at auction in violation of the WFRHBA.  The Supreme Court upheld the Act, finding it to be a valid exercise of federal power under the Article IV Property Clause of, which gave Congress the power to protect wildlife on state lands, state law notwithstanding. 

  • In this Illinois case, the Appellate Court considered, as a matter of first impression, under what circumstances does a landlord owe a duty of care to his tenant's invitees to prevent injury from an attack by an animal kept by the tenant on the leased premises?  A minor invitee (Alexus) of the tenants was bitten by tenants' dog and brought a negligence action against residential landlords.  It was undisputed that the tenants held exclusive control over the premises and paid $700 a month in rent to the landlords.  The Appellate Court held that even if landlords knew tenants' dog was dangerous, the landlords had no duty to protect the tenants' invitee because landlords retained no control over the leased premises where injury occurred.  "Here, the tenants' affirmative conduct of bringing the dog into the living space of the home, an area over which the landlords had no control, is what might have been the proximate cause of Alexus' injuries."

  • Plaintiffs brought suit against a ranch after their car struck two of the ranch's horses on the highway.  The trial court dismissed holding no duty of care was breached by the ranch because Iowa no longer had a statute prohibiting animals from roaming.  The Supreme Court of Iowa reversed reasoning that a duty of ordinary care still exists.

  • The United States Secretary of Agriculture (“Secretary”) fined Petitioner $395,900 after finding that he bought and sold regulated animals without a license, in violation of the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) and implementing regulations. In his petition for review, Petitioner argued that his activities were lawful, and that the Secretary abused its discretion in its choice of sanction. The petition was granted and denied in part.
  • Appellant operated a USDA-licensed exotic animal business in Texas. In February 2010, a United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service agent visited the business on a routine inspection and cited Appellant for several USDA regulation violations. After several subsequent inspections, several other violations were discovered and Appellant was presented with a Notice of Intent to Confiscate Animals. The next day, the animals were confiscated. Using Bivens, Appellant argued the agents violated her Fifth Amendment Due Process rights by (1) seizing her property without providing a method for challenging the seizure and (2) not allowing sufficient time to cure the cited violations prior to seizing her property. The district court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. On appeal, the 9th Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision because the Appellant failed to assert factual allegations showing how each defendant, by his or her own individual acts, violated her constitutional rights.
  • Dog owners brought negligence action against veterinarian and animal hospital after their dog suffered injuries while under the veterinarian's and the hospital's care. The Appeals Court held that the trial court did not err by allowing the jury to consider plaintiff-owners' mental pain and suffering, and that the jury could reasonably have viewed defendants' neglectful conduct resulting in the dog's injury to have amounted to great indifference to plaintiffs' property.

  • In this Massachusetts case, the plaintiff, a concessionaire at the Brockton Fair intended to award goldfish as a prize in a game of chance. The defendant, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), asserted that such conduct would violate G.L. c. 272, s 80F. In the action for declaratory relief, the court considered whether the term "animal" in the statute includes goldfish. The court concluded in the affirmative that, "in interpreting this humane statute designed to protect animals subject to possible neglect by prizewinners," former G.L. c. 272, s 80F applies to goldfish.

  • Plaintiff pled damages that included plaintiff's pain and suffering, extreme fright, shock, mortification, and the loss of the companionship of his dog after negligent treatment by defendant animal hospital killed his dog.  The court noted that there is no Michigan precedent that permits the recovery of damages for emotional injuries allegedly suffered as a consequence of property damage.  Although this Court is sympathetic to plaintiff's position, it chose to defer to the Legislature to create such a remedy.

  • Applicants sought a zoning variance to operate a nonprofit dog-rescue shelter. The zoning board denied the application, concluding that the dog-rescue operation run by applicants was a non-permissible “kennel” under the township's zoning ordinance. Applicants appealed to a trial court. The trial court determined that because applicants did not receive “economic gain” or a profit for their efforts, their dog-rescue operation was not a “kennel” and, therefore, was not a prohibited land use under the zoning ordinance. The trial court therefore reversed the zoning board's order. Intervenors, the applicants’ neighbors, appealed from the trial court's decision. Upon review, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania concluded that the term “kennel,” as used in the zoning ordinance, was ambiguous, and had to be construed in favor of applicants to find that applicants' operation of a large dog rescue facility on their property did not constitute the operation of a kennel. The appeals court therefore affirmed the trial court's decision.

  • Environmental groups challenged the NMFS's use of data in its classification of the Hawaii longline fishery as a "category III" fishery.  Held:  the NMFS has discretion to consider reliability of only available scientific data in classifying fishery.

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