|American Bird Conservancy v. Harvey||232 F. Supp. 3d 292 (E.D.N.Y. 2017)||
Plaintiff, American Bird Conservancy, is a non-profit organization that was dedicated to the conservation of the Piping Plover (a threatened species) in this case. The individual Plaintiffs, David A. Krauss and Susan Scioli were also members of the organization, who observed Piping Plovers at Jones Beach, in New York State for many years. The Plaintiffs brought an action against Defendant Rose Harvey, the Commissioner of the New York State “Parks Office”. The Plaintiffs asserted that the Commissioner failed to act while members of the public routinely fed, built shelters, and cared for the feral cats on Jones Beach. As the cat colonies flourished, the Piping Plover population decreased due to attacks by the cats. The Plaintiffs contended that by failing to take measures to decrease the feral cat population, the Commissioner was allowing the cats to prey on the Piping Plover, in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Commissioner moved to dismiss the complaint. The District Court, held that: (1) the affidavit and documentary evidence provided by the Alley Cat Allies (ACA) organization was outside the scope of permissible supporting materials for the motion to dismiss. (2)The Plaintiffs had standing to bring action alleging violation of the Endangered Species Act. The Commissioners motion to dismiss was denied.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture||2017 WL 2352009 (N.D. Cal. May 31, 2017) (unpublished)||The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regularly posted documents about the enforcement activities of the Defendant, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, (“APHIS”). The documents were posted on two online databases. However, APHIS grew concerned that its Privacy Act system was insufficient. Therefore, the USDA blocked public access to the two databases so that it could review and ensure that the documents did not contain private information. However, the Plaintiffs, animal welfare non-profit organizations, asserted that by blocking access to the databases, the USDA breached its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act's (“FOIA”)'s reading-room provision. The Plaintiff’s also asserted that the USDA's decision to block access was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). Plaintiff's motioned for a mandatory preliminary injunction. The United States District Court, N.D. California denied the Plaintiffs motion and held that the Plaintiffs are not likely to succeed on their FOIA claim because (1) there is no public remedy for violations of the reading room provision and they have not exhausted administrative remedies. (2) The Plaintiffs are not likely to succeed on their claim under the APA because FOIA provides the Plaintiffs an adequate alternative remedy. The Plaintiffs cannot establish that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction or that the balance of harms weighs in their favor in light of the on-going review and privacy interests asserted by the USDA.|
|Liddle v. Clark||107 N.E.3d 478 (Ind. Ct. App.), transfer denied, 113 N.E.3d 627 (Ind. 2018)||In November of 2005 DNR issued an emergency rule that authorized park managers to permit individuals to trap racoons during Indiana’s official trapping season which it reissued on an annual basis from 2007 to 2013. Harry Bloom, a security officer at Versailles State Park (VSP) began installing his own lethal traps with the authorization from the park’s manager. The park manager did not keep track of where the traps were placed nor did Bloom post any signs to warn people of the traps due to fear of theft. As a result, Melodie Liddle’s dog, Copper, died in a concealed animal trap in the park. Liddle filed suit against several state officials and asked the court to declare the state-issued emergency rules governing trapping in state parks invalid. The trial court awarded damages to Liddle for the loss of her dog. Liddle appealed the trial court’s ruling on summary judgment limiting the calculation of damages and denying her request for declaratory judgment. On appeal, Liddle claimed that the trial court erred in ruling in favor of DNR for declaratory judgment on the emergency trapping rules and in excluding sentimental value from Liddle’s calculation of damages. The Court concluded that Liddle’s claim for declaratory relief was moot because the 2012 and 2013 versions of the emergency rule were expired and no longer in effect. The Court also concluded that recovery of a pet is limited to fair market-value since animals are considered personal property under Indiana law. The Court ultimately affirmed the trial court’s ruling.|
|253-20-JH/22 The case of Estrellita||253-20-JH/22||This is the unprecedented case of Estrellita, a woolly monkey, and the first animal with the status of subject of rights in Ecuador. Estrellita was illegally taken from her habitat as a baby and sold to a family that kept her as a pet for 18 years. The authorities became aware of Estrellita after an anonymous report stating that the Plaintiff was keeping a wild animal in their home. Estrellita was seized and relocated to a nearby zoo. The owner of Estrellita filed a habeas corpus requesting that Estrellita be returned to her, as she was a family member. Sadly, Estrellita died while under the care of the authorities. Despite the family's heartfelt plea, the court denied the habeas corpus, deciding that the best course of action was to keep Estrellita in the zoo - a decision that ultimately cost her life. The Constitutional Court decided to hear the case because it considered it had questions that needed to be answered. In a 7-2 court ruling, Ecuador's Constitutional Court held that animals are subjects of rights protected by the rights of nature. (In Ecuador, nature has been granted rights under the 2008 Constitution). The court found that both the Plaintiff and the authorities had violated Estrellita's rights to life and integrity by taking her from the wild and, in the government's case, by ignoring her needs when relocating her to the zoo. The court further held that the writ of habeas corpus could be appropriate in animal cases, depending on the circumstances. Another significant outcome of this decision is that the court instructed the Ministry of Environment and the Ombudsman to draft new legislation that materializes the parameters and criteria outlined in its decision. This legislation is essential in creating a legal framework to protect animals and ensure their rights are respected.|
|32 Pit Bulldogs and Other Property v. County of Prentiss||808 So.2d 971 (Miss. S.C. 2002)||
While a criminal trial regarding alleged dog-fighting was pending, the Circuit Court, Prentiss County, ordered the humane euthanization of 18 of 34 seized pit bulldogs. The alleged dog owner appealed. The Supreme Court held that allegations the dogs had been trained to fight, could not be rehabilitated as pets, and posed serious threat to other animals and people, related to the "physical condition" of the dogs, as statutory basis for humane euthanization. Affirmed.
|789-22-JH, Habeas Corpus - Cuqui Brown, the sloth||789-22-JH||This is the case of Cuqui Brown, a sloth kept as a pet by a family in Ecuador. Cuqui Brown was seized by the authorities and transferred to a zoo. Plaintiff filed a Habeas Corpus against the Ministry of the Environment, alleging that Cuqui Brown was a family member, and requested that the court order the authorities to return Cuqui Brown to the plaintiff. In addition, plaintiff alleged that her rights and the rights of Cuqui were violated based on Estrellita's case that granted animals the status of subjects of rights. The court denied the Habeas Corpus, stating that the decision in Estrellita's case does not enable individuals to keep a wild animal or to request that a wild animal be returned to their possession. Instead, the Estrellita case recognizes the rights of wild animals based on aspects like their life, integrity, and their relationship with nature, not on the well-being or attachment of the person who removes them from their habitat to keep them as pets.|
|907 Whitehead Street, Inc. v. Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture||701 F.3d 1345 (C.A.11 (Fla.))||
The appellant in this case, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida ("Museum"), appeals the lower court's determination that it is an animal exhibitor for purposes of the Animal Welfare Act ("AWA"). Appellant contends that while admission is charged for the Museum, it does not exhibit the Hemingway cats to the public for compensation; thus, the cats are not distributed through interstate commerce. The court, however, found that since the AWA itself is ambiguous on the question of whether "distribution" includes the fixed-site commercial display of animals, the USDA's broader interpretation of "distribution" and "exhibitor" are entitled to legal deference. While the court sympathized with the museum's frustrations, it affirmed the district court's findings of law and held that Museum is an AWA animal exhibitor subject to USDA regulation
|Abundant Animal Care, LLC v. Gray||316 Ga.App. 193 (Ga.App. 2012)||
While either shadowing her aunt or during her first day working at the veterinary clinic, the plaintiff was bitten three times by a dog she had taken outside to exercise. Plaintiff subsequently filed numerous claims against the veterinary clinic, including: negligence; negligence per se; nuisance; and violation of a premise liability and a dangerous dog statute. After the lower court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment, the defendant appealed to the Georgia appellate court. The appeals court stated that in a dog bite case, the plaintiff needed to produce evidence that the dog had a vicious propensity. Since the plaintiff failed to produce such evidence, the court held the defendant should have been granted a motion for summary judgment on its premise liability, nuisance, dangerous dog statute, and negligence per se claims. As for the negligence claim, the court held the defendant should have been granted a motion for summary judgment because the plaintiff was not aware of internal procedures to protect invitees and because the injuries were not proximately caused by negligent supervision. The lower court's judgment was therefore reversed.
|Access Now, Inc. v. Town of Jasper, Tennessee||268 F.Supp.2d 973, 26 NDLR P 107 (E.D.Tenn.,2003)||Plaintiffs Access Now, Inc. and Pamela Kitchens, acting as parent and legal guardian on behalf of her minor daughter Tiffany brought this action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against defendant Town of Jasper, Tennessee under the ADA after the town denied her request to keep a keep miniature horse as service animal at her residence. The town's ordinance at issue provided that no person shall keep an enumerated animal within 1000 feet of any residence without a permit from the health officer. The Jasper Municipal Court held a hearing and determined that the keeping of the horse was in violation of the code and ordered it removed from the property. On appeal, this Court found that while the plaintiffs contended that the horse helped Tiffany in standing, walking, and maintaining her balance, Tiffany does not have a disability as defined by the ADA and does not have a genuine need to use the horse as a service animal. Further, the Court found that the horse was not a service animal within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 because the animal was not used in the capacity of a service animal and instead was a companion or pet to Tiffany. The plaintiffs' complaint was dismissed with prejudice.|
|Accion Penal 20331-2017- 00179, The case of the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999||Accion Penal 20331-2017- 00179||In this case, the environmental authorities of the Galápagos National Park (the Galápagos Islands is an archipelago known for its unique species and marine ecosystems) tracked through the satellite monitoring system the Chinese reefer vessel—Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999—in national waters while it was cruising through the Galápagos marine reserve without the required permit. The park issued an alert to the National Guard, which approached the vessel by water and air. Upon searching the vessel, the authorities found approximately 532 tons of fish that included 7.639 sharks (7207 juveniles or adults, 432 unborn). All shark specimens found on board lacked fins, and nine of the 12 species were protected endangered species. In this case, the National Court of Justice set an exemplary precedent by affirming the lower court decision and ordering the confiscation of the vessel and imposing a 5.9 million dollar fine to be used for the restoration of the damage caused to the Galápagos ecosystem. In addition, the crew members were sentenced to 1–3 years in jail.|
|Adams v Reahy|| NSWSC 1276||
The first respondent claimed that despite their best efforts their dog was unable to gain weight and appeared emaciated. When proceedings were instituted, the first respondent was successful in being granted a permanent stay as the appellant, the RSPCA, failed to grant the first respondent access to the dog to determine its current state of health. On appeal, it was determined that a permanent stay was an inappropriate remedy and that the first respondent should be granted a temporary stay only until the dog could be examined.
|Adams v. Vance||187 U.S. App. D.C. 41; 570 F.2d 950 (1977)||
An American Eskimo group had hunted bowhead whales as a form of subsistence for generations and gained an exemption from the commission to hunt the potentially endangered species. An injunction was initially granted, but the Court of Appeals vacated the injunction because the interests of the United States would likely have been compromised by requiring the filing of the objection and such an objection would have interfered with the goal of furthering international regulation and protection in whaling matters.
|Adrian v. Vonk||807 N.W.2d 119 (S.D. 2012)||
Ranchers sued State for damage to their property from prairie dogs from public lands. The Supreme Court held that statutes governing State's participation in programs to control prairie dogs did not contain express waivers of sovereign immunity; State's statutorily-mandated actions in controlling prairie dogs were discretionary acts, and ranchers' action was barred by sovereign immunity; and statute did not provide for a nuisance cause of action against the State.
|AFADA habeas corpus Cecilia||EXPTE. NRO. P-72.254/15||“Abogados y Funcionarios de defensa Animal” (AFADA) brought a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Cecilia, a 30 year old chimpanzee that lived in the Mendoza Zoo alleging that the chimpanzee had been illegitimately and arbitrarily deprived of her right to ambulatory freedom and right to have a dignified life on the part of authorities of the Zoo of the City of Mendoza, Argentina. The court granted habeas corpus to Cecilia, ruling that Cecilia was a living being with rights and instructing defendants to immediately free her and to relocate her to the Great Ape Project Sanctuary in Brazil. Until this moment, only humans illegally detained had been granted this writ.|
|AKERS v. SELLERS||54 N.E.2d 779 (Ind.App.1944)||
This Indiana case involves an action in replevin by John W. Akers against his former wife, Stella Sellers. The controversy at issue was ownership and possession of a Boston bull terrier dog. At the time of the divorce decree, the dog was not part of the property division and was instead left at the marriage domicile in custody of the former wife. Appellant-Akers claimed that legal title and the dog's best interests rested with him and unsuccessfully brought a suit in replevin in the lower court. On appeal, this Court held that there was no sufficient evidence to overturn the lower court's determination. The judgment was affirmed.
|Akron ex rel. Christman-Resch v. Akron||825 N.E.2d 189 (Ohio, 2005)||
City of Akron, Ohio cat owners filed suit against city, its mayor, and city council president, seeking declaratory judgment that new city code sections, relating to the trapping and euthanization of free-roaming cats, were unconstitutional. After the Court of Common Pleas, Summit County granted summary judgment to defendants, the cat owners appealed. The Court of Appeals held that the city's ordinances relating to the trapping and euthanization of free-roaming cats did not violate cat owners' substantive due process rights. Further, the ordinances which allowed a cat to be euthanized after three business days following the date of impoundment, did not violate cat owners' procedural due process rights or right to equal protection. Finally, the ordinances, which allowed city to seize free-roaming cats in response to complaints, did not violate the Fourth Amendment and city's actions were covered by sovereign immunity.
|Alaimo v. Racetrack at Evangeline Downs, Inc.||893 So.2d 190 (3rd Cir., 2005)||
A racehorse breeder and owner brought suit against a racetrack for the loss of future winnings after a racehorse collided with a negligently maintained gate on the racetrack. The trial court awarded plaintiff $38,000 without specifying what the award was for. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision holding the award was not unreasonable based on the horse's racing history.
|ALDF v. Glickman||154 F.3d 426 (1998)||
Animal welfare group and individual plaintiffs brought action against, inter alia, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), challenging its regulations concerning treatment of nonhuman primates on grounds that they violated USDA's statutory mandate under Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
|ALDF v. Glickman||204 F.3d 229(2000)||
Animal welfare organization and individual plaintiffs brought action against United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), challenging regulations promulgated under Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to promote psychological well-being of nonhuman primates kept by exhibitors and researchers. The Court of Appeals held that: (1) regulations were valid, and (2) animal welfare organization did not have standing to raise procedural injury. Case discussed in topic: US Animal Welfare Act
|ALDF v. Quigg||932 F.2d 920(Fed. Cir. 1991)||This case establishes the relative inability of third parties to challenge the veracity of an existing patent for genetically engineered animals. Judicial review is rare in such cases because third party plaintiffs, under the Administrative Procedures Act, lack standing to challenge the Patent and Trademark Office's interpretation of existing law.|
|Allanson v. Toncich||2002 WL 1897936 (Austrailia)||
Appeal uphold the judgement against the dog owner for damages, but recalculates damages upward.
|Allen v. Camp||70 So. 290 (Ala.App. 1915)||
Defendant shot and killed Plaintiff's dog, which had bitten Defendant's daughter several days earlier, for the purpose of sending the dog's head to a laboratory for examination for rabies. The Court of Appeals of Alabama found that Plaintiff's wife's injuries were too remote to be compensable, when the wife was not home at the time of the incident and became excited and hysterical upon hearing of the incident several hours later. The Appeals Court also held that although one may protect himself or his family from injury by a dog or other animal when on his own private property or on public property, the destruction of an animal is wrongful when the danger of attack and subsequent injury by that animal no longer exists, and where the animal is not trespassing.
|Allen v. Cox||942 A.2d 296 (Conn. 2008)||
The plaintiff (Allen) brought this action against the defendants (Jessica Cox and Daniel Cox) alleging that she was injured by the defendants' cat after the defendants negligently allowed the cat to roam free. The trial court rendered summary judgment for the defendants. Relying mainly on the Restatement (Second), this court held that when a cat has a propensity to attack other cats, knowledge of that propensity may render the owner liable for injuries to people that foreseeably result from such behavior.
|Allen v. Municipality of Anchorage||168 P.3d 890 (Alaska App., 2007)||
Krystal R. Allen pleaded no contest to two counts of cruelty to animals after animal control officers came to her home and found 180 to 200 cats, 3 dogs, 13 birds, and 3 chickens in deplorable conditions. She was sentenced to a 30-day jail term and was placed on probation for 10 years. One of the conditions of Allen's probation prohibits her from possessing any animals other than her son's dog. In first deciding that its jurisdictional reach extends to claims not just based on the term of imprisonment, the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion by restricting Allen's possession of animals during the term of her probation.
|Allen v. Pennsylvania Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals||488 F.Supp.2d 450 (M.D.Pa., 2007)||
This is a § 1983 civil rights action brought by Robert Lee Allen against certain state actors arising from their search of his property, seizure of his farm animals, and prosecution of him for purported violations of Pennsylvania's cruelty-to-animals statute. The animals Allen typically acquires for his rehabilitation farm are underweight, in poor physical condition, and suffer from long-standing medical issues. After receiving a telephone complaint regarding the condition of the horses and other livestock on Allen's farm, humane officers visited Allen's property to investigate allegations. Subsequently, a warrant to seize eight horses, four goats, and two pigs was executed on a day when the officers knew Allen would be away from his farm with "twenty five assorted and unnecessary individuals." The court held that the farmer's allegations that state and county humane societies had a custom, policy or practice of failing to train and supervise their employees stated § 1983 claims against humane societies. Further, the defendants were acting under color of state law when they searched and seized farmer's property.
|Allendorf v. Redfearn||2011 IL App (2d) 110130 (2011)||
After a farm employee was injured in an all terrain vehicle (ATV) while trying to round up a bull, he sued the farm owners under the Domestic Animals Running at Large Act. The Appellate Court held that the employee could not recover under the Act, which protects members of the general public who cannot be expected to appreciate the risk posed by an animal. Because the employee was not an innocent bystander but rather was attempting to exercise control over the bull at the time he was injured, he fell within the Act's definition of an “owner” of the bull.
|Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Austin||55 F. Supp. 3d 1294 (D. Mont. 2014)||Plaintiff challenged the defendants' approval of the Rennic Stark Project in the Ninemile Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest under the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The Project proposed a host of forest management measures. Under the National Environmental Protection Act, the defendant published an Environmental Assessment (“EA”) for the project in November 2012. The EA discussed the likely effects of the project on a number of wildlife species, including the ESA-listed threatened Canada lynx, the Forest Service-sensitive fisher, the Forest Service-sensitive North American wolverine, goshawk, and westslope cutthroat trout. The defendant signed and issued a Decision Notice adopting Alternative 2 from the EA, as well as a Finding of No Significant Impact. Plaintiff timely appealed the defendant's decision, but the defendant denied the appeal. Plaintiff then filed its complaint in this court and moved for summary judgment. Defendants filed their cross-motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment was denied on all claims and defendants’ motion for summary judgment was granted on all claims.|
|Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar||672 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2012)||Environmental organizations challenged constitutionality of Section 1713 of the 2011 Appropriations Act ordering Secretary of Interior to reissue a final rule removing a distinct gray wolf population in the northern Rocky Mountains from protections of Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court of Appeals held that the statute did not violate the separation of powers doctrine, and reasoned that Congress amended, rather than repealed, ESA as to delisting of gray wolf by directing Secretary to reissue rule without regard to any other statute or regulation.|
|Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Weber||979 F.Supp.2d 1118 (D.Mont.,2013)||
An environmental group sued the U.S. Forest Service claiming it violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) when it permitted the implementation of the Flathead National Forest Precommercial Thinning Project. The court that the defendants' designation of matrix habitat was not arbitrary and that there was no showing of irreparable harm to lynx habitat to require the Service to be enjoined from implementing project. Likewise, plaintiffs’ claims regarding the grizzly bear’s critical habitat did not prevail; nor did the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the National Forest Management Act’s Inland Native Fish Strategy. The court, therefore, granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiffs' motion.
|Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Lyder||728 F.Supp.2d 1126 (D.Mont., 2010)||
Plaintiffs challenge the USFWS' 2009 designation of approximately 39,000 sq. miles of critical habitat for the United States distinct population segment of the Canada lynx. Specifically, they contend that the Service: (1) arbitrarily failed to designate occupied critical habitat in certain national forests in Montana and Idaho, as well as in Colorado entirely; (2) arbitrarily failed to designate any unoccupied critical habitat whatsoever; and (3) failed to base its decision on the "best scientific data available." The court concluded that the FWS arbitrarily excluded areas occupied by lynx in Idaho and Montana and failed to properly determine whether areas occupied by the lynx in Colorado possess the attributes essential to the conservation of the species.
|Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos v. New York City Police Dept||152 A.D.3d 113, 55 N.Y.S.3d 31 (N.Y. App. Div. 2017)||Kaporos is a customary Jewish ritual which entails grasping a live chicken and swinging the bird three times overhead while saying a prayer. Upon completion of the prayer, the chicken's throat is slit and its meat is donated. The practice takes place outdoors, on public streets in Brooklyn. The Plaintiffs include the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos and individual Plaintiffs who reside, work or travel, within Brooklyn neighborhoods. The Defendants included City defendants such as the New York City Police Department and non-City defendants such as individual Orthodox Jewish rabbis. The Plaintiffs alleged that Kaporos is a health hazard and cruel to animals. Plaintiffs requested the remedy of mandamus to compel the City Defendants to enforce certain laws related to preserving public health and preventing animal cruelty. The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York affirmed the Supreme Court's dismissal of the proceedings against the City defendants. The Court reasoned that none of the laws or regulations that the Plaintiffs relied on precluded the City Defendants from deciding whether or not to engage in Kaporos. Also, the Plaintiffs did not have a “clear legal right” to dictate which laws are enforced, how, or against whom. The Court stated that determining which laws and regulations might be properly enforced against the non-City defendants without infringing upon their free exercise of religion could not be dictated by the court through mandamus.|
|Allison v. Johnson||2001 WL 589384 (Ohio 2001)||
Appellant was injured by appellee’s horse when appellant was standing outside a horse arena waiting for the appellee. The horse began to shuffle backwards and backed into a gate, which popped out of a bracket and struck the appellant in the face. The trial court found and the court of appeals upheld the finding that the appellant was an “equine activity participant” because she was a spectator to the “normal daily care of an equine.” In addition, the appellee was determined to be an “equine activity sponsor” due to the fact that he was an “operator” of a stable where the equine activity occurred. Thus, the equine immunity statute of Ohio is applicable to the appellee.
|Alternative Research & Dev. Found. v. Veneman||262 F.3d 406 (D.C. Cir. 2001)||
An animal rights foundation sought to have the definition of “animal” amended, so that birds, mice and rats used for research would not be excluded. USDA agreed to consider the animal rights foundation petition to have the definition amended, and agreed to do so in reasonable amount of time. The National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), a biomedical research group that used birds, mice and rats in its research, attempted to intervene and prevent USDA from considering the petition. However, NABR was prohibited from doing so because there was no showing that preventing intervention would result in its interests not being violated.
|Alternatives Research & Development Foundation v. Glickman||101 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C.,2000)||
In this case, the plaintiffs, a non-profit organization, a private firm and an individual, alleged that the defendants, the USDA and APHIS violated the mandate of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by promulgating regulations that exclude birds, mice and rats from the definition of “animal” under the Act. Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that all three plaintiffs lack standing to bring suit. Defendants also moved to dismiss on the grounds that the exclusion of the three species is within the agency's Congressionally delegated discretion, not subject to judicial review. The court denied defendant's motion, holding that based on Lujan , defendants challenge to standing failed. Further, the AWA does not grant the USDA "unreviewable discretion" to determine what animals are covered under the AWA.
|Altieri v. Nanavati||573 A.2d 359 (Conn. Super., 1990)||
This is an action against a veterinarian for negligence, claiming that the defendant performed unwanted sterilization surgery on the plaintiff's dog, a Lhasa Apso. The court held that there is also a question of fact regarding whether performing an unwanted operation on the dog is, under the circumstances, actionable as reckless conduct. However, the court observed that, at the time of the trial it is unlikely that the plaintiffs will be able to recover, as an element of damages, any alleged emotional distress they may have experienced as a result of the surgery on their dog.
|Altman v. City of High Point||330 F.3d 194 C.A.4 (N.C. 2003)||
This case arises out of several shooting incidents in the City of High Point, North Carolina. In each incident, a High Point animal control officer shot and killed one or more dogs that were running at large in the city. Plaintiffs, the owners of the animals, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the officers' actions violated their Fourth Amendment rights. The Court of Appeals concluded that the dogs at issue in this case do qualify as property protected by the Fourth Amendment and that the officers seized that property. However, because in each instance the seizure involved was reasonable, it concluded that the officers did not violate the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights.
|Alvarez v. Clasen||946 So.2d 181 (La.,2006)||
Plaintiff sued neighbors who trapped cat outside and brought it to an animal shelter where it was euthanized. This court held that private parties trapping a stray cat were not liable for conversion because local ordinances permitted animal shelters to hold stray cats.
|Am. Anti-Vivisection Soc'y et. al. v. USDA et. al.||946 F.3d 615 (D.C. Cir. 2020)||Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) in 1966 to insure that animals intended for use in research facilities, for exhibition purposes, or for use as pets were provided humane care and treatment. Initially the definition of the word “animal” excluded birds according to the USDA. In 2002, Congress amended the AWA to make it known that birds were to be protected as well. The USDA promised to publish a proposed rule for public comment once it determined how to best regulate birds and adopt appropriate standards. Eighteen years later, the USDA has yet to issue any standards regarding birds. The American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Avian Welfare Coalition sued to compel the USDA to either issue bird-specific standards or to apply its general standards to birds. These animal-rights groups argued that the USDA’s utter failure to promulgate any bird specific standards amounted to arbitrary and capricious agency action. Their second argument was that USDA unlawfully withheld and unreasonably delayed action. The district court dismissed their complaint for failure to state a claim to which the animal-rights groups appealed. The Court of Appeals found that the AWA, when it was amended in 2002, required the USDA to issue standards governing the humane treatment, not of animals generally, but of animals as a defined category of creatures including birds not bred for use in research. The USDA failed to take “discrete action” issuing standards to protect birds that the AWA requires it to take. The Court ultimately affirmed the district court as to the arbitrary and capricious claim but reversed and remanded as to the unreasonable delay claim to determine whether the issuance of bird-specific standards has been unreasonably delayed.|
|Am. Anti-Vivisection Soc'y v. United States Dept. of Agric.||--- F.Supp.3d ----, 2018 WL 6448635 (D.D.C. Dec. 10, 2018).||The American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Avian Welfare Coalition sued the Department of Agriculture and its Secretary alleging that the Department's failure to promulgate bird-specific regulations is unreasonable, unlawful, and arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA. The Plaintiffs sought court-ordered deadlines by which the Department must propose such rules. The Department moved to dismiss the Plaintiff's claims arguing that the Plaintiffs lack standing to sue, that it is not required by law to promulgate regulations for birds, and that it has not taken a final action reviewable by the court. The District Court ultimately held that, although the Plaintiffs have standing to sue, both of their claims fail. The Department is not required by the Animal Welfare Act to issue avian-specific standards; rather, it must to issue welfare standards that are generally applicable to animals. Secondly, although the Department has not taken any action to develop avian-specific standards, that does not mean that will not do so in the future. The District Court granted the department's motion to dismiss.|
|Am. Soc'y for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Animal & Plant Health Inspection Serv.||60 F.4th 16, 2023 WL 2026831(2d Cir. 2023)||In 2019, Plaintiff-Appellant the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“ASPCA”) sued Defendants-Appellees the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS”) alleging that APHIS followed a "policy or practice" of violating FOIA for failing to comply with requests for records related to the agency response to maintenance of animal welfare standards and licensing of animal dealers/exhibitors. This suit was prompted by APHIS' 2017 decommissioning of two public databases that allow users (including the ASPCA) to access records on commercial breeding facilities including inspection reports and photographs. APHIS contends that there was not a policy or practice that violated FOIA because it was corrected as the result of an intervening act of Congress, specifically, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. In April of 2020, APHIS moved for summary judgment on the pleadings arguing that ASPCA failed to state a policy or practice claim related to the decommissioned databases and that it makes every effort to respond to FOIA requests within the statutory timeframe. The district court granted the motion for summary judgment on the pleadings, finding that while the decommissioning of the databases did indeed impair the ability of the ASPCA to receive prompt FOIA requests, ASPCA did not establish that the court must intervene to correct such a policy or practice and Congress already acted to correct the breakdown through the appropriations bill. On ASPCA's timely appeal here, the Second Circuit agreed with the district court that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 reversed the records access problems. While the ASPCA contended that there were certain records like photographs that were removed from the database, there is nothing in the complaint to suggest that such record requests would not be processed in the future. In essence, this court agreed that the intervening act of Congress by the change in law corrected the action. Thus, a broad order by the court mandating changes to the FOIA process would amount to an unlawful advisory opinion because there is no policy or practice currently occurring by APHIS. The district court's judgment was affirmed.|
|Ambros-Marcial v. U.S.||377 F.Supp.2d 767 (D. Arizona 2005)||
Eleven illegal aliens tragically died in Arizona while attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert in May 2001. Plaintiffs, the aliens' surviving relatives, filed suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, claiming that the manager of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge where decedents were found, caused their deaths by refusing to allow an immigrant rights group to erect water drums on the refuge in April 2001. Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing that (1) the Court lacks jurisdiction because the decision was a “discretionary function” under 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a), and (2) Plaintiffs failed to state a claim because Defendant owed no duty to Plaintiffs. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment and motion to dismiss. The District Court held that defendant's concerns about the safety of aliens (who might be encouraged to cross the area because of the presence of water drums), the safety of refuge visitors (who have been victimized by a small percentage of illegal crossers), and environmental harm (arising from habitat disruption and littering of debris) gave Defendant the discretion to decline to authorize the erection of water drums on Cabeza Prieta, and therefore the Court has no jurisdiction to hear this case. In addition, Defendant owed no duty to affirmatively assist trespassers illegally crossing Cabeza Prieta in avoiding the obvious dangers of a hostile desert. Therefore, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.
|Amburgey v. Sauder||605 N.W.2d 84 (Mich. 1999)||
Plaintiff was bitten by a horse as she walked through a stable. The court determined that Plaintiff was a “participant” for the purposes of the Equine Activity Liability Act (EALA), and thus the Defendant stables owner was insulated from liability arising out of the unanticipated, abnormal behavior of the horse.
|American Bald Eagle v. Bhatti||9 F.3d 163 (Mass.,1993)||
A group of animal preservationists filed suit to enjoin deer hunting on a Massachusetts reservation because it contended that the activity posed such a risk to bald eagles so as to constitute a prohibited “taking” under the ESA. The essence of the plaintiff's argument was that some of the deer shot by hunters would not be recovered and then eagles would consume these deer thereby ingesting the harmful lead slugs from the ammunition. The district court denied the preliminary injunction, ruling that appellants failed to show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits. On appeal of the denial for injunction, this Court held that plaintiff failed to meet the showing of actual harm under the ESA. There was no showing in the record of harm to any bald eagles during the deer hunt of 1991 and the record fully supported the trial judge's conclusion.
|American Dog Owners Ass'n v. City of Yakima||777 P.2d 1046 (Wash.1989)||
In this Washington case, plaintiff brought suit against the City of Yakima challenging an ordinance that banned “pit bulls” dogs. The Superior Court, Yakima County, granted city's motion for summary judgment, and plaintiffs appealed. Plaintiffs first argued that the ordinance is vague because a person of ordinary intelligence cannot tell what is prohibited. The Supreme Court disagreed, finding that the City used adequate standards for identification in the professional standards and illustrations to show that a particular dog meets the professional standard. Thus, the Court found that the ordinance gave sufficient notice of what was conduct prohibited. Summary judgment for the City was affirmed.
|American Dog Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. City of Lynn||404 Mass. 73, 533 N.E.2d 642 (Mass.,1989)||
This is an appeal by American Dog Owners Association from a judgment upholding two of three city of Lynn ordinances which restrict ownership of certain dogs within the city limits. The lower court found that one of three animal control ordinances regulating “pit bulls” was unconstitutional. First, the Supreme Judicial Court held that the first two ordinances were repealed by passage of third which was intended to treat subject of pit bulls comprehensively. However, the court found that the third ordinance which attempted to define pit bull by breed was unconstitutionally vague. The court stated that, "if identification by breed name does not provide sufficient ascertainable standards for enforcement, then the “definition” of “Pit Bull” in the fourth ordinance, which is devoid of any reference to a particular breed, but relies instead on the even less clear 'common understanding and usage' of the term 'Pit Bull,' is not sufficiently definite to meet due process requirements."
|American Dog Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. Dade County, Fla.||728 F.Supp. 1533 (S.D.Fla.,1989)||
Associations of dog owners sued Dade, County, Florida seeking declaratory judgment that an ordinance that regulated “pit bull” dogs was unconstitutionally vague. Plaintiffs contend that there is no such breed as a pit bull, but rather a three breeds that this ordinance has mistakenly lumped together. The District Court held that ordinance sufficiently defined “pit bull” dogs by specifically referencing three breeds recognized by kennel clubs, including a description of the characteristics of such dogs, and provided a mechanism for verification of whether a particular dog was included. The uncontradicted testimony of the various veterinarians reflected that most dog owners know the breed of their dog and that most dog owners look for and select a dog of a particular breed.
|American Horse Protection Ass'n v. U. S. Dept. of Interior||551 F.2d 342 (C.A.D.C. 1977)||
Appellants (American Horse Protection Association and a member of the joint advisory board created under the Act) initiated an action in the District Court against the Dept. of the Interior, alleging violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and other federal statutes in connection with a roundup of horses on federal lands. In January and February of 1973, there was a roundup of horses (said by appellants to be wild and free-roaming) on public lands near Howe, Idaho. The District Court for the District of Columbia, granted summary judgment for appellees, rejecting appellants' contention that the Brand Inspector lacked authority under the Act to determine ownership conclusively. On appeal, the Court of Appeals found the District Court's construction of Section 5 unacceptable. This Court did not believe that Congress intended to abdicate to state officials final determinations under Section 5 on ownership of wild free-roaming horses and burros on federal lands. Thus, the Court held that final role is reserved to the Federal Government. The judgment appealed from was reversed, and the case was remanded to the District Court.
|American Horse Protection Ass'n, Inc. v. Lyng||681 F.Supp. 949 (D.D.C.,1988)||
This case resulted from a remand by the Court of Appeals after the USDA denied the plaintiff's application for additional rulemaking for the Horse Protection Act to expressly prohibit the use of ten ounce chains and padded shoes in the training of show horses. The use of these materials, argues plaintiff, constitutes soring (the act of deliberately injuring a horse's hooves to obtain a particular type of gait prized at certain horse shows. The object of soring is to cause a horse to suffer pain as its feet touch the ground). This Court denied defendant's motion to dismiss and granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. In doing so, it directed the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture to institute rulemaking procedures concerning the use of action devices on show horses. The Court further held that the existing regulations are contrary to law and that the Secretary ignored his mandate from Congress under the Horse Protection Act.
|American Horse Protection Asso. v. Frizzell||203 F. Supp. 1206 (D. Nev. 1975)||
The court upheld the Secretary’s decision to remove 400 horses from certain public lands in Nevada because of the risks of overgrazing, but also asserted that the Secretary’s discretion was not so complete as to deny judicial review of his actions.
|American Horse Protection Assoc. v. Andrus||608 F.2d 811 (9th Cir. 1979)||
The court stated that the Secretary’s decision to remove 3,500 to 7,000 wild horses in order to maintain the horse population at a permanent level might qualify as “major” federal action and thus require an EIS before removal could occur. While the secretary has wide discretion under the WFRHBA, he has no discretion regarding compliance with NEPA. The court also held that the exercise of jurisdiction by two courts over public lands created no threat of conflicting decisions on range utilization, because the courts only determined whether the land use decision was an informed one.