|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.
|Anderson v. City of Camden||2011 WL 4703104 (2011)||
Defendant Animal Control officers took Plaintiffs' two dogs pursuant to a pick-up order issued by a Magistrate of Kershaw County. The two dogs had a history of attacking other dogs and of running loose. Plaintiffs filed Fourth Amendment and South Carolina Tort Claims Act claims against Defendants. Court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment because they did not violate a clearly established constitutional law, and were, therefore, entitled to qualified immunity from Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim.
|Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue, Inc v. Bengal||2011 WL 4867541 (C.A.3 (Pa.),2011)||
Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue rescued three dogs from North Carolina and had them delivered to Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement seized them and turned them over to Appellants PSPCA. The District Court ordered Appellants to return the dogs to Sixth Angel based on a state law conversion claim. The motion was affirmed because PSPCA deprived Sixth Angel of its unique property. Returning the dogs to their owner served the public interest by settling property rights and allowing Sixth Angel to fulfill its mission of finding homes for the dogs.
|Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue Inc. v. Pennsylvania SPCA||2011 WL 605697 (2011) (Slip Copy)||
Plaintiff dog rescue received a shipment of dogs from a North Carolina animal shelter. Joseph Loughlin, a warden from the Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Bureau, and officials from the Pennsylvania SPCA (“PSPCA”) seized the dogs. Plaintiff filed suit seeking a court order for the return of the dogs. Loughlin mailed to Plaintiff’s counsel a citation for violating the Pennsylvania Dog Law. Plaintiff filed this action, alleging malicious prosecution, abuse of process, a claim that both §§ 459-209(b) and 459-603(c) are unconstitutional, and damages for defamation and “derogatory publication.” The court dismissed all claims except for those relating to the Pennsylvania Dog Law, The court held that the as-applied dormant Commerce Clause challenges to §§ 459-209(b) and 459-603(c) were not ripe and moot, respectively. The First Amendment challenge to § 459-603(c) failed because the statute was not unconstitutionally vague.
|Stout v. U.S. Forest Service||2011 WL 867775 (2011)||
Plaintiff ranch owners grazed cattle within the Murderer's Creek Wild Horse Territory (WHT), an area in which the threatened Middle Columbia River steelhead was present. The Forest Service approved a wild horse management plan in the area, but failed to prepare a Biological Assessment (BA) to determine whether the plan was likely to affect the threatened species, and whether formal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was necessary. The Forest Service’s failure to comply with section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was arbitrary and capricious, and was ordered to consult with NMFS on its plan.
|Howle v. Aqua Illinois, Inc.||2012 IL App (4th) 120207 (Ill.App. 4 Dist.)||As the result of a dog bite on the defendant’s rental property, the plaintiff suffered a torn cheek and irreparable damage to her ear. The plaintiff therefore attempted to recover damages from the defendant on the common law theory of negligence and through Illinois’ Animal Control Act. The trial court, however, dismissed the Animal Control Act claim and, later, granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the negligence claim. Upon appeal, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision, though it stated a motion for summary judgment was more appropriate then the motion to dismiss for the Animal Control Act claim.|
|Greenway v. Northside Hosp., Inc.||2012 WL 2819420 (Ga.App.,2012)||
While completely disoriented at a hospital, the plaintiff was asked by deputies to sign a form releasing his two yellow labs to animal control in the event of the plaintiff's demise. The plaintiff was allegedly informed that if he did not die, he could retrieve his dogs in 7 to 10 days; he therefore signed the form without reading the terms. Later, the nurse informed him that his dogs had been euthanized and plaintiff filed suit. The trial court granted all of the defendants' motions for summary judgment, so the plaintiff appealed. The appellate court found an issue of material fact existed towards all defendants and therefore concluded that the trial court erred in granting all motions for summary judgment. This opinion was vacated and superseded by Greenway v. Northside Hosp., Inc., 730 S.E.2d 742 (Ga. App. 2012) .
|Dutka v. Cassady||2012 WL 3641635 (Not Reported in A.3d)||A rescue organization had adopted out a dog. The new owners were walking the dog unleashed when it attacked another dog. The plaintiff's filed a complaint of common law negligence and recklessness, which alleged that the rescue organization should have known and should have warned them of the dangerous tendencies of the specific dog but failed to do so. Connecticut law imposed strict liability on an owner or keeper of such an animal, and the statute had not been expanded to include the seller or transferor. The issue then was whether the court should expand the scope of such a negligence claim and create a duty of care owed by transferors or sellers of dogs with known and/or unknown propensities for aggression. The court found that there was no support for expanding liability in common law negligence when the organization in this case did not own, possess, harbor or control the dog. The court declines to impose a duty on the rescue agency to inform adoptive families.|
|In re: Lee Marvin Greenly||2012 WL 3877414 (U.S.D.A. Aug. 22, 2012)||Respondent Lee Marvin Greenly is an individual who operates what he describes as a photographic educational game farm along the scenic Kettle River near Sandstone, Minnesota. He is a licensed exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act. A USDA complaint alleged that between March 14, 2006 and October 19, 2010 the Respondents committed some thirty-seven separate violations of the Act and its Regulationsincluding (a) failing to provide adequate veterinary care to their animals; (b) failing to establish a mechanism for communicating with the veterinarian; (c) failing to construct structurally sound housing facilities; (d) failing to timely remove and dispose of food waste; (e) failing to appropriately store food; (f) failing to adequately enclose outdoor facilities; (g) failing to make, keep and maintain adequate and appropriate records; (h) failing to provide environmental enrichment for the animals; (i) failing to allow access for unannounced inspections of the facility, the animals and records; (j) failing to handle animals so as to avoid trauma or physical harm; and (k) failing to handle animals so that there was minimal risk to the public and the animals by permitting direct contact between dangerous animals and members of the public, resulting in injuries to the public on three occasions, death to a neighbor's pet, and mandatory euthanization of one of the animals following one incident. In this order, an Administrative Law Judge issued a cease and desist order, as well as revoked Respondent’s license due to the violations.|
|Kankey v. State||2013 Ark. App. 68, Not Reported in S.W.3d (Ark.App.,2013)||
A district court found the appellant’s animals had been lawfully seized, and then divested appellant of ownership of the animals and vested custody to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The appellant filed an appeal in the civil division of the circuit court, but the circuit court dismissed the appeal as untimely and not properly perfected. Upon another appeal, the Arkansas Court of Appeals found it had no jurisdiction and therefore dismissed the case.
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Herbert||2013 WL 4017889 (D. Utah July 22, 2013)||The Animal Legal Defense Fund and other plaintiffs challenged Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-112, which criminalizes recording images or sounds at industrialized farming operations, and entering industrialized farming operations by false pretenses or misrepresentation. The Plaintiffs alleged that § 76-6-112 violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Defendants moved to dismiss on the grounds that the Plaintiffs had not suffered actual harm, and thus did not have standing. The U.S. District Court Judge dismissed some Plaintiffs from the case, but allowed it to move forward.|
|In re: VANISHING SPECIES WILDLIFE INC.||2013 WL 4679456 (U.S.D.A.)||An Administrative Law Judge issued a cease and desist order against Vanishing Species, Inc for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The ALJ also revoked the organization’s license and assessed civil penalties. Facts that led to these sanctions include: Respondent housing animals at a site without notifying APHIS of the location; a storm interfering with the air conditioning system that cooled a building that housed animals owned by Respondent, and because the system did not correct itself and Respondent did not provide an alternate cooling system or verify the health of the animals, at least one animal died; Respondent not having a currently signed program of veterinary care on February 4, 201; a wooden frame surrounding the water tub in the bear enclosure was in disrepair; the wooden horizontal support beam for the bear enclosure was cracked; and the vertical metal support next to the door of the skunk enclosure had exposed jagged edges that were accessible to animals.|
|Protect our Communities Foundation v. Salazar||2013 WL 5947137 (Only the Westlaw citation is currently available.)||The Protect Our Communities Foundation filed a complaint challenging the United States Department of the Interior's approval of the Record of Decision approving a utility-scale wind power project arguing that it violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). But the Court held that the Department discussed reasonable alternatives, that the Decision was not an arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion, and that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that a permit was required under the MBTA for an unintentional killing of migratory birds.|
|Gonzalez v. South Texas Veterinary Associates, Inc.||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.|
|In re: Tri-State Zoological Park of Western Maryland, Inc.||2013 WL 8214620 (U.S.D.A.)||Mr. Candy started Tri-State, a zoo, in 2002 as a way to provide his children and other members of the community in Cumberland, Maryland, with an entertaining and educational activity. However, several violations of the Animal Welfare Act led to a cease and desist order and a 45 day suspension of the zoo’s license.|
|Hament v. Baker||2014 VT 39, 97 A.3d 461 (Vt. 2014)||The custody of an eleven year old German wirehaired pointer was the central issue in this Vermont divorce case. While both parties testified to their strong emotional ties to the dog and to the care that each spouse provided, the Superior Court awarded custody to the husband. The wife appealed the Superior Court’s decision arguing that the court erred in refusing a joint arrangement, that the court’s finding was not supported by the evidence, and that this finding provided an arbitrary basis for award. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Vermont held that the family court division could consider factors not set out in 15 V.S.A. § 751(b); specifically, the welfare of the animal and the emotional connection between the animal and each spouse. The court found that both parties were afforded an opportunity to put on evidence regarding both factors without restriction in the Superior Court. The Supreme Court of Vermont also held that the Superior Court was correct in its statement that the family division could not enforce a visitation or shared custody order for companion animals. Unlike child custody matters, the court said, there is no legislative authority for the court to play a continuing role in the supervision of the parties with respect to the care and sharing of a companion animal. The Superior Court’s decision of awarding custody to the husband was therefore affirmed.|
|Protect Our Communities Foundation v. Jewell||2014 WL 1364453 (Only the Westlaw citation is currently available.)||The Protect our Communities Foundation challenged the Bureau of Land Management's Record of Decision authorizing development of a utility-scale wind energy facility on public lands in San Diego County, arguing that BLM's approval of a right-of-way violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagles Protection Act. The Court found that BLM did consider several alternatives to the proposed Project, took a "hard look" at the environmental consequences, and did not improperly defer specification and analysis of mitigation measures. The Court also held that Federal agencies are not required to obtain a permit before acting in a regulatory capacity to authorize activity, such as development of a wind-energy facility, that may incidentally harm protected birds. The Court denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and granted the defendants' cross motions for summary judgment.|
|State v. Moore||2014 WL 1917289 (Wash.App. Div. 2)||Duane Moore appealed his conviction and sentence for second degree assault, domestic violence, after choking his wife during an argument. He argued that (1) the prosecutor committed misconduct during voir dire and closing argument when he argued facts not in evidence, made improper statements about witness credibility, and shifted the burden of proof; (2) the trial court erred when it allowed a witness to testify with a service dog; and (3) the prosecutor improperly testified at the sentencing hearing. With regard to the testimony dog issue, the court found that defendant failed to raise the issue at trial and thus failed to preserve this issue for appeal. Further, defendant failed to prove that any alleged errors were manifest. There is no evidence in the record that the dog's presence made Ms. Moore appear traumatized or victimized, and thereby violated Mr. Moore's due process rights, or acted as a comment on the evidence. The court rejected defendant's argument and affirmed the trial court.|
|Ascencio v. ADRU Corporation||2014 WL 204212 (N.D. Cal. 2014) (Not Reported in F.Supp.2d)||
A woman, who suffers from a disability that is accompanied by deep depression and anxiety, went to a fast food restaurant with her mother and her two service dogs. Upon entering the establishment, the employees refused to serve them, forced them to leave, and retaliated against them by calling the police and threatening them with arrest. The woman and her mother sued the fast food restaurant for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related California statutes. When the fast food restaurant failed to file an answer, the court entered a default judgment against the fast food restaurant; awarded the plaintiffs with damages, court costs and attorney fees; and placed a permanent injunction against the fast food restaurant.
|US v. Richards||2014 WL 2694225||
*1 The First Amendment restrains government to “make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.” U.S. Const. amend. I.
|Cottongame v. State||2014 WL 3536801 (Tex. App. 2014), unpublished||Despite an ordinance restricting the number of cats a person can own to three unless a permit was obtained, an officer decided not to enforce the ordinance against the appellant because she was helping with the feral-cat problem in the city and because “she was ... attempting to bring into compliance [her] animal rescue.” When the officer left his job, however, a neighbor complained and an investigation took place. The investigating officer noted everything in the house was covered in cat litter, there was no carpet in the home, and cat urine was on the living-room floor. The smell of cat urine and feces also sickened the officer to the point that he had to leave the house to get fresh air. The State filed a complaint alleging Appellant's violation of the ordinance. A jury found Appellant guilty of the offense as alleged in the complaint and assessed her punishment at $75 plus court costs. Appellant appealed from her conviction for violating a city ordinance regarding the number of animals that may be kept without a permit. In her first issue, the appellant asserted that her conviction violated the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the city “selectively enforced its purported ordinance that prohibits any person from having possession of more than three cats without a permit.” The court, however, found that there was no evidence before the trial court indicating that appellant was singled out for enforcement or that her selection for enforcement was based on anything other than a valid citizen complaint. In her second issue, the appellant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction. The court, however, found that the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's finding that the appellant was in violation of the ordinance. The lower court’s decision was therefore affirmed.|
|Inst. of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd Conservation Soc'y||2014 WL 3579639 (W.D. Wash. July 21, 2014)||After the International Court of Justice ruled against Japan in the Whaling in the Antarctic case, Sea Shepherd moved to dismiss the Ninth Circuit’s earlier ruling regarding Sea Shepherd’s own actions in the Antarctic. Sea Shepherd claimed that because the Institute had announced that it would not engage in whaling in the 2014-15 season, its claim was moot. This argument, though, ignored the fact the Institute also stated that it plans to resume whaling in the future, leading the Court to dismiss the motion.|
|In re: Gus White||2014 WL 4311058 (U.S.D.A. May 13, 2014)||This Administrative Order revoked the Animal Welfare Act exhibitors license and assessed a $39,375 civil penalty to the owners of Collins Exotic Animal Orphanage. The owners of the license were also order to cease and desist from in particular, shall cease and desist from: failing to maintain complete records showing the acquisition, disposition, and identification of animals; failing to maintain programs of disease control and prevention, euthanasia, and adequate veterinary care under the supervision and assistance of a doctor of veterinary medicine; failing to provide veterinary care to animals in need of care; failing to provide food for rabbits that is free of contamination, wholesome, palatable, and of sufficient quantity and nutritive value for the rabbits; failing to keep food receptacles for rabbits clean and sanitized; failing to locate food receptacles for rabbits so as to minimize contamination by excreta; failing to construct housing facilities for animals so that they are structurally sound; failing to maintain housing facilities for animals in good repair; failing, during public exhibition, to maintain a sufficient distance or barrier between animals and the general viewing public to assure the safety of the animals and the viewing public; failing to provide natural or artificial shelter appropriate to the local climatic conditions for animals kept outdoors to afford the animals protection and to prevent discomfort to the animals; failing to enclose all outdoor housing facilities for animals with a perimeter fence of sufficient height; and failing to remove excreta from primary enclosures as often as necessary to prevent contamination of the animals contained in the primary enclosures and to minimize disease hazards.|
|Defenders of Wildlife v. Jewell||2014 WL 4714847 (D.D.C. 2014) (unpublished)||In 2012, a rule transferred management of the gray wolf in Wyoming from federal control to state control. In the present case, plaintiffs Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Fund for Animals, Humane Society of the United States, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club, challenged the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list in Wyoming. Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment, and maintained that the decision was arbitrary and capricious because Wyoming's regulatory mechanisms were inadequate to protect the species, the level of genetic exchange shown in the record did not warrant delisting, and the gray wolf was endangered within a significant portion of its range. Given the level of genetic exchange reflected in the record, the Court decided not to disturb the finding that the species had recovered, and it would not overturn the agency's determination that the species was not endangered or threatened within a significant portion of its range. However, the Court concluded that it was arbitrary and capricious for the Service to rely on the state's nonbinding promises to maintain a particular number of wolves when the availability of that specific numerical buffer was such a critical aspect of the delisting decision. The Court therefore granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in part, denied it in part, and remanded the matter back to the agency.|
|Johnson v. District of Columbia||2014 WL 5316644 (D.D.C. Oct. 17, 2014) (Only the Westlaw citation is currently available)||Although he has never been prosecuted or threatened with prosecution under the District of Columbia's Animal Control Act, plaintiff, an animal rights activist, challenges a provision that reads: “No person shall knowingly and falsely deny ownership of any animal.” D.C.Code § 8–1808(b). Plaintiff asserts that he desires to give speeches in the District of Columbia about why he opposes treating animals as property, and in such speeches he would like to deny ownership of his dog. However, he alleges that he does not do so because he is deterred by D.C.Code § 8–1808(b). Plaintiff therefore sued the District of Columbia to obtain declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing the statute violated his First Amendment right to free speech. The District Court, however, found that plaintiff lacked standing because he presented no concrete evidence to substantiate his fears of prosecution, but rather rests his claims on mere conjecture about possible governmental actions. Such hypothetical fears cannot form the basis for standing under Article III of the US Constitution. The defendant's motion to dismiss was therefore granted and the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment was therefore dismissed.|
|People ex rel. Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Lavery||2014 WL 6802767 (N.Y. App. Div. Dec. 4, 2014)||This case is an appeal from a Supreme Court judgment denying petitioner's application for an order to show cause to commence a CPLR article 70 proceeding. At issue is the legal status of a chimpanzee named Tommy who is being kept on respondents' property. Petitioners filed a habeas corpus proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 70 on the ground that Tommy was being unlawfully detained by respondents. They offered support via affidavits of experts that chimpanzee have the requisite characteristics sufficient for a court to consider them "persons" to obtain personal autonomy and freedom from unlawful detention. The Court of Appeals here is presented with the novel question on whether a chimpanzee is a legal person entitled to the rights and protections afforded by the writ of habeas corpus. In rejecting this designation, the Court relied on the fact that chimpanzees cannot bear any legal responsibilities or social duties. As such, the Court found it "inappropriate to confer upon chimpanzees the legal rights . . . that have been afforded to human beings."|
|Humane Society of the United States v. Jewell||2014 WL 7237702 (D.D.C. Dec. 19, 2014) (Only the Westlaw cite is available)||The Humane Society of the United States sued to overturn the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's 2012 Final Rule to delist the Great Lakes gray wolves from the endangered species list. The US District Court called the 2012 Final Rule "arbitrary and capricious" under the Administrative Procedure Act and in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The District Court thus relisted the wolves and placed them back under the control of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.|
|Food & Water Watch, Inc. v. Vilsack||2015 WL 514389 (D.D.C., 2015)||The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit by plaintiffs against U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that challenged the United States Department of Agriculture’s New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) promulgated under the US Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). The court held that plaintiff’s failed to state an injury-in-fact that was traceable to the actions of the defendants for which relief could be granted. Under NPIS, far fewer federal inspectors would be stationed along slaughter lines, and the employees themselves could conduct a preliminary screening of the carcasses before presenting the poultry to a federal inspector for a visual-only inspection. Plaintiffs contended that the revised processing procedures were inconsistent with the PPIA and would ultimately result in the production of unsafe poultry products. They sought a preliminary and permanent injunction by the court to prevent the USDA and the USDA′s Food Safety and Inspection Service from implementing NPIS.|
|MONICA NEWMAN, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated; MATTHEW KEITH DOUGLAS, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated; and RUBY JUDINE MALMAN, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF PAYETTE,||2015 WL 6159471 (D. Idaho, 2015)||District Court ruled City of Payette's pit bull ordinance's procedural aspects were unconstitutional, finding that the lack of hearing provisions for a dog that was impounded due to an attack or bite violated procedural due process. The court also found that forcing the dog owner to bear the burden of proving his or her dog's innocence violated due process. The court, however, found no constitutional infirmity with the notice procedure employed by Payette's pit bull ordinance, provided Payette adhered to Idaho Code § 25-2804. The court ordered Plaintiff Douglas’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment to be granted in part and denied in part; the claims asserted against the city of Payette by Plaintiffs Monica Newman and Ruby Judine Malman to be dismissed without prejudice; and all claims asserted by Plaintiffs against the city of Fruitland to be dismissed without prejudice.|
|IN RE: LANCELOT KOLLMAN RAMOS||2015 WL 6561874 (U.S.D.A., 2015)||Respondent Lancelot Kollman Ramos has worked as a circus performer and animal trainer his entire life. Ramos acquired Ned the elephant from William Woodcock, who was retiring from the circus. Ramos was aware of rumors that something was wrong with Ned, and he was aware that the animal was thin, but he did not know that it had any health problems. Despite the animal's emaciated condition, Ramos exhibited him in a circus. An Administrative Law Judge found Ramos willfully violated the Animal Welfare Act. $1,650 in fines were imposed on Ramos for violating a cease and desist order and another $5,000 was imposed on him for wilful failure to handle an animal as carefully as possible.|
|Powell v. Adlerhorst Int'l, Inc.||2015 WL 6756126 (D. Or. Nov. 4, 2015) (unpublished)||The plaintiff in this case brought suit after suffering a dog bite from a service dog that was purchased from defendant. The defendant was a corporation that purchased dogs from Europe and then sold them to police agencies to be used as service dogs. Plaintiff (a police officer with the Sherwood Police Department) filed suit asserting both a strict product liability and negligence claim for injuries sustained from dog bites. At issue here is whether the dog was defective and unreasonably dangerous at the time the defendant sold it to the City of Sherwood. Defendant moved for summary judgment and the court denied the motion. The court ultimately held that a reasonable jury could find that defendant should have known about the dog’s aggressive behavior before selling it to plaintiff, thus making it liable for damages.|
|Franciscus v. Sevdik||2016 PA Super 52 (Feb. 29, 2016)||Five-year-old Femina asked the dog walker, Ms. Dailey, if she could pet Julius, the pit bull. When she bent over to do so, the dog jumped up and bit her on the chin. The Plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs. Franciscus commenced this negligence action to recover damages for injuries sustained by their daughter, Femina. They filed the action against Mr. Sevdik, the owner of the dog, Ms. Dailey, the dog walker, and Mr. Steigerwald, the individual owner and operator of Fetch Pet Care of West Hills/South Hills. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that summary judgment granted by the trial court in favor of Ms. Dailey and Fetch Pet Care was improper. The Court reasoned that the dog was entrusted to these Defendants by Mr. Sevdik and the dog was in their control when the injury occurred. Since the Defendants knew the dog jumped on people, was to be muzzled when walked, and was not to be walked along routes where there were people, specifically children and other dogs, they had a duty to use reasonable care to protect others from harm while the dog was in their control. While the court stated it did not need to reach the issue of whether the trial court erred in refusing refusing to take judicial notice of dangerous propensities of pit bulls, it noted that Pennsylvania law does not recognize a presumption that pit bulls as a breed are dangerous or have dangerous propensities. The order was vacated and the case was remanded.|
|Kuehl v. Sellner||2016 WL 3429679 (unpublished) (N.D. Iowa June 17, 2016)||Five Plaintiffs Tracey K. Kuehl, Lisa K. Kuehl, Kris A. Bell, Nancy A. Harvey, John T. Braumann, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint against Defendants Pamela Sellner, Tom Sellner, and Cricket Hollow Zoo, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The Plaintiffs claimed that the Defendants violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA), by holding captive endangered species specifically the lemurs and tigers housed at Cricket Hollow Zoo. The United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division ordered the Defendants, to transfer the lemurs and tigers in their possession “to an appropriate facility which is licensed by the USDA and is capable of meeting the needs of the endangered species.” The Defendants proposed transporting the lemurs to Special Memories Zoo in Hortonville, Wisconsin, and transporting the tigers to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Centerpoint, Indiana. The Plaintiffs claimed that the proposed placements did not comply with the Court's Order and proposed that the lemurs be placed with the Prosimian Sanctuary in Jacksonville, Florida, and the tigers be transported to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. The Court held that the Special Memories Zoo was capable of meeting the lemurs' needs and should be transported there as the Defendant’s proposed. The court reasoned that even if the Court found Special Memories incapable of meeting the lemurs' needs, the Prosimian Sanctuary as proposed by the Plaintiff's was not licensed by the USDA. The Court also held that the endangered tigers should be transferred to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center as the Defendant’s proposed. The court reasoned that the center was capable of meeting of the needs of the tigers. Therefore the Court approved the Defendants' proposed placement of the lemurs and tigers.|
|Hardrick v. City of Detroit||2016 WL 6600039 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 8, 2016) (unpublished)||In January of 2005, the Detroit City Council passed an ordinance granting special police powers to officers working in the Animal Control Division (ACD). The ordinance allowed ACD officers to have “the right of entry without a warrant” for the purpose of capturing or restraining any animal. Detroit residents filed a petition arguing that the ordinance was unconstitutional and the court granted a petition for a preliminary injunction on the basis that the ordinance violated the Fourth Amendment. Following the injunction a number of residents filed suit seeking damages against the City of Detroit arguing that the City improperly seized their pets and failed to provide adequate post-deprivation remedies. Lastly, the residents argued that the City operated its animal shelter in a “grossly negligent manner” after numerous dogs suffered severe illnesses after having been taken to the shelter for quarantine by the ACD. The court reviewed the testimonies of the individual residents who claimed that their pets had been improperly seized and determined that the seizures of the pets were “objectionably reasonable.” In order to determine whether the seizures were “objectionably reasonable” the court stated that it “must balance the nature and quality of the intrusion on the individuals Fourth Amendment interests against the countervailing governmental interests at stake by analyzing the totality of the circumstances.” Ultimately, the court found that it was reasonable for the officers to have seize the pets in each situation based on the facts presented and therefore granted summary judgment in favor of the City of Detroit. Finally, the court reviewed the residents’ arguments pertaining to the Fourteenth Amendment and held that because the vast majority of the pets were found “unrestrained, unlicensed, abandoned by their owner, or accused of biting another animal or human,” the City’s interest in protecting the public was far greater than any “pre-seizure due process owed to the plaintiffs.” As a result, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the City. With regard to the residents’ claim about the state of the City’s animal shelter, the court declined to assert supplemental jurisdiction and therefore dismissed the claim.|
|Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture||2016 WL 7235624 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 14, 2016)||
Foie gras is a food product made from the liver of a duck or goose. To create it, the duck or goose is force-fed a special mix of food which causes a large buildup of fat in the bird's liver. This gives the product its signature taste. Plaintiffs, Animal Legal Defense Fund, comprised of four animal rights organizations and three individuals. The Defendant, United States Department of Agriculture, comprised of the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), and two individuals. Plaintiff Animal Legal Defense Fund asked Defendant (FSIS) to initiate rulemaking under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) “to exclude Foie gras from the food supply as an adulterated and diseased product.” They argued that the force-feeding process could cause infections and illnesses for the animals and the consumption of the birds could trigger the onset of illness and disease in humans. FSIS denied the petition to ban the food product. The Plaintiff Animal Legal Defense Fund then filed this action for judicial review. Defendant FSIS argued that the Plaintiffs lacked Article III standing, that the PPIA does not protect the interests asserted by the animal rights organizations, and that in any event, FSIS acted within its discretion in denying the petition. The United States District Court, C.D. California concluded that the Plaintiff, Animal Legal Defense Fund had standing to bring this action and that their interests fell within the “zone” of interests protected by the PPIA. However, the Court also held that Defendants, United States Department of Agriculture, did not act arbitrarily, capriciously, or contrary to law in denying the petition. Accordingly, the Court Granted the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and Denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment.
|Gill Terrace Ret. Apartments, Inc. v. Johnson||2017 VT 88, 177 A.3d 1087 (Vt. 2017)||This is an appeal of a trial court's ruling in favor of a landlord finding that the tenant violated two material terms of her residential rental agreement. One of the material violations involved the keeping of a pet in violation of a no-pets policy. The facts show that the dog, "Dutchess," initially came to the tenant's apartment in 2009 with the tenant's son. While the dog never attacked another person or pet, it did display aggressive behavior, including lunging, baring her teeth, and rearing up on her hind legs. Other tenants expressed fear of Dutchess. After the son moved out in 2013, the dog stayed, and, in 2014, the landlord sent tenant a letter indicating the keeping of the dog was a violation of the lease. Two months after that notice, an informal meeting was held and tenant then claimed the dog as a reasonable accommodation for her disability. The landlord's attorney sent paperwork to effectuate this request, which the tenant said she never received. Months later, the landlord served the tenant with an eviction action to which tenant responded with a request to keep her dog as a reasonable accommodation. The request to keep a pet as a reasonable accommodation was granted shortly thereafter by landlord; however, the landlord did not approve of Dutchess as the specific animal due to concerns of behavior and hostility toward other residents. At an eviction hearing in June of 2016, the landlord's request to terminate the tenant's lease was granted by the court, which concluded that the reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal did not extend to Dutchess. On appeal, the Vermont Supreme Court noted that a request for an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation may be denied if "the specific assistance animal in question poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others." While there was no dispute in this case that the tenant has a disability-related need for an ESA, there was credible evidence that supported the lower court's decision that Dutchess posed a threat and/or would cause substantial physical damage to the property. This included testimony from other tenants and tenant's own statements that she might not be able to control Dutchess. The court stated: "[l]ike the trial court, we acknowledge tenant's attachment to Dutchess and her need for an emotional support animal, but the court properly weighed the evidence regarding Dutchess's aggressive behavior against landlord's concerns for the safety and wellbeing of the other residents." The court concluded that the lower court did not err in affirming landlord's denial of tenant's reasonable accommodation request.|
|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.|
|Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. ex rel. Beulah v. R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc.||2017 WL 7053738 (Not Reported in A.3d) (Conn. Super. Ct. Dec. 26, 2017)||In this case the petitioner, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc., sought a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of three elephants, Beulah, Minnie, and Karen, which are owned by the respondents, R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. and William R. Commerford, as president of R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. The issue was whether the court should grant the petition for writ of habeas corpus because the elephants are “persons” entitled to liberty and equality for the purposes of habeas corpus. The court denied the petition on the ground that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (because the plaintiffs lacked standing) and the petition was wholly frivolous on its face in legal terms (elephants are not "persons" according to the court). The court he court dismissed the petition for writ of habeas, but pointed to the state's anti-cruelty laws "as a potential alternative method of ensuring the well-being of any animal."|
|Guardians v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service||2018 WL 1023104 (D. Mont. Feb. 22, 2018)||Plaintiffs sued the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and its related entities on the grounds that they failed to comply with environmental and regulatory procedures in the administration and implementation of a federal export program that allows certain animal pelts and parts to be exported from the United States pursuant to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (“CITES”). Defendant-Intervenors intervened, and now seek to dismiss this action pursuant to Rules 12(b)(7) and 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the grounds that the Plaintiffs have not joined and cannot join as indispensable parties certain states and Native American tribes. The court held that because the states and tribes are not “required” under Rule 19(a), dismissal is not appropriate. Accordingly, the court ordered that that Defendant-Intervenors' motion be DENIED.|
|Humane Society of the United States v. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service||2019 WL 2342949 (D.D.C. June 3, 2019)||The Humane Society submitted two Freedom of Information Act requests to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. One was for site-inspection reports and the other was for inspection records for specific animal dealers and exhibitors. The Service released nine pages of inspection records in full but redacted information from the other 127 pages citing FOIA exemptions 6 and 7 that deal with privacy concerns. The Humane Society alleged that the redactions were improper and both parties filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. The Court found that the bulk of the Service’s redactions were improper under exemption 6 because the information did not implicate a licensee’s personal privacy interests. Exemption 6 was meant to protect individuals from public disclosure of intimate details of their lives. Details about a business’ compliance with regulations and statutes does not relate to intimate personal details. It only relates to business activities. Information about business judgments and relationships do not qualify for redaction. However, a substantial privacy interest is anything greater than a de minimus privacy interest and the licensees and third-parties had more than a de minimus privacy interest in their names, addresses, and contact information. The licensees were also homestead businesses meaning that the location of their business also served as their residence. The Court weighed the privacy interest in non-disclosure against the public interest in the release of the records and ultimately found that although the licensees and third parties had a substantial privacy interest in their names, addresses, and contact information, they only had a de minimus privacy interest in the other information that they withheld from the reports. If no significant privacy interest is implicated, FOIA demands disclosure. The service was required to disclose all reasonably segregable portions of the records that do not include identifying information. The Court found the Humane Society’s argument unpersuasive that releasing the addresses of the licensees would serve the public interest. The Service properly withheld the licensees’ addresses and names of third-party veterinarians. Exemption 7 allows for agencies to withhold information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of those law enforcement records could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The Humane Society argued that inspection reports are not compiled for law enforcement purposes because the existence of such a report does not, on its face, reveal that there is any particular enforcement or investigatory action occurring. The Court found that the inspection records relate to the Service’s responsibility to enforce the AWA and ensure that licensees are in compliance, therefore, there was a nexus between the reports and the Service’s law enforcement duties. The Court also conducted the same balancing test that they did with exemption 6 and held that the Service releasing information other than the licensees’ addresses and third parties’ names could not reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The Service properly withheld the licensees’ addresses and contact information and despite the Service’s improper withholding of dates, inspection narratives, animal inventories, etc., the Court found that they had otherwise met their burden of releasing all reasonably segregable information. Both the Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment were granted in part and denied in part.|
|Bozzi v. City of Jersey City||2021 WL 4256377 (N.J. Sept. 20, 2021)||This New Jersey case considers whether owning a dog creates an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy such that the owner's personal information in the dog licensing record might be exempt from disclosure under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Plaintiff Ernest Bozzi, a licensed home improvement contractor, submitted a request to the City of Jersey City (Jersey City) for dog license records to solicit customers for his invisible fencing business. He sought only the names and addresses of dog owners. Jersey City denied his request, objecting on the ground that such a disclosure would violate the dog owners’ reasonable expectation of privacy and that such a disclosure would place dog owners and non-dog owners a risk for theft (e.g., non-dog owners might be singled out for robbery or burglary). The lower court found no privacy interest in disclosing the names to comply with plaintiff's request and the Appellate Division affirmed that order. Upon Jersey City's petition for certification, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed that ruling, finding that owning a dog is "substantially a public endeavor in which people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy." In arguments on appeal, Jersey City contended that disclosure for the purpose of commercial solicitation was protected by the privacy exception of OPRA. The Supreme Court noted that OPRA was designed to promote transparency in the operation of government. In looking at the state legislature's continuing process of amending OPRA, the Court found legislative history that declined against recommendations to withhold addresses or phone numbers in exceptions to the Act. Thus, the Court found that Jersey City has failed to present a colorable claim that disclosure of dog license records would encroach on dog owners' reasonable expectations of privacy. In looking at the OPRA privacy clauses, the Court concluded that owning a dog is "inherently, a public endeavor." In fact, dog owners continually expose themselves through social media, vet visits, public dog parks, bumper stickers, and the like, which militates against the activity being a private activity. While there are other aspects of dog licensing that may expose dog owners to a risk, like disclosure that a dog is a service animal or identifying the particular breed of the dog and exposing an owner to possible theft, the release of names and addresses does not rise to that concern. The Appellate Division's judgment was affirmed.|
|In re Priv. Crim. Complaint Filed by Animal Outlook||2022 WL 588181, 2022 PA Super 37 (Feb. 28, 2022)||Animal Outlook (“AO”) appealed from the order that dismissed its petition for review of the disapproval of the Franklin County District Attorney's Office (“DA”) of multiple private criminal complaints. The requested charges stem from information obtained from an undercover agent who was employed at Martin Farms, where she captured video of cruel mistreatment of animals on the farm that AO contends constituted criminal animal cruelty. These data were complied into a table of 327 incidents, a letter of support from a veterinarian, and a legal memorandum that detailed how these incidents violated Pennsylvania law. AO submitted the gathered information to the pertinent authorities in January 2019 and the Pennsylvania State Police (“PSP”) initiated an investigation which concluded more than a year later. Ultimately, the PSP issued a press release in March 2020 that indicated that the District Attorney had declined prosecution. After this, AO drafted private criminal complaints that were submitted to the Magisterial District Judge who concluded that the DA correctly determined that there was not enough evidence for prosecution. AO then filed a petition of review of the disapproval of its private complaints pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 506(B)(1) before the trial court, which again dismissed AO petition for review. AO filed this appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. In reviewing the trial court's decision, the Superior Court found that the trial court committed multiple errors of law. First, the trial court did not view the evidence in the light most favorable to moving forward with a prosecution and gave too much credit to the evidence from the Martin Farms veterinarian versus the undercover agent's testimony. The trial court went beyond its role of determining whether the evidence proffered supported each element of the crime charged and instead gave impermissible weight and credibility to Martin Farms evidence. Second, the court made a point of noting that Martin Farms voluntarily changed its practices after the investigation, which had no bearing on the legal sufficiency for criminal charges. The trial court also addressed "only a hand-picked few of the alleged instances of abuse," especially with regard to ignoring the non-anesthetized dehorning of calves. Thus, this court found that AO provided sufficient evidence to show prima facie cases of neglect, cruelty, and aggravated cruelty with respect to the incidents. The court then analyzed whether the record supported a defense of "normal agricultural operations" defense that would counter the charges. This court found that incidents like the dehorning of cattle that already had horns fused to the skull and extreme tail twisting and shocking were sufficient to overcome the affirmative defense. The trial court's dismissal of AO's petition for review was reversed and the trial court was ordered to direct the DA to accept and transmit charges for prosecution.|
|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.
|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
|Wildearth Guardians v. U.S. Department of the Interior||205 F. Supp. 3d 1176 (D. Mont. 2016)||In this case, Wildearth Guardians filed suit to challenge the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s designation of critical habitat for the Canada lynx. Wildearth argued that United States Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly excluded geographical areas in its final critical habitat designation. The areas that Wildearth argued should have been included in the designation were the Southern Rockies in Colorado, the Kettle Range of northeastern Washington, the state of Oregon, and certain National Forest lands in Montana and Idaho. Ultimately, the court reviewed Wildearth’s arguments and held that the Fish and Wildlife Service did wrongly exclude the Southern Rockies in Colorado and the National Forest lands in Montana and Idaho. With regard to the areas in Washington and Oregon, the court found that the Fish and Wildlife Service did not err in excluding in those areas from the critical habitat designation. The Fish and Wildlife Service used “primary constituent elements” (PCE) to determine which areas should be designated as a critical habitat for the Canada lynx. The court found that with respect to Colorado, there was a close call as to one of the of PCE’s and that the Service should have favored the lynx according to the standard set in the Endangered Species Act. Lastly, the court found that the Service also erred with respect to Montana and Idaho because it failed to comply with previous court orders to inspect the lands to determine whether or not the lands contained “physical and biological features essential to lynx recovery.” The court found that had the Service complied with these orders, it would have found that Montana and Idaho should have been included in the designation. The plaintiffs motions were granted in part and the matter was remanded to the Service for further action consistent with this order. The final rule remains in effect until the Service issues a new final rule on lynx critical habitat, at which time the September 2014 final rule will be superseded.|
|Baugh v. Beatty||205 P.2d 671 (Cal.App.2.Dist.)||
This California case is a personal injury action by Dennis Ray Baugh, a minor, by John R. Baugh, his guardian ad litem, against Clyde Beatty and others, resulting from injuries suffered by the 4-year old child after he was bitten by a chimpanzee in a circus animal tent. The court found that the instructions given were prejudicial where the jurors were told that the patron could not recover if the patron's conduct caused injury or if the conduct of the father in charge of patron caused injury; instead, the sole question for jury should have been whether patron knowingly and voluntarily invited injury because the animal was of the class of animals ferae naturae, of known savage and vicious nature.
|Brockett v. Abbe||206 A.2d 447 (Conn.Cir.A.D. 1964)||
Defendant-farmer filed a counterclaim for damages for the erroneous determination by the veterinarian that certain cow was not pregnant (plaintiff veterinarian used a "punch test" - where a fist is struck against the abdomen of a cow to determine pregnancy rather than the industry-standard rectal examination). As a result, defendant-farmer sold the cow for $170 versus the $550 he could have received for a pregnant cow. The Court found that it was erroneous for the circuit court to apply the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor, as diagnoses and scientific treatment are improper subjects for the doctrine. The mere proof that the diagnosis later on turned out to be erroneous is insufficient to support a judgment, the court stated.
|SEIDNER v. DILL||206 N.E.2d 636 (Ind.App. 1965)||
Charles Dill, appellee, brought this action in the Municipal Court of Marion County, Indiana, therein alleging that the defendant-appellant, Harold Seidner, maliciously and intentionally shot and killed plaintiff's dog. The case essentially involved a companion animal that was shot and killed by the defendant neighbor who alleged that the dog was after his livestock. A statute in Indiana provided that a person was authorized to kill a dog “known” for “roaming” that harmed or threatened to harm the livestock. A verdict of six hundred dollars for the wrongful killing of the dog was affirmed. This case, however, was subsequently overruled by Puckett v. Miller , 178 Ind. App. 174 (Ind. App. Ct. 1978).
|Ruden v. Hansen||206 N.W.2d 713 (Iowa 1973)||
This appeal stems from an action against a defendant veterinarian for the alleged negligent vaccination of plaintiff’s pregnant hogs (gilts). The court articulated the standard of care: "As a veterinarian defendant was duty bound to bring to his service the learning, skill and care which characterizes the profession generally. In other words, the care and diligence required was that as a careful and trustworthy veterinarian would be expected to exercise. . . We are convinced the correct standard of the veterinarian's care should be held to that exercised generally under similar circumstances."
|Arellano v. Broward||207 So. 3d 351 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2016)||
Plaintiff Lisa Arellano suffered a dog bite and injury to her big toe after being attacked by a guard dog. The Defendant, Broward K–9/Miami K–9 Services, Inc. (“K–9”), owned two guard dogs. The guard dogs escaped K-9 after the business was burglarized, and the chain link fence was cut. The dogs entered Arellano’s neighborhood and she believed that the dogs belonged to one of her neighbors. Arellano fed and sheltered the dogs for about five days, and took steps to find the dogs' owner. However, Arellano also had pet dogs of her own. Eventually, one of the guard dogs attacked one of Arellano's dogs. When Arellano intervened in the attack between the two dogs, she was injured. Eventually, Animal Control determined that K–9 owned the guard dogs. Arellano then brought a statuory damages claim for strict liability against K-9 under Florida’s dog bite statute. The Circuit Court, Miami–Dade County, entered summary judgment in favor of K-9 and determined as a matter of law, that Arellano's actions constituted a superseding, intervening cause, thereby precluding her statutory dog bite claim against the Defendant, K-9. Plaintiff, Arellano appealed. The District Court of Appeals, held that triable issues of fact existed as to whether, and to what extent, K-9's liability under the statute should be reduced because of allegedly negligent actions by Arellano. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the circuit court decision and reasoned that Florida's dog bite statute imposes strict liability on dog owners, subject only to a plaintiff's comparative negligence, which in this case must be determined by the trier-of-fact. K-9's liability under the statute should only be reduced because of the allegedly negligent actions of Arellano. The court also reversed the resulting cost judgment in K–9's favor. The case was remanded to the trial court.