Cases

Case name Citationsort descending Summary
State v. Kess Not Reported in A.2d, 2008 WL 2677857 (N.J.Super.A.D.)

After receiving a call to investigate a complaint of the smell of dead bodies, a health department specialist found defendant burying sixteen to twenty-one garbage bags filled with decaying cats in her backyard (later investigations showed there were about 200 dead cats total). Defendant also housed 35-38 cats in her home, some of whom suffered from serious illnesses. Because the humane officer concluded that defendant failed to provide proper shelter for the cats by commingling the healthy and the sick ones, he charged her with thirty-eight counts of animal cruelty, in violation of N.J.S.A. 4:22-17, one for each of the thirty-eight cats found in her home. While defendant claimed that she was housing the cats and attempting to nurse them back to health so they could be adopted out, the court found sufficient evidence that "commingling sick animals with healthy ones and depriving them of ventilation when it is particularly hot inside is failing both directly and indirectly to provide proper shelter."

State v. Taffet (unpublished) Not Reported in A.2d, 2010 WL 771954 (N.J.Super.A.D.)
The State of New Jersey, through the Borough of Haddonfield, appeals from the final judgment of the Law Division, which reversed the finding of the municipal court that defendant's dog is a potentially dangerous dog pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-23(a) as well as the imposition of certain measures to mitigate any future attacks. Defendant, a resident of Haddonfield, owns, breeds, and shows four Rhodesian Ridgebacks kept at his home in a residential neighborhood. The Superior Court concluded that the Law Division's did not properly defer to the trial court's credibility determinations and were not supported by sufficient credible evidence. The court found that the dog's dual attacks causing bodily injury to two individuals were undisputed, and along with evidence of more recent intimidating activity in the neighborhood, the municipal court could have reasonably concluded that the dog posed a more serious threat to cause bodily injury to another.
JACQUELINE CONRAD, Plaintiff–Appellant, v. SUSAN CATAPANO and JIM CATAPANO, Defendants–Respondents Not Reported in A.3d 2013 WL 673463 (N.J.Super.A.D.,2013)

Plaintiff was injured by defendants' dog after being knocked to the ground. The plaintiff had her dog over to defendants' house for a "doggie play date" and the dogs were running off-leash in the fenced yard.The lower court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's claims of negligence and absolute liability, finding that the defendants had not prior knowledge of the dog's propensity to run into people. The Court found that there were genuine issues of material fact as to defendants' prior knowledge of the dog's proclivities to become "hyper" in the presence of other dogs. Thus, the decision to grant summary judgment was reversed and the matter remanded for trial. Notably, the Court did state that it shared "the motion judge's observation that plaintiff may well be comparatively at fault here for choosing to stand in the backyard while the three unleashed dogs ran around."

Tracey v. Solesky Not Reported in A.3d, 2012 WL 1432263 (Md.,2012)

In this Maryland case, the Court of Appeals establishes a new standard of liability for a landlord who has knowledge of the presence of a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull dog and also modifies the common law liability as it relates to the pit bull breed of dogs. In doing so, the Court now holds that because of the "aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflect serious and sometimes fatal injuries," pit bull dogs and cross-bred pit bulls are now categorized as "inherently dangerous." Upon a plaintiff's sufficient proof that an attacking dog is a pit bull or pit bull mix, a person who knows that the dog is of the pit bull breed, including a landlord, is strictly liable for damages caused to the plaintiff who was attacked. The case was remanded to trial court with this modification to common law. This opinion was Superseded by Tracey v. Solesky , 427 Md. 627 (Md., 2012).

Conte v. Fossett Not Reported in A.3d, 2013 WL 1143329 (Del.Super.,2013) Plaintiff and defendant were a non-married couple that shared ownership of a miniature dauschund. Defendant asked for the dog, but plaintiff repeatedly declined. Eventually, Plaintiff gave in and purchased the dog for defendant. The parties shared ownership, expenses, and labor involved in caring for the dog. Eventually, the parties broke up, and began a shared-custody arrangement for the dog. However, the relationship between the parties further soured, and defendant kept the dog in her possession. Plaintiff filed suit for sole possession of the dog. The trial court found that the dog was a gift from plaintiff to defendant in contemplation of the relationship, and awarded possession to plaintiff. On appeal, the court found that there was no basis to assume that the dog was a gift given in anticipation of marriage. Therefore, defendant had no basis to pursue recovery of the dog.
Brisson v. These Guys New York Deli Corp. Not Reported in Atl. Rptr., 2023 WL 370990 (Conn. Super. Ct. Jan. 20, 2023) The Superior Court of Connecticut considers defendants' motion to strike plaintiffs' claims for emotional distress arising from the death of their pet dog. Plaintiffs argue that previous Connecticut case law (Myers v. Hartford, 84 Conn. App. 395) left open the question of whether courts could consider a claim for emotional distress damages due to the loss of a pet. The incident giving rise to the litigation occurred in 2021, where a driver for the defendants' company ran over plaintiffs' pet dog while making a delivery. The complaint states that one of the plaintiffs directly witnessed the driver speed down the driveway and kill the dog by dragging. The court began its analysis by first observing a dog is chattel and is unambiguously defined as personal property in the state. Myers left often the issue of recovery of damages when a "bystander" owner witnesses a "fatal injury." The court then examined the factors articulated by the Connecticut Supreme Court for recovery of emotional damages by a bystander. In doing so, the court here determined that the relationship between a pet and its owner does not meet the "closely related" element articulated by the Supreme Court. The court stated: "Absent appellate clarification that this factor includes other relationships, including the one at issue here between a pet owner and pet, this court cannot conclude that such a relationship is sufficiently like the close human relationships required under Clohessy." The court noted that it agreed with defendants that allowing plaintiffs' claim would amount to creating a new cause of action without legislative or appellate authority. Defendants' motion to strike was granted.
Kyles v. Great Oaks Interests (unpublished) Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2007 WL 495897 (Cal.App. 6 Dist.)

A California appellate court held that the plaintiffs’ nuisance claim, which was based on the defendants’ alleged failure to cease activity that resulted in the attraction of feral and domestic cats to the plaintiffs’ backyard, survived summary judgment.  The plaintiffs were members of a family residing in a home located next to an apartment complex.  Upon moving into the home, the family noticed that many domestic and feral cats were defecating and urinating in the plaintiffs’ yard.  The plaintiffs claimed that the cats were attracted due to the failure of the neighboring apartment complex to ensure that its tenants placed lids on the trash receptacles.  The appellate court partially reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment, holding that the defendants could, in fact, be liable under a nuisance theory for damages arising from actions that caused “the presence of [a] large number of cats on Plaintiffs’ property.”

Stamm v. New York City Transit Authority Not Reported in F.Supp.2d 2011 WL 1315935 (E.D.N.Y., 2011) Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and New York State and New York City laws, alleging that the New York City Transit Authority (“NYCTA”) and the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (“MaBSTOA”) (collectively, “Defendants”) failed to ensure that their vehicles and facilities were accessible to her and other persons with disabilities who utilize service animals. Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff (1) was not disabled, (2) was not entitled to use a “service animal,” (3) was seeking to bring dogs which do not qualify as “service animals” onto Defendants' vehicles; had not made out a Title II claim and (5) could not make out a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted only with respect to that portion of the eleventh cause of action that alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress. The parties were also directed to submit supplemental briefing.
New Hampshire Ins. Co. v. Farmer Boy AG, Inc. Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2000 WL 33125128 (S.D.Ind.)

Lightning struck a hog breeding facility, which disabled the ventilation system and killed pregnant sows. Plaintiff Insurance Company sued defendant for damages. The Court held that evidence of damages relating to the lost litters and subsequent generations was excluded because damages for future unborn litters are not recoverable when damages are recovered for the injury to or destruction of the pregnant sows.

Reams v. Irvin Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2008 WL 906005 (N.D.Ga.)

The plaintiff brought a 42 U.S.C 1983 action against police officers she claimed violated her civil rights under the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution when they impounded 46 of her horses on suspicion of animal abuse.  Upon a summary judgement motion by the defendants, the court dismissed all of the plaintiff's claims.  Responding to the Fourth Amendment claim in particular, the court held that  an old dairy barn, which was being used to hide dead horses, was neither within the curtilage of the home nor protected by the Fourth Amendment.    After applying the  Dunn  factors, the court determined that the barns distance of 150 yards from the dwelling on the farm, its use for the commercial production of dairy products, its lacks of enclosure, and its missing doors all militated against it being part of the curtilage of the home and it did not enjoy Fourth Amendment privacy protection.

Mahtani v. Wyeth Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2011 WL 2609857 (D.N.J.)

After some plaintiffs alleged their dogs suffered harmed as a result of using a tick and flea treatment medication, while others alleged the product was ineffective, plaintiffs sought to gain class certification in their lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company. Since the district court found that individual inquiry into questions of fact predominated over inquiry into facts common to class members regarding the plaintiffs’ New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Unjust Enrichment and Breach of Warranty claims, the plaintiff’s motion for class certification was denied.

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2013 WL 1191736 (C.D.Cal.)

The matter before the court concerns Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings with respect to subject-matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs (ALDF and others) petitioned the USDA and FSIS to promulgate regulations condemning force-fed foie gras as an adulterated food product under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (“PPIA”). FSIS refused to do so, concluding that foie gras was not adulterated or diseased; Plaintiffs then filed the instant lawsuit claiming that decision was arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the APA. The Court determined that the instant action is not about promulgating rules, but about banning force-fed foie gras. Such a decision falls under the USDA's discretion by law.

Palila v. Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2013 WL 1442485 (D.Hawai'i)

Fearing potential prosecution under a county ordinance and a state statute for carrying out a Stipulated Order that protects an endangered species (the Palila), defendants, joined substantially by the plaintiffs, sought a motion for declaratory and injunctive relief. The district court granted the defendants’ motion because federal law, the Stipulated Order, preempted both state and county law. The court therefore stated that so long as defendants, or their duly-appointed agents, were acting to enforce the specific terms of the Stipulated Order, they may conduct an aerial sighting over the Palila's critical habitat and shoot any ungulates sighted in that area without fear of violating (1) Hawaii County Code §§ 14–111, –112, & 1–10(a); or (2) HRS § 263–10.

Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Otter Not Reported in F.Supp.3d, 2015 WL 4623943 (D. Idaho Aug. 3, 2015) The Animal Legal Defense Fund, and various other organizations and individuals, challenge Idaho Code § 18–7042 as unconstitutional. Section 18-7042 criminalizes undercover investigations of agricultural production facilities. ALDF alleges that § 18–7042 has both the purpose and effect of stifling public debate about modern agriculture and raises two substantive constitutional challenges against the State: (1) violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment; and (2) violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court first found that § 18–7042 is both content and viewpoint based, and thus, must survive the highest level of scrutiny. The Court held that the law does not survive strict scrutiny because it "would contravene strong First Amendment values to say the State has a compelling interest in affording these heavily regulated facilities extra protection from public scrutiny." Even if the interests in property and privacy of these industries is compelling, the law is not narrowly tailored as it restricts more speech than necessary and poses a "particularly serious threat to whistleblowers' free speech rights." Finally, the Court found that the law also violated the Equal Protection clause because the law was spurred by an improper animus toward animal welfare groups, furthers no legitimate or rational purpose, and classifies activities protected by the First Amendment based on content. ALDF's motion for summary judgment was granted.
Hartlee v. Hardey Not Reported in F.Supp.3d, 2015 WL 5719644 (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2015)

Plaintiffs filed suit against a veterinarian and a number of police officers who were involved in their prosecution of animal cruelty. Plaintiffs Switf and Hatlee worked together on a Echo Valley Ranch where they provided care and boarding for horses. In February 2012, Officer Smith went to Echo Valley Ranch to conduct a welfare check on the horses. Officer Smith noticed that the horses seemed to be in poor condition, so he requested that a veternarian visis the ranch to inspect the horses. Dr. Olds, a local veterinarian, visited the ranch and wrote a report that suggested that the horses be seized due to their current state. Officer Smith initially served plaintiffs with a warning but after returning to the ranch and noticing that the horses’ condition had worsened, the horses were seized and plaintiffs were charged with animal cruelty. In this case, plaintiffs argued that the veterinarian had wrote the medical report for a “publicity stunt” and that this report influenced Officer’s Smith’s decision to seize the horses and charge plaintiffs with animal cruelty. The court ultimately found that the veterinarian’s report was not made as a “publicity stunt,” especially due to the fact that the report was filed privately and not made available to the public. Also, the court found that there was no evidence to suggest that the veterinarian and the officers were working with one another in a “conspiracy” to seize the horses and charge plaintiffs with animal cruelty.

Peklun v. Tierra Del Mar Condominium Association, Inc. Not Reported in F.Supp.3d, 2015 WL 8029840 (S.D. Fla., 2015) On cross-motions, Defendant Tierra Del Mar Condominium Association, Inc.'s (“TDM") and Plaintiffs, (Personal Representatives of the Estate of Sergey Peklun) seek Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs assert that denial of Sergey Peklun's request for a reasonable accommodation for his dog Julia "resulted in Peklun's increasingly despondent attitude, ultimately culminating in his decision to end his life." As such, plaintiffs’ claim Defendants are liable under theories of intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the Florida and Federal Fair Housing Acts. This conflict over Julia first emerged in 2011 and lasted until Peklun's death in 2015. In 2011, Peklun first acquired Julia the dog, who he claimed was being trained as a cardiac service dog. While the training as a service dog was never substantiated, the Board did approve the dog as an emotional support animal for Peklun in 2011. The composition of the Board changed in coming years and the issue arose after another tenant, Frank Speciale, demanded the dog's removal due to stated allergies. TDM warned Peklun if he did not remove Julia within the period provided, it would initiate arbitration against him in accord. Julia was never removed and, on July 16, 2013, TDM commenced arbitration against Peklun with the Florida Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. Speciale also moved for an injunction barring Peklun from keeping Julia on the premises, which was granted on March 11, 2014. During this time, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners Office of Equal Opportunity organized an extensive investigation into TDM's purported discrimination and found "reasonable grounds to believe that [TDM] discriminated against [Peklun] on the basis of his disability.” Following this, on August 11, 2014, TDM approved Peklun's request for a reasonable accommodation as an emotional support animal. Despite this, Speciale continued to seek Julia's eviction, filing a motion in state court, seeking contempt and sanctions. Plaintiffs contended that this behavior reflected "a campaign of harassment." As to TDM instant motion for summary judgment, it claims the decision was reasonable because Peklun failed to provide TDM with the requested information necessary to verify his disability and that Julia was not a trained service animal. Also, TDM asserts Peklun was not a “qualified individual” under the FHA. The District Court found that while Peklun's various cardiac and organ problems did not constitute a "handicap" under the FHA, the submissions of Peklun's treating physicians are sufficient to establish that Peklun's sleep apnea interfered with a major life activity. As a result, there was sufficient evidence that Peklun was handicapped within the meaning of the FHA. Further, the absence of any certification or training did not permit TDM to immediately deny the request for Peklun's assistance animal. In fact, the court observed that Peklun was previously granted an accommodation for Julia on the basis that she was an “emotional support animal” in 2011; that knowledge of the 2011 accommodation was imputed to TDM's current board. The court did note that Section 3604(9) states there is no obligation to honor a request that would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other tenants. However, the court noted that determining this threat is a question of fact, not a question of law. The issue of Speciale's allergies "is contentious and the Court declines to grant judgment based on a hotly debated factual dispute." As a result, the cross motions for summary judgment by each party were denied.
PetConnect Rescue, Inc. v. Salinas Not Reported in Fed. Supp., 2020 WL 2832468 (S.D. Cal. June 1, 2020) PetConnect Rescue, Inc., Lucky Pup Dog Rescue.com and Sarah Gonzalez (“Plaintiffs”) alleged that the Defendants fraudulently represented dogs that the Defendants sold as rescue animals in order to circumvent California law prohibiting the sale of non-rescue dogs in pet stores. On April 6, 2020, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint against the Defendants alleging trademark infringement and dilution under the Lanham Act, unfair business practices under California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), fraud, and accounting. Several Defendant filed motions to dismiss and to strike sections of the amended complaint. The United States District Court for the Southern District of California found that Plaintiff PetConnect alleged a cognizable injury in fact in that the Defendants’ use of an infringing mark harmed Plaintiff PetConnect Rescue’s reputation and caused consumer confusion. The Defendants’ Pet Connect Rescue, Inc. brokered the sale of dogs from puppy mills rather than rescue dogs which affected Plaintiff PetConnect’s reputation. The Court also found that Plaintiff PetConnect Rescue raised a claim within the Lanham Act’s zone of interests because the Lanham Act’s protections extended to non-profit organizations’ use of marks, even when those marks do not accompany a sale. The Court refused to dismiss Plaintiffs claims regarding trademark infringement. The Court also refused to dismiss the Plaintiff’s claims under the Lanham Act because the matter of whether Plaintiff’s mark was distinct and had acquired a secondary meaning was a matter more appropriate when the evidentiary record becomes further developed. As for the Unfair Competition claim, the Court found that the Plaintiffs had alleged sufficient facts to state a UCL violation. The Court subsequently rejected the Defendants’ motions to strike thirty-four lines or phrases from the amended complaint because Plaintiff’s use of the terms “puppy mill,” and the allegations that Defendants operate “fake” entities that “induce” purchases, reflected Plaintiff’s allegations of fraud and misrepresentation. The Court found that the Plaintiffs’ references were pertinent to the Plaintiff’s allegations. The Court ultimately denied each of the Defendant’s motions to dismiss and strike.
Borenstein v. Animal Foundation Not Reported in Fed. Supp., 2021 WL 3472190 (D.Nev., 2021) Plaintiff brought this lawsuit against several defendants for adopting his service animal out to new owners while he was hospitalized. The court dismissed several claims, including those against the hospital defendants, and determined that the Clark County Animal Ordinance governed the hold of the dog. Plaintiff argues that the court misapplied the law, overlooked facts, and that there was new evidence. The court claimed that the animal ordinance applied because the dog was impounded under the vehicle confinement provision, as the dog was found while she was contained in plaintiff's car. Plaintiff argues that the dog was left in the car with the air conditioning on, that the dog had not been left in the car unattended for more than 15-17 minutes, and that hospital staff were supervising the car while the dog was in it. Therefore, the dog was not in danger enough to trigger the vehicle containment provision of the animal ordinance. However, the court found that there was no error in applying the animal ordinance, since plaintiff would be checking into the hospital for an unforeseen amount of time.
Mathis v. Crawford Not Reported in N.E. Rptr., 2021 WL 3127697 (Ill.App. 5 Dist., 2021) Plaintiff filed this suit in small claims court seeking damages for the destruction of his three dogs, that were mauled to death by dogs owned by defendant over a period of 15 years. The trial court entered judgment in favor of plaintiff and awarded him $5,000. Defendant appealed to request that the court of appeals amend the trial court's award of damages to a lesser amount of $500. The court found that, although plaintiff was able to show that he suffered damages at the result of defendant's dogs killing his dogs, the value of the dogs was still unclear. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded for a new trial solely to discern the issue of the value of the dogs.
State v. Anello Not Reported in N.E.2d, 2007 WL 2713802 (Ohio App. 5 Dist.)

In this Ohio case, after police received a complaint about possible neglect of dogs located in a barn, an officer went to investigate and entered the barn through an unlocked door. The Humane Society then assisted the department in seizing forty-two dogs. Defendant-Anello was convicted by jury of two counts of animal cruelty. On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence: to wit, the dogs from the barn. The appellate court disagreed, finding that the barn was not included within the curtilage of the residence since it was leased by a different person than the owner of the house (who had moved out of state). Further, the plain view/exigent circumstances exceptions came into play where the officers heard barking, smelled "overwhelming" urine odors, and observed through a window seventeen animals confined in cages that were stacked three high while the temperature outside was eighty degrees with high humidity. 

O'Keefe v. Stevenson Not Reported in N.E.3d, 2017 WL 3776595 (Mass. Land Ct. Aug. 22, 2017) In this case, the plaintiffs appealed a Zoning Board that granted their neighbor a special permit allowing four dogs to be kept at Ms. Sullivan's home. The dogs—pedigreed Eurasiers—are Ms. Sullivan's personal pets and live with Ms. Sullivan inside her house, have someone with them at all times, and spend most of their time indoors. When they are outside, they are confined to a chain-link fenced-in area behind the house. The permit has some conditions that must be met for the dogs to remain on the property, one of which is the dogs not become a nuisance. The court affirmed the grant of the special permit based on the testimony and exhibits admitted at trial after assessing the credibility, weight, and appropriate inferences to be drawn from that evidence. The Board's decision granting the special permit was AFFIRMED.
Reid v. Kramer Not Reported in N.W. Rptr., 2019 WL 2866091 (Mich. Ct. App. July 2, 2019) In July of 2017, Alpena County Animal Control Officer Michelle Reid, filed a complaint against the respondents alleging that a black and tan German Shepherd named Bruiser had attacked or bit a person. The victim, Joshua Henderson, testified that as he was jogging past the respondents’ house, Bruiser ran toward him and bit his left bicep and left forearm. The Respondents stated that Bruiser had never attacked or bitten anyone before and was raised around children. The prosecutor clarified that euthanization was not being sought at the time, however, the district court found that Bruiser had caused serious injury to Henderson and noted the possibility of Bruiser injuring children in the future and ordered Bruiser to be destroyed. The Respondents appealed to the circuit court, which affirmed the district court’s decision. The Respondents then appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Respondents argued that the circuit court erred in determining that Bruiser was a dangerous animal and that the evidence did not support a finding that Bruiser caused death or serious injury or that he was likely to do so in the future. The Court of Appeals concluded that Bruiser fit the definition of a dangerous animal under the statute, however, the Court agreed with the Respondents that the evidence was insufficient to support a conclusion that Bruiser caused serious injury or was likely to cause death or serious injury in the future. In order for an animal to be destroyed, it must be more than dangerous. Henderson’s injuries consisted of scrapes, puncture wounds, and three stitches. Those injuries did not rise to the level of a “serious injury” as defined under MCL 287.321(e) which defines serious injury as permanent, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of bodily function. The district court did not properly interpret MCL 287.322 and based their decision solely on the fact that Bruiser had bitten someone once and concluded that because of that, the court knew that Bruiser was more likely to do so again. The circuit court erred by affirming the district court’s order because the evidence did not support a finding that Bruiser had caused serious injury or death to a person or that he was likely to do so in the future. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded to the district court.
People v. Leach Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2006 WL 2683727 (Mich.App.)

Defendant's conviction arises from the killing of a rabbit during the execution of a civil court order at defendant's home on April 15, 2004. Because the court did not find MCL 750.50b unconstitutionally vague and further found sufficient evidence in support of defendant's conviction, defendant's conviction was affirmed. The evidence showed that defendant killed the rabbit in a display of anger arising from the execution of a court; thus, the terms, "[m]alicious", "willful", and "without just cause" are sufficiently specific terms with commonly understood meanings such that enforcement of the statute will not be arbitrary or discriminatory."

People v. Proehl (unpublished) Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2011 WL 2021940 (Mich.App.)

Defendant was convicted of failing to provide adequate care to 16 horses. On appeal, Defendant first argued that, to him, nothing appeared to be wrong with his horses and, consequently, no liability can attach. The court disagreed, explaining: "Defendant's personal belief that his horses were in good health . . . was therefore based on fallacy, and has no effect on his liability under the statute." Defendant also maintained that he is an animal hoarder, which is a "psychological condition" that mitigates his intent. Rejecting this argument, the court noted that Defendant’s "hoarding" contention is based upon a non-adopted bill which, in any event, fails to indicate whether animal hoarding may serve as a proper defense.

State v. Jensen Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2015 WL 7261420 (Neb. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2015) Defendant was convicted of convicted of two counts of mistreatment of a livestock animal in violation of Neb.Rev.Stat. § 54–903(2) (Reissue 2010) and four counts of neglect of a livestock animal in violation of § 54–903(1). Defendant owned and maintained a herd of over 100 horses in Burt County, Nebraska. After receiving complaints, the local sheriff's office investigated the herd. An expert veterinarian witness at trial testified that approximately 30% of the herd scored very low on the scale measuring a horse's condition and there were several deceased horses found with the herd. On appeal, defendant argued that there was insufficient evidence to support several of his convictions. Specifically, defendant challenged whether the state proved causation and intent under the statute. The court found that the prosecution proved through testimony that defendant caused the death of the horses subject to two of the convictions. With regard to intent, the court found that the evidence showed it would have taken weeks or month for a horse to reach to the low levels on the scale. The court found that defendant was aware of the declining condition of the herd over a significant amount of time, and failed to adequately feed, water, or provide necessary care to his horses. The convictions were affirmed.
Eureka Township v. Petter Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2017 WL 3863144 (Minn.Ct.App. 2017) In this case, the Township brought action against property owners to enjoin the owners from possessing exotic animals on the property, operating an animal exhibition on the property, and operating a business pelting exotic animals on the property. The District Court invalidated the township's exotic animal ordinance as conflicting with state statute, determined that an animal exhibition was not a permissible use under the township's zoning ordinance, and permanently enjoined the owners from operating an animal exhibition and conducting any retail sales, except for horticultural products produced on the property. This court held that the exotic animals ordinance did not conflict with state statute nor was it preempted. Further, this court held that the property owners' grandfathered possession and exhibition of exotic animals was limited to one wolf; animal control officer exception to exotic animal possession was limited to temporary possession of exotic animals in conjunction with owner's work as an animal control officer; township was not estopped from enforcing its exotic animal ordinance; and interpreting zoning ordinance's language to require sale of horticultural products from the land itself was not inherently unreasonable. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded; motion dismissed.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected v. State, Dep't of Nat. Res. Not Reported in N.W.2d2016 WL 6905923 (2016) 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.
Sexton v. Brown Not Reported in P.3d, 147 Wash.App. 1005, 2008 WL 4616705 (Wash.App. Div. 1)

In this Washington case, Valeri Sexton and Corey Recla sued Kenny Brown, DVM, for damages arising from the death of their dog. Plaintiffs alleged a number of causes of action including negligence, breach of bailment, conversion, and trespass to chattels. The incident occurred after plaintiff's dog ran away while plaintiff was camping Marblemount area. Another party found the Yorkshire terrier and took it to defendant-veterinarian's office, the Pet Emergency Center (PEC). After being examined first by a one veterinarian, defendant-veterinarian Brown took over care and determined that the dog suffered from a life threatening condition; he then told the finders that if they did not want to pay for further care, they could have the dog euthanized. This court affirmed the trial court's decision that the medical malpractice act does not apply to veterinarians. It also affirmed the dismissal of Sexton's breach of bailment claim, finding that Brown was not a finder under relevant Washington law. The court did find that there were material issues of fact about the measure of damages, and reversed the decision to limit damages to the fair market or replacement value of the dog. Further, the court found genuine issues of material fact about whether Brown's actions were justified when viewed under the requirements of Washington's veterinary practice laws.

Brinton v. Codoni Not Reported in P.3d, 2009 WL 297006 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2009)

This unpublished Washington case stems from an attack on plaintiff's dog by a neighbor's dog. Plaintiff sued for damages, alleging negligence and nuisance. 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. The plaintiff argued that she was entitled to damages based on the dog's intrinsic value (i.e., utility and service and not sentimental attachment) and her emotional distress. 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. Further, because the plaintiff's nuisance claims were grounded in negligence, she was not entitled to damages beyond those awarded for her negligence claim.

Britton v. Bruin Not Reported in P.3d, 2016 WL 1019213 (N.M. Ct. App., 2016) In this case, plaintiff appealed a decision by the district court denying her petition for a writ of mandamus. Plaintiff petitioned the court for a writ of mandamus to stop the City of Albuquerque's effort to control a large population of feral cats in its metropolitan area by “trapping, neutering them, and then returning them” to the location at which they were found. The district court denied the petition for a writ of mandamus because the court held that there was “a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law.” Also, the court held that because the city’s program did not result in any unconstitutional action, the writ of mandamus was not appropriate. The court affirmed the district court’s ruling, looking only at whether or not there was “a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law.” The court did not address the issue of whether or not the city’s population control effort was appropriate and should continue. The district court's order denying Petitioner's application for a writ of mandamus is affirmed.
Smith v. Com. Not Reported in S.E.2d, 2013 WL 321896 (Va.App.,2013)

The defendant was charged for violation of Virginia’s Code § 3.2–6570(F) after he shot the family dog; he was later convicted by a jury.  Upon appeal, the defendant argued the trial court erred in denying his proffered self-defense jury instructions. The appeals court agreed, reasoning that more than a scintilla of evidence supported giving the proffered self-defense instructions, that determining whether this evidence was credible and actually supported a conclusion that the defendant acted in self-defense or defense of others was the responsibility of the jury, not that of the trial court, and that the proffered jury instructions properly stated the law. The case was thus reversed and remanded.

Lindsey v. Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Not Reported in S.W. Rptr., 2018 WL 1976577 (Tex. App., 2018) In 2015, Kristen Lindsey, who is a licensed veterinarian, killed a cat on her property by shooting it through the head with a bow and arrow. Lindsey had seen the cat fighting with her cat and defecating in her horse feeders and believed the cat to be a feral cat. However, there was evidence that the cat actually belonged to the neighbor and was a pet. Lindsey posted a photo of herself holding up the dead cat by the arrow. The photo was shared repeatedly and the story ended up reported on several news outlets. The Board received more than 700 formal complaints and more than 2,700 emails about the incident. In 2016 the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (the Board) initiated disciplinary proceedings against Lindsey seeking to revoke her license and alleging violations of the Veterinary Licensing Act and Administrative Rules. While the proceeding was pending, Lindsey filed a petition for declaratory judgment and equitable relief in the trial court. The grand jury declined to indict her for animal cruelty. Due to this, Lindsey asserted that the Board lacked the authority to discipline her because she had not been convicted of animal cruelty and her act did not involve the practice of veterinary medicine. The administrative law judges in the administrative-licensing proceeding issued a proposal for decision and findings of fact and conclusions of law which the Board adopted and issued a final order suspending Lindsey's license for five years (with four years probated). Lindsey then filed a petition for judicial review in trial court after the Board denied her motion for a rehearing. The trial court affirmed the Board's final order. This case involves two appeals that arise from the disciplinary proceeding filed against Lindsey by the Board. Lindsey appeals the first case (03-16-00549-CV) from the trial court denying her motion for summary judgment and granting the Board's motion for summary judgment and dismissing her suit challenging the Board's authority to bring its disciplinary action. In the second case (17-005130-CV), Lindsey appeals from the trial court affirming the Board's final decision in the disciplinary proceeding. Even though Lindsey was not convicted of animal cruelty, the Court of Appeals held that the Board possessed the authority to determine that the offense of animal cruelty was sufficiently connected to the practice of veterinary medicine. Lindsey also did not have effective consent from the neighbor to kill the cat. The Board had sufficient evidence that Lindsey tied her profession to the shooting of the cat through the caption that she put on the photo that was posted on social media. The Court of Appeals ultimately overruled Lindsey's challenges to the Board's authority to seek disciplinary action against her veterinary license in both appeals as well as her challenges regarding the findings of fact and conclusions by the administrative law judges. The Court affirmed the judgment in both causes of action.
Maldonado v. Franklin Not Reported in S.W. Rptr., 2019 WL 4739438 (Tex. App. Sept. 30, 2019) Trenton and Karina Franklin moved into a subdivision in San Antonio, Texas in September of 2017. Margarita Maldonado lived in the home immediately behind the Franklins’ house and could see into the Franklins’ backyard. Maldonado began complaining about the Franklins’ treatment of their dog. The Franklins left the dog outside 24 hours a day, seven days a week no matter what the weather was like. Maldonado also complained that the dog repeatedly whined and howled which kept her up at night causing her emotional distress. Maldonado went online expressing concern about the health and welfare of her neighbor’s dog, without naming any names. Mr. Franklin at some point saw the post and entered the conversation which lead to Mr. Franklin and Maldonado exchanging direct messages about the dog. Maldonado even placed a dog bed in the backyard for the dog as a gift. In December of 2017, the Franklins filed suit against Maldonado for invasion of privacy by intrusion and seclusion alleging that Maldonado was engaged in a campaign of systemic harassment over the alleged mistreatment of their dog. While the suit was pending, Maldonado contacted Animal Control Services several times to report that the dog was outside with the heat index over 100 degrees. Each time an animal control officer responded to the call they found no actionable neglect or abuse. In June of 2018, Maldonado picketed for five days by walking along the neighborhood sidewalks, including in front of the Franklins’ house, carrying signs such as “Bring the dog in,” and “If you’re hot, they’re hot.” The Franklins then amended their petition adding claims for slander, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and trespass. The trial court granted a temporary injunction against Maldonado, which was ultimately vacated on appeal. Maldonado filed a Anti-SLAPP motion and amended motion to dismiss the Franklins’ claims as targeting her First Amendment rights. The trial court did not rule on the motions within thirty days, so the motions were denied by operation of law. Maldonado appealed. The Court began its analysis by determining whether Maldonado’s motions were timely. Under the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act (TCPA) a motion to dismiss must be filed within sixty days of the legal action. The sixty-day deadline reset each time new factual allegations were alleged. Due to the fact that the Franklins had amended their petition three times and some of the amended petitions did not allege any new factual allegations, the only timely motions that Maldonado filed were for the Franklins’ claims for slander and libel. The Court then concluded that Maldonado’s verbal complaints to the Animal Control Service and online posts on community forums about the Franklins’ alleged mistreatment of their dog were communications made in connection with an issue related to a matter of public concern and were made in the exercise of free speech. Therefore, the TCPA applied to the Franklins’ slander and libel claims. The Court ultimately concluded that although Maldonado established that the TCPA applied to the slander and libel claims, the Franklins met their burden to establish a prima facie case on the slander and libel claims. Therefore, the Court ultimately concluded that Maldonado’s motion to dismiss the slander and libel claims were properly denied. The Court affirmed the trial court’s order and remanded the case to the trial court.
McAdams v. Faulk (unpublished) Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2002 WL 700956 (Ark.App.)

Dog owner brought dog to veterinarian’s office where someone choked the dog, causing injuries that led to its death. The Court of Appeals held that the owner stated a veterinary malpractice claim against veterinarian because owner alleged that dog was choked while in veterinarian's care, that veterinarian failed to diagnose neck injury that proved fatal, performed unnecessary treatment out of greed, and refused to provide owner with medical explanation of dog's condition and death, all in violation of the veterinary licensing statute. The Court also held that violating the cruelty to animals statute was evidence of negligence, and that damages included economic loss, compensation for mental anguish, including future anguish. and punitive damages.

City of Houston v. Levingston Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2006 WL 241127 (Tex.App.-Hous. (1 Dist.))

A city veterinarian who worked for the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) brought an action against the city, arguing that he was wrongfully terminated under the Whistleblower’s Act. The vet contended that he reported several instances of abuses by BARC employees to the division manager. In upholding the trial court’s decision to award Levingston over $600,000 in damages, the appellate court ruled the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that the veterinarian was terminated due to his report . Contrary to the city’s assertion, the court held that BARC was an appropriate law enforcement authority under the Act to report violations of section 42.09 of the Texas Penal Code committed by BARC employees. Opinion Withdrawn and Superseded on Rehearing by City of Houston v. Levingston , 221 S.W.3d 204 (Tex. App., 2006).

McElroy v. Carter Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2006 WL 2805141 (Tenn.Ct.App.)

In this Tennessee case, a man shot and wounded a cat owned by his neighbor as the animal exited from the bed of the man's prized pickup truck. The cat died from its wounds shortly thereafter. The neighbor sued for the veterinary bills she incurred for treatment of the cat's injuries. The truck owner counter-sued for the damage the cat allegedly caused to his truck by scratching the paint. After a bench trial, the court awarded the truck's owner $6,500 in damages, which it offset by a $372 award to the neighbor for her veterinary bills. The Court of Appeals reversed that decision finding that as a matter of law the cat's owner cannot be held liable for not keeping her cat confined when the damage the cat allegedly caused was not foreseeable.

Loban v. City of Grapevine Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2009 WL 5183802 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth,2009)

In this unpublished Texas case, Appellant Jason Loban appeals the trial court's judgment awarding appellee City of Grapevine $10,670.20 in damages. In 2006, Appellant's dogs were declared "dangerous" under the City's municipal ordinance. On appeal, Appellant argued that the trial court's award of $10,670.20 in damages to the City should be reversed because the City did not plead for monetary relief, the issue was not tried by consent, and there was no evidence to support the award. This Court agreed. In finding the monetary judgment void, the Court observed that the City did not put any request for a monetary award in its pleadings and there was no evidence in the record of the amount of the fine.

Gonzalez v. South Texas Veterinary Associates, Inc. Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2013 WL 6729873 (Tex. App. Dec. 19, 2013), review denied (May 16, 2014) Plaintiff acquired an indoor/outdoor cat with an unknown medical and vaccination history. Plaintiff took cat to defendant for treatment and the cat received a vaccination. The cat soon developed a golf-ball-sized mass that contained a quarter-sized ulceration which was draining “matter” on the cat's right rear leg. When plaintiff returned the cat to the defendant, defendant diagnosed the cat with an infection, prescribed an antibiotic for treatment, and instructed Gonzalez to return if the cat's symptoms did not improve. When the cat's symptoms did not improve, plaintiff took the cat to another veterinarian who diagnosed the cat with vaccine-associated sarcoma. The cat had to be eventually euthanized. Acting pro se, the plaintiff filed suit, alleging that defendant failed to: (1) inform her of vaccine-associated sarcoma risk; (2) adhere to feline vaccination protocols; and (3) properly diagnose vaccine-associated sarcoma in the cat, which resulted in the loss of her life. On appeal, plaintiff asserted that the trial court erred by granting defendant's no-evidence and traditional motions for summary judgment. After examining the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff and disregarding all contrary evidence and inferences, the court concluded that the plaintiff brought forth more than a scintilla of probative evidence establishing the relevant standard of care to prove her malpractice claims. The trial court, therefore, erred by granting the no-evidence summary judgment. On the traditional summary judgment claim, the court held that that the defendant's evidence did not conclusively prove that a veterinarian complied with the applicable standard of care in light of another veterinarian's report to the contrary. The trial court, therefore, erred by granting defendant's traditional motion for summary judgment. The case was reversed and remanded.
“ASOCIACIÓN DE FUNCIONARIOS Y ABOGADOS POR LOS DERECHOS DE LOS ANIMALES Y OTROS C/ GCBA S/ AMPARO” Orangutana Sandra-Sentencia de Cámara- Sala I del Fuero Contencioso Administrativo y Tributario CABA Courtroom I of the Chamber of Appeals in Contentious Administrative and Tax Matters of the City of Buenos Aires ruled that the technical reports presented by the experts for the improvement of the orangutan Sandra’s living conditions showed enough evidence to conclude that it was not in the best interest of the orangutan to transfer her to a sanctuary or to transfer her to her natural habitat. Thus, the court accepted and ordered a series of measures in order to guarantee her welfare conditions.
Orangutana, Sandra s/ Habeas Corpus Orangutana, Sandra s/ Habeas Corpus This decision was decided on an appeal of the writ of habeas corpus brought on behalf of an orangutan named Sandra after it was denied in its first instance. Pablo Buompadre, President of the Association of Officials and Attorneys for the Rights of Animals (AFADA) brought a writ of habeas corpus against the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the City Zoological Garden of Buenos Aires on behalf of the hybrid of two different orangutan species, Sandra. AFADA sought the immediate release and relocation of Sandra to the primate sanctuary of Sorocaba, in the State of Sao Paulo in Brazil. AFADA argued that Sandra had been deprived illegitimately and arbitrarily of her freedom by the authorities of the zoo, and that her mental and physical health was at the time deeply deteriorated, with imminent risk of death. For the first time, basic legal rights were granted to an animal. In this case, Argentina’s Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation ruled that animals are holders of basic rights. The Court stated that “from a dynamic and non-static legal interpretation, it is necessary to recognize [Sandra] an orangutan as a subject of rights, as non-human subjects (animals) are holders of rights, so it imposes her protection."
Pedroni, Matías Andrés c/ Capello Marina Alejandra s/ Medidas Precautorias – Familia- Burke and Roma- Argentina Poder Judicial de la Nación, Juzgado Civil 7, Fallo 23536/2021 This case involves a divorced couple that shared two dogs, Burke and Roma. The divorced couple had an arrangement where they shared custody of the dogs. After a domestic violence accusation filed by Marina Alejandra Capello (the respondent) that resulted in a restraining order, Matías Andrés Pedroni (the petitioner) was no longer allowed to see the dogs. The petitioner filed an injunction asking the judge to grant visitation rights (provisional communication regime in Argentina) so he could see the dogs. The petitioner argued that the capricious decision not to let him see the dogs caused him pain, anguish, and concern because Roma and Burke were his family. The judge concluded that from a non-anthropocentric speciest view, Burke and Roma were non-human members of the family created by the parties and that the love for the dogs did not end with the divorce. On the contrary, it had transcended the relationship of the couple. Therefore, neither party could be forced to forget about their relationship with their dogs, severing the solid emotional bond based on years of living together.
Sentencia 09333-2022-00667T - Ecuador Proceso No. 09333-2022-00667T This is the case of four cats (Luna, Manchas, Sonic, and Tiger) and two dogs (Pantera and Noah) that were inside the properties seized by the authorities in a drug trafficking case. Attorney Kevin Prendes Vivar filed a habeas corpus petition for the animals' caretaker, stating that the animals were illegally kept by the "Technical Secretary of Real Estate Management of the Public Sector" or "Inmobiliar," the government agency that seized the properties. The claimant argued that in accordance with the Constitutional Court decision 253-20-JH/22 (Estrellita case), the companion animals in the case are subjects of rights, that were left unattended, exposing them to potential health and well-being concerns, given their emotional attachment to their caretakers. The provincial court of Guyanas granted the habeas corpus, holding that animals are subjects of rights, finding that Inmobiliar had violated the animals' rights by considering them seizable personal property.
Proyecto Amparo en revisión 630, 2017 Proyecto Amparo en revisión 630, 2017 This is a draft of a withdrawn "Amparo" decision, but it is relevant as it highlights the connection between the human right to a healthy environment and the duty to protect animals. In particular, it sheds light on how this right influences the legal assessment of bullfighting's legality. In this case, plaintiff, Promociones y Espectáculos Zapaliname, S.A. de C.V., a company specializing in organizing bullfighting events, filed a legal action against various governmental entities and individuals in the state of Coahuila, in Mexico. The plaintiff challenged the 2015 amendment to Coahuila's animal protection law, which prohibited bullfighting and similar practices, on the grounds that it violated their rights to work, property, and cultural expression. The lower court dismissed the case regarding Article 20, Section XV of the animal protection law due to a lack of legal interest and because these provisions were not applicable to the case. The court also rejected the Amparo concerning Article 20, Section XIV of the same law. The case was appealed and eventually transferred to the Supreme Court of Justice. The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court, after hearing the case de novo, upheld the constitutionality of Article 20, Section XIV of Coahuila's animal protection law. The judge emphasized that the right to a healthy environment includes the protection of animals as an element of the environment, moving away from viewing animals purely as property. The court highlighted the presence of various laws recognizing the need for humane treatment of animals and prohibiting cruelty, even though Mexico lacks a national anti-cruelty law. This legal framework justified the ban on bullfighting and supported the broader legislative objective of protecting and treating animals with dignity. The court argued that allowing bullfighting caused suffering and death for the sake of entertainment, which was detrimental to the societal interest of protecting the environment and species conservation, as established in Article 4 of the Constitution. It also stressed the importance of governments adopting gradual measures to protect animals, and regressing on these measures would be undesirable.
Proyecto de Resolución del Amparo en Revisión 630/2017 - Mexico Proyecto de Resolución del Amparo en Revisión 630/2017 This is a draft of a withdrawn “Amparo” decision, but it is relevant as it highlights the connection between the human right to a healthy environment and the duty to protect animals. In particular, it sheds light on how this right influences the legal assessment of bullfighting’s legality. In this case, the plaintiff, Promociones y Espectáculos Zapaliname, S.A. de C.V., a company whose purpose is to organize bullfighting events, initiated a legal action, known as an “Amparo” against various individuals and governmental entities in the state of Coahuila. The complaint specifically targeted the State Governor, the State Congress, the Secretary of the Government, the State Director of the Official Newspaper, the State Secretary of the Environment, and the State Deputy Director of the Official Newspaper. The plaintiff alleged before the Coahuila’s Second District Court that the 2015 amendment to the law for the protection and dignified treatment of animals in Coahuila, which prohibited bullfighting and similar practices, as well as other associated regulations, infringed upon their rights to employment, property, and cultural expression. The court dismissed the case regarding article 20, fraction XIV of Coahuila’s law for the protection and dignified treatment of animals due to lack of legal interest as the application of these provisions was not substantiated and because such provisions were hetero-applicative. Therefore, the provisions were not applicable. The court also dismissed the “Amparo” regarding Article 20, fraction XIV of the same law. The plaintiff appealed the opinion before the Collegiate Court on Administrative and Civil Matters of the Eighth Circuit, which ordered transferring the case to the Fourth Collegiate Circuit Court of the Auxiliary Center of the Tenth Region. This court upheld the lower court’s decision, deeming the legal action non-justiciable. In addition, the court requested the revision of the case and transferred the case to the Supreme Court of Justice. The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice heard the case de novo. In this opportunity, the court upheld the constitutionality of article 20, fraction XIV of Coahuila’s animal protection law. The judge held that, “[t]he protection of species is immersed within the very concept of the environment, since animals are part of those elements that comprise it.” The judge held that the right to a healthy environment encompasses the protection of animals, an element of the environment. With this decision, the court moves away from a pure property conception of animals. Moreover, the court underscores the existence of various laws that recognize the need to treat animals humanely and prohibit cruel treatment towards them. These laws include the Federal Animal Health Law, the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, the General Wildlife Law, and the Mexican Official NOM-033-SAG/ZOO-2014. It is important to note that, despite the absence of a national anti-cruelty law in Mexico, these regulations serve as a foundation for animal welfare, even though Mexico does not have a national anti-cruelty law. The court further states that this legal framework shows that the constitutional right to a healthy environment enables the ban on bullfighting established in the amendment of the Coahuila law the plaintiff seeks to invalidate. Such a law is a means to fulfill the general laws enacted to protect and treat animals with dignity. By allowing this cruel practice, the court also asserted that animals suffer and die for the sake of entertainment, which causes a detriment to the general societal interest to protect the human rights to a healthy environment related to the protection and conservation of species established in Article 4 of the Constitution. In addition, the court further stated that invalidating this amendment would constitute a regression that would diminish the need for governments to adopt gradual measures to protect animals.
QUATTROCCHIO WANDA S/ MALTRATO ANIMAL QUATTROCCHIO WANDA S/ MALTRATO ANIMAL (Expte. Nº PEX 292565/21) This is an animal cruelty case in which Wanda Quattrochio witnessed the defendant whipping the neighbor's dogs. Wanda recorded the events and filed a complaint about animal cruelty. The defendant was in charge of caring for the dogs while their owner was away. When the authorities arrived at the house to seize the dogs, they found six dogs in small dirty kennels, with unclean water and without food. After considering the testimony of witnesses and other evidence, the judge concluded that the defendant had violated articles 1-3 of the anti-cruelty law (Ley 14.346) and was found guilty of animal cruelty. In her analysis of the case, the judge stated that animals were not things or resources but rather living beings with the potential to be "subjects of life."
R v. Menard R v. Menard 1978 CarswellQue 25 The accused in R v. Menard had a business euthanizing animals by use of motor exhaust which caused pain and burns to the mucous membranes of the animals he was euthanizing. In a decision written by future Canadian Supreme Court Chief Justice, Lamer J. overturned a decision from the lower courts and reinstated the original conviction. Lamer J. statements about the animal-human relationship have been influential in Canadian Animal case law.
R v D.L. R. v. D.L., 1999 ABPC 41 In R v D.L. (1999 ABPC 41) the phrase “wilfully and without lawful excuse” found in s.446 was at issue. In this case, two individuals were charged under s. 445(a) s.446 (1)(a) for killing a cat after the cats’ owner told them to “get rid of it” which they took to mean kill it. The judge in this case found that having permission to kill an animal was not a sufficient “lawful excuse” and did not lawfully give the authority to cause unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal. The accused was found not guilty on count 1 and guilty on count 2.
R v. Shand R. v. Shand, 2007 ONCJ 317 In R v Shand 2007 ONCJ 317 (CanLII), the court examined the necessary elements required to established the “willful” mens rea component present in Canadian Federal Criminal Statute s. 429. The accused was charged with three counts of animal cruelty contrary to s.446 of the Criminal Code in relation to a dog in her care. The court found that on two of the counts that the accused was had acted "wilfully" because she was either "reckless or indifferent as to her dog's condition."
Republic v. Teischer Republica v. Teischer, 1 Dall. 335 (Penn. 1788)

The Defendant had been convicted in the county of Berks upon an indictment for maliciously, wilfully, and wickedly killing a Horse; and upon a motion in arrest of Judgment, it came on to be argued, whether the offence, so laid, was indictable? The court affirmed the trial court's conviction of defendant for killing a horse.

Resolución 063/2018 - Comisión Derechos Humanos del Estado de Guerrero, Mexico Resolución 063/2018 Resolution 063/2018 by the Human Rights Commission of Guerrero, Mexico addresses concerns raised by members of the civil association "Responsible Citizen" and a professor and students from the Master's in Law program at the Autonomous University of Guerrero against the Director of Zoochilpan Zoo. The complaint alleged violations to the state animal protection statute, the Rights of Nature (Recognized in the constitution since 2014), and the right to a healthy environment due to inadequate conditions for the animals. After an inspection, the commission noted various issues such as animals of diverse species living together, dirty water in a pond, and animals in small enclosures. The zoo also failed to meet the standards of the Association of zoos, breeders, and aquariums "AZCARM," leading to recommendations for improvement. Resulting from these inspections, the commission found that the animals were housed inadequately, violating the state anti-cruelty law. They also highlighted potential impacts on the human right to a healthy environment for visitors and zoo staff. The Commission's recommendations include advising the Secretary of the Environment to implement recommendations for the welfare of exhibited animals, suggesting ongoing training for zoo staff to ensure dignified treatment, and advising the Zoo Director to implement legal and administrative measures for the animals' well-being, including budget allocation for necessary infrastructure and optimal conditions.

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