Cases

Case name Citationsort ascending Summary
State v. Nix 283 P.3d 442 (Or.App., 2012)
Upon receiving a tip that animals were being neglected, police entered a farm and discovered several emaciated animals, as well as many rotting animal carcasses. After a jury found the defendant guilty of 20 counts of second degree animal neglect, the district court, at the sentencing hearing, only issued a single conviction towards the defendant. The state appealed and argued the court should have imposed 20 separate convictions based on its interpretation of the word "victims" in ORS 161.067(2). The appeals court agreed. The case was remanded for entry of separate convictions on each guilty verdict. 
State v. Dye 283 P.3d 1130 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2012)

In this Washington case, Defendant Dye appeals his conviction for residential burglary. The victim in the case was an adult man with significant developmental disabilities. At trial, the State obtained permission to allow a dog named "Ellie" to sit at the victim's feet during testimony. On appeal, Dye contends that his right to a fair trial was compromised because the dog's presence improperly incited the jury's sympathy, encouraged the jury to infer victimhood, and gave Lare an incentive to testify for the prosecution. The court found no prejudice to defendant from the presence of the dog, especially in light of the jury instructions to ignore her. Affirmed.

State v. Crew 281 N.C. App. 437, 868 S.E.2d 351, review denied, 890 S.E.2d 915 (N.C. 2023) Defendant Daniel Crew appealed his convictions for dogfighting, felony cruelty to animals, misdemeanor cruelty to animals, and restraining dogs in a cruel manner. Crew also challenges the trial court's restitution orders totaling $70,000, which the trial court immediately converted to civil judgments. The arrest and conviction of defendant stemmed from an investigation at defendant's residence, where 30 pit bulls were recovered with injuries "similar to injuries a dog would sustain through dogfighting." In addition, publications and notes on preparing for a fight were found, as well as dogfighting training equipment such as a "jenny," staging area for fights, and weight scales for weighing dogs. The State charged Crew with fifteen counts of engaging in dogfighting, one count of allowing property to be used for dogfighting, five counts of felony cruelty to animals, twenty-five counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, and sixteen counts of restraining dogs in a cruel manner. Ultimately, Crew was convicted by the jury of eleven counts of dogfighting, three counts of felony cruelty to animals, fourteen counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, and two counts of restraining dogs in a cruel manner. The trial court imposed six consecutive active sentences of 10 to 21 months each along with several suspended sentences. The trial court also ordered Crew to pay Orange County Animal Services $10,000 in seven separate restitution orders that were then entered as civil judgments, totaling $70,000 in restitution (testimony at trial indicated that the cost to house the dogs alone was a "a littler over $80,000"). Defendant appealed his criminal judgment and petitioned for a writ of certiorari for the award of restitution entered as civil judgments. On appeal, this court rejected defendant's claim that there was insufficient evidence of dogfighting. The police found training equipment, medication commonly used in dogfighting operations, and a dogfighting "pit" or training area as well as the notes preparing dogs to fight. A reasonable juror could have concluded that Crew intended to engage in dogfighting. However, as to the restitution order converted to civil judgments, the court found that the trial court lacked the statutory authority to immediately convert those restitution orders into civil judgments. The court found no error concerning the criminal convictions, but vacated the conversion of the restitution to civil judgments against defendant.
Ivory Education Institute v. Department of Fish and Wildlife 28 Cal. App. 5th 975 (Ct. App. 2018), as modified (Nov. 5, 2018), review denied (Jan. 16, 2019) The Legislature passed Assembly Bill 96 which took effect July 1, 2016 as Fish & Game Code section 2022. The bill imposed new restrictions on the sale and importation of ivory and rhinoceros horn. The Ivory Education (the Institute) sued the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (the Department) in order to block implementation of the law. The institute alleged that the statute was unconstitutional on multiple grounds including vagueness, federal preemption, the takings clause, and the commerce clause. The trial court entered judgment for the Department and the intervenor defendants (the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Wildlife Conservation Society). The Institute appealed and abandoned all other issues raised and limited its challenge to the void-for-vagueness doctrine. "The Institute contend[ed] that section 2022 [was] unconstitutionally vague for two reasons: 1) while it allows for the sale or import of ivory insofar as it is allowed by federal law, differences in what federal law allows make it nearly impossible to tell what would qualify for the exemption provided by section 2022(c)(c); and 2) there are no guidelines by which to determine the permissible volume of ivory in either musical instruments or antiques." The Court of Appeals stated that a statute is not vague if its meaning can be determined by looking at other sources of information. Those who wish to comply with section 2022 have a duty to locate and examine statutes or whatever else necessary to determine the scope of the exemption provision. "Section 2022 has a single purpose—to prevent the sale or importation of ivory and rhinoceros horn. Both of those terms are defined. The Institute has 'not demonstrated that attempts to give substance and meaning' to the three disputed exceptions 'would be fruitless.'" As for the Institute's second contention, the Court of Appeals stated that because musical instruments and antiques are tangible objects that occupy a verifiable amount of three-dimensional space, the percentage of any such object that has ivory in it can be readily determined. The Court of Appeals held that the statute was not vague. The Court affirmed the holding of the trial court.
Malpezzi v. Ryan 28 A.D.3d 1036

In this New York case, the plaintiff brought an action to recover for a dog bite sustained when she was walking on a local bike path. The court noted that it has consistently held, “a plaintiff may not recover for injuries sustained in an attack by a dog unless he or she establishes that the dog had vicious propensities and that its owner knew or should have known of such propensities”  Here, defendant and his girlfriend testified, without contradiction, that they did not experience any problems with the dog prior to the incident with Malpezzi. Specifically, each testified that Oreo did not display any act of aggression prior to biting Malpezzi. In opposition, plaintiff primarily relies upon the purportedly vicious nature of the attack, the fact that Oreo allegedly was restrained while on defendant's property and Oreo's specific breed. However, the court observed that where, as here, there is no other evidence even suggesting that defendant knew or should have known of Oreo's allegedly vicious propensities, consideration of the dog's breed is irrelevant. As such, Supreme Court erred in denying defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

State v. Bonilla 28 A.3d 1005 (Conn.App.,2011)

The issue before the court in this case is whether defendant's felony conviction for being a spectator at a cockfight (contrary to General Statutes § 53–247(c)) violates defendant's constitutional rights to assemble and associate, and his equal protection rights. In rejecting defendant's arguments, the court noted first that the right to assemble does not encompass the right to assemble for an unlawful purpose. Further, the right to associate was not infringed because "[a]ttending a cockfight as a spectator is neither a form of 'intimate association' nor a form of 'expressive association' as recognized by our courts or the United States Supreme Court . . ." As to defendant's claim of violation of equal protection, the court found that the aim of § 53–247(c)(4), criminalizing being a spectator at a cockfighting event, is rationally related to the legislative goal of preventing such fights from being staged.

McDANIEL v. JOHNSON 278 S.W.2d 657 (Ark.1955)

In this Arkansas case, a neighbor intentionally shot and killed the plaintiff’s pointer bird dog. The defendant neighbor admitted to intentionally killing the dog to protect his property (to wit, cattle). In affirming an award of actual and punitive damages, the court held that punitive damages were available where the defendant acted in a willful, malicious, and wanton manner.

Born Free USA v. Norton 278 F. Supp 2d 5 (D.D.C. 2003)

The zoo sought to import wild elephants from a foreign country, but advocates contended that the officials did not follow CITES properly for the import. The court held that the advocates failed to show a likelihood of success to warrant preliminary injunctive relief, since no overall detriment to the species was shown.

Lacy v. U.S. 278 F. App'x 616 (6th Cir. 2008)

The owner of a horse tried to enter his horse into the 64th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Upon closer inspection of the horse, experts determined the horse was "sore," meaning the horse had an injury to or sensitization of its legs that induced a high stepping gait for which Tennessee Walkers are known. While the horse's owner contended that the soreness occurred as a result of  the West Nile Virus, he was eventually convicted with a violation of the Horse Protection Act, (15 U.S.C. §§ 1821-1831). This Court affirmed Lacy's conviction, finding that that substantial evidence supported the JO's conclusion that Lacy failed to rebut the statutory presumption of soreness.

State v. Fackrell 277 S.W.3d 859 (Mo.App. S.D.,2009)

In this Missouri case, defendant appealed her conviction for animal abuse. The facts underlying defendant's conviction involve her care of her dog from July 2004 to December 2004. When defendant's estranged husband stopped by her house to drop off their children for visitation in December, he noticed that the dog was very sick and offered to take the dog to the vet after defendant stated she could not afford a vet bill. Because it was the worst case the vet had seen in twenty-seven years of practice, he contacted law enforcement. On appeal, defendant claimed that there was insufficient evidence presented that she “knowingly” failed to provide adequate care for Annie. The court disagreed. Under MO ST 578.012.1(3), a person is guilty of animal abuse when he or she fails to provide adequate care including "health care as necessary to maintain good health." Evidence showed that defendant was aware of the fact the dog was sick over the course of several months and even thought the dog had cancer.

Beckwith v. Weber 277 P.3d 713 (Wyo. 2012)

While on vacation at a ranch in Wyoming, plaintiff was thrown or fell from a horse that stepped in a large badger hole. Allegedly, the trail guide left the plaintiff and her husband at the scene in order to get help. Worried about potential wildlife attacks, the plaintiff and her husband walked to a nearby residence for assistance. The plaintiff later brought a negligence suit against the ranch for injuries she had sustained during the fall. At trial, the jury verdict stated the plaintiff had assumed the risk and the plaintiff was therefore not entitled to damages. On appeal, the plaintiff challenged a jury instruction and asserted the trial court abused its discretion when it awarded costs to the ranch. The plaintiff did not prevail on either claim.

Southall v. Gabel 277 N.E.2d 230 (Ohio App. 1971)

This case resulted from the alleged negligent transport of a horse that resulted in a drastic change in the horse's temperament (to a "killer horse"), which ultimately led to its destruction by its owner.  Before trial, defendant demurred to plaintiff's petition on the ground that the action was barred under R.C. s 2305.11, the act being 'malpractice' and therefore required to be brought within one year after the termination of treatment.  The Court of Appeals held that the trial court's decision overruling the demurrer to plaintiff's petition was correct, 'the petitioner is based on negligence for the transporting rather than malpractice.'  Further, the Court held that until the Supreme Court speaks, veterinarians are not included in the definition of malpractice (reversed and remanded - See , 293 N.E.2d 891 (Ohio, Mun.,1972).

U.S. v. Fountain 277 F.3d 714 (5th Cir. 2001)

Roosevelt Fountain, Sr. ("Fountain") and his daughter, Shirley Fountain Ellison ("Ellison") operated an oyster fishing business in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, called Fountain Seafood, Inc., where their convictions arose from the manner in which they operated the business (i.e., tagging violations, taking of oysters from closed areas, taking of excess limits of oysters, and licensing violations).  The indictment further contended that the appellants worked to accomplish this goal by creating false records relating to their oyster sales.  The court held that it was not error for no instruction on the term "willfully," since the false record provision refers to "knowingly" as the mens rea requirement.  Further, the court held that "materiality" is also not a provision of the Lacey Act's false records provision.

Barger v. Jimerson 276 P.2d 744 (Colo. 1954)

In order for liability to attach in an action for damages for personal injuries resulting from a dog attack, defendants had to have notice of the vicious propensities of their dog.  Even though the dog had never attacked a person before, a natural fierceness or disposition to mischief was sufficient to classify the dog as "vicious."  Finally, it is permissible for the jury to consider the loss of earning capacity of plaintiff resulting from the injuries as an element of damages.

U.S. v. Kornwolf 276 F.3d 1014 (8th Cir. 2002)

Defendant sells a headdress containing golden eagle feathers obtained before 1962 to an undercover officer.  Court finds this case directly controlled by Andrus v. Allard .  Court reiterates prohibition on any eagle commerce.  For further discussion on the restriction of commerce in eagle parts under the BGEPA, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act.

Andrade v. Westlo Mgmt. LLC 276 A.3d 393 (R.I. 2022) The defendants, Westlo Management LLC (Westlo) seek review of a Superior Court order granting partial summary judgment on several counts in favor of the plaintiffs, Curtis W. Andrade and The Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (the commission). The defendants assert that the existence of genuine issues of material fact precluded partial summary judgment and that the commission did not have standing to intervene in this matter. The matter stems from a denial of plaintiff's request for a reasonable accommodation at Westlo's property. Prior to moving in to Westlo's low-income property, plaintiff was told by a leasing agent that he was not permitted to have his dog, Enzo, because the dog (a pit bull) was on the complex' restricted breed list. Andrade then informed the leasing manager that the dog was his support animal (although he could not recall at deposition whether he filled out paperwork for an assistance animal). After moving in, he left the dog mostly at his mother's residence, but did bring the dog to his residence in December of 2011. While the dog was there, an incident occurred with another resident in a hallway near the elevators. Andrade testified that his dog never made physical contact with the resident, while the other resident claims the dog charged at him and pinned him to a wall. This resulted in a report being made to the building manager who then informed Andrade the dog was not allowed on the premises. Andrade then discussed the need for a support animal with his doctor who agreed and wrote a note stating that Andrade “would benefit in having a dog due to his medical condition[.]” The building manager rejected this request in a letter citing the breed ban and the recent incident with the dog. After a subsequent refusal by the building manager, Andrade filed a charge of discrimination with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. After unsuccessful settlement discussions with the parties, Westlo initiated eviction proceedings against Andrade for non-payment of rent and the commission issued a right-to-sue letter. Andrade then filed the instant lawsuit and a hearing justice granted the commission's right to intervene. The complaint against Westlo raised the unlawful denial of full and equal access to housing and public accommodations based on Andrade's disability and unlawful retaliation by eviction, among other things. After cross-motions for summary judgment by both parties, the hearing justice granted plaintiffs motion for summary judgment finding that Westlo had discriminated against Andrade. However, she found there to be a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the dog had requisite training. Further, she refused to interfere with the order granting the commission's motion to intervene. The justice also acknowledged that she had misstated that the request for the reasonable accommodation had occurred before the elevator incident with the other resident. As a result, she declined to make a finding of fact on that issue. On defendants' appeal of summary judgment, defendants argue that the issue of whether an accommodation is reasonable under the FHA is a factual one and thus it was error for the hearing justice to make those determinations. The Supreme Court looked at the similar language of both the federal FHA and the state FHPA. While the court found that plaintiff met the definition for disability under the laws and that defendant was made aware of plaintiff's need for reasonable accommodation, it was troubled by the "direct threat" posed by the dog. Specifically, the court found issue with the date mix-up in the initial hearing for the incident with the dog an other resident. Therefore, due to the highly fact-specific nature of the assessment of an assistance animal as well as the conflicting evidence presented, this court disagreed with the hearing justice and concluded summary judgment was not appropriate. Further, the court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the dog was "necessary" to fully enjoy his dwelling since benefit of dog as it relates to plaintiff's disability was not fully described and the dog lived away from plaintiff for a year. As to the challenge to the motion to intervene, the court found Westlo failed to obtain the transcripts necessary to review the issue. Thus, this court quashed that portion of the Superior Court order that grants the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment “as to the [l]iability of Westlo Management, on [c]ounts 1, 2, 3, and 7[.]” The record was remanded to the Superior Court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.
Daskalea v. Washington Humane Soc. 275 F.R.D. 346 (D.C., 2011)

Pet owners sued after their pets were seized, detained, injured, or destroyed by the Humane Society. Pet owners’ attempts to certify a class failed because the claims were not typical. The members of the proposed class allegedly suffered a wide range of deprivations, were provided with different kinds of notice, and claimed distinct injuries. The class certification motion was also denied because the proposed members sought individualized monetary relief.

Hill v. Norton 275 F.3d 98 (D.C. Cir. 2001)

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act ("MBTA"), 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (2000), extends protection to all birds covered by four migratory bird treaties, which, in relevant part, define migratory birds to include the family Anatidae (which includes the mute swan).  Under the authority, delegated by Congress the Secretary of the Interior has published lists of protected migratory birds.  The instant case arose when appellant Joyce Hill filed a law suit pro se in District Court claiming that the Secretary's regulation violated the MBTA in excluding mute swans from the List of Migratory Birds promulgated at 50 C.F.R. § 10.13 (2000). The District Court rejected Hill's claim and granted summary judgment in favor of the Secretary.  In reversing the the District Court's decision, the court found that the Secretary pointed to nothing in the statute, applicable treaties, or administrative record that justified the exclusion of mute swans from the List of Migratory Birds.  It also ordered the Secretary's List of Migratory Birds, codified at 50 C.F.R. § 10.13, insofar as the list excludes mute swans, to be vacated.  This case more or less set the stage for the revisions to the MBTA in 2004 by Congress's passing of the MBTRA.

Supreme Beef Processors, Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture 275 F.3d 432 (C.A.5 (Tex.),2001)

The Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision that the Federal Meat Inspection Act focuses on the processes used by a manufacturer and not the product itself, and that the presence of Salmonella bacteria in the meat does not necessarily make a product "adulterated" because the act of the cooking meat normally destroys the bacteria.

Coballes v. Spokane County 274 P.3d 1102 (Wash.App. Div. 3)

In this case, the Washington Court of Appeals determined the appellant had a statutory right to appeal a county board’s dangerous dog declaration because the board had acted within its ordinary and usual duties. The availability of the right to appeal, however, foreclosed a statutory and constitutional writ of review/writ of certiorari.  Furthermore, given the court’s finding that a prior proceeding constituted an appeal as of right, the appellant’s dangerous dog declaration could only be appealed under a discretionary review. The court therefore granted the appellant leave to file a motion for discretionary review.

State v. Gruntz 273 P.3d 183 review denied (Or.App.,2012)

Defendant moved to suppress evidence after being charged with multiple counts of animal neglect. The Court of Appeals held that the warrant affidavit permitted reasonable inference that neglect continued to exist at time of warrant application. The warrant affiant stated her observations four months prior to the warrant application that horses appeared to be malnourished and severely underweight.

State v. Crosswhite 273 Or. App. 605 (2015) After being tipped off about a dog fight, authorities seized several dogs from a home. Defendant was charged with one count of second-degree animal abuse and four counts of second-degree animal neglect. After the presentation of the state's evidence in circuit court, defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal on all counts, arguing, as to second-degree animal neglect, that the state had failed to present sufficient evidence from which a jury could conclude that defendant had custody or control over the dogs. Circuit court denied the motion and defendant was convicted on all counts. Defendant appealed the denial of the motion, again arguing that the state failed to prove that he had “custody or control” over the dogs. The appeals court concluded that the plain text and context of ORS 167.325(1), together with the legislature's use of the same term in a similar statute, demonstrated that the legislature intended the term “control” to include someone who had the authority to guide or manage an animal or who directed or restrained the animal, regardless if the person owned the animal. Given the facts of the case, the court concluded that based on that evidence, a reasonable juror could find that defendant had control over the dogs, and the trial court had not erred in denying defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal.
Trautman v. Day 273 N.W.2d 712 (N.D. 1979)

In Trautman v. Day, 273 N.W. 2d 712 (N.D. 1979), defendant shot plaintiff’s dog when it ran through defendant’s herd of cows. The court affirmed a verdict of $300 for plaintiff’s dog. In addition, the Court declined to apply the defense of immunity based on a statute concerning the “worrying of livestock.

Flikshtein v. City of New York 273 A.D.2d 439 (N.Y. 2000)

The New York appellate court held that the dangerousness or viciousness of plaintiff’s pet monkey was irrelevant, and that the city could remove the monkey regardless of its benevolent behavior.

Levy v. Only Cremations for Pets, Inc. 271 Cal. Rptr. 3d 250 (2020) This case was brought by the owners of two dogs that were cremated by a private pet cremation company, who allege the cremation service sent them the ashes of random dogs instead of those of their dogs. Plaintiffs allege breach of contract and several tort claims, including trespass to chattel and negligence. On this appeal, the judgement of the lower court was affirmed in part and reversed in part. The plaintiffs failed to establish an implied contract between them and the pet cremation company, were granted leave to amend their breach of contract complaint against the company, the other actions for breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing were dismissed, and the court found that the plaintiffs adequately stated a claim for negligence.
In re Priv. Crim. Complaint Filed by Animal Outlook 271 A.3d 516 (2022), appeal granted, order vacated, 298 A.3d 37 (Pa. 2023) 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.
Mitchell v. Heinrichs 27 P.3d 309 (Alaska, 2001)

Defendant shot plaintiff's dogs after perceiving they were a threat to her livestock and her when they trespassed upon her property.  In denying defendant's claim for punitive damages, the court observed that in this case, defendant's conduct, while drastic, did not rise to the level of outrageousness.  With regard to the trial court's award of only the market value of the dog to plaintiff , the court noted that it agreed with those courts that recognize that the actual value of the pet to the owner, rather than the fair market value, is sometimes the proper measure of the pet's value.  However, the court declined to award Mitchell damages for her dog's sentimental value as a component of actual value to her as the dog's owner.

Krzywicki v. Galletti 27 N.E.3d 991 (Oh Ct . App., 2015) Appellant commenced an action against defendant boyfriend, the owner of the dog that bit her, and his business, which she held was strictly liable for the injuries she suffered, where the attack occurred. The claims against defendant boyfriend were dismissed with prejudice. A jury verdict, however, found that although the business was a “harborer” of the dog, appellant was barred from recovery because she was a “keeper of the dog in that she had physical care or charge of dog, temporary or otherwise, at the time of the incident.” Appellant appealed, raising seven assignments of error for review. In addressing appellant’s claims, the Ohio Court of Appeals held that the status of an individual as an owner, keeper or harborer was relevant when deciding if an individual was barred from availing him or herself of the protections afforded by liability statutes. The court of appeals also ruled that the trial court properly gave the jury instruction and that the jury’s verdict was not “defective.” Further the court held that the testimony established at trial demonstrated that appellant had a significant relationship with the dog and that there was competent and credible evidence presented at trial to support the business’s position that appellant exercised some degree of management, possession, care custody or control over the dog. The judgment of the lower court was therefore affirmed with Judge Kathleen Ann Keough concurring and Judge Melody Stewart concurring in judgment only.
PARKER v. MISE 27 Ala. 480 (Ala., 1855)

In Parker v. Miser , 27 Ala. 480 (Ala. 1855), the court recognized that at common law, an action existed for the conversion or injury to property, and acknowledged dogs as property. The court went on to note that some amount of nominal damage existed for the wrongful killing of an animal, even in the absence of a precise amount. Where the killing of the animal was done in reckless disregard, a plaintiff could seek punitive damages.

Brown v. Muhlenberg Tp. 269 F.3d 205 (3rd Cir. 2001)

Pet owners were unreasonably deprived of their Fourth Amendment rights to their pet by police officer. Pennsylvania Court would recognize a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress based upon the killing of a pet.

People v. Cumper 268 N.W.2d 696 (Mich. 1978)

Defendant was convicted under MCL 750.49 for being a spectator at a dog fight.  He argued on appeal that the statute was impermissibly vague and unconstitutionally overbroad, for punishing an individual for mere presence at a dog fight.  The court disagreed, finding that the statute was neither vague nor overbroad because it did not punish the mere witnessing of a dog fight, but attendance as a spectator to a legally prohibited dog fight.  For more, see Detailed Discussion

Access Now, Inc. v. Town of Jasper, Tennessee 268 F.Supp.2d 973, 26 NDLR P 107 (E.D.Tenn.,2003) Plaintiffs Access Now, Inc. and Pamela Kitchens, acting as parent and legal guardian on behalf of her minor daughter Tiffany brought this action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against defendant Town of Jasper, Tennessee under the ADA after the town denied her request to keep a keep miniature horse as service animal at her residence. The town's ordinance at issue provided that no person shall keep an enumerated animal within 1000 feet of any residence without a permit from the health officer. The Jasper Municipal Court held a hearing and determined that the keeping of the horse was in violation of the code and ordered it removed from the property. On appeal, this Court found that while the plaintiffs contended that the horse helped Tiffany in standing, walking, and maintaining her balance, Tiffany does not have a disability as defined by the ADA and does not have a genuine need to use the horse as a service animal. Further, the Court found that the horse was not a service animal within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 because the animal was not used in the capacity of a service animal and instead was a companion or pet to Tiffany. The plaintiffs' complaint was dismissed with prejudice.
Downey v. Pierce County 267 P.3d 445 (Wash.App. Div. 2, 2011)

Dog owner sued county challenging county's dangerous animal declaration (DAD) proceedings.  The Court of Appeals held that charging a fee to obtain an initial evidentiary review of a DAD violated owner's due process rights because it impacted owner's property and financial interests and potentially subjected her to future criminal sanctions. The court also held that the lack of an adequate evidentiary standard regarding review of DADs violated due process because the ordinance required only that the reviewing auditor determine if there was sufficient evidence to support the DAD.

Zuniga v. San Mateo Dept. of Health Services (Peninsula Humane Soc.) 267 Cal.Rptr. 755 (1990)

In this California case, the owner of a dog that had been seized pending criminal dogfighting charges sought a writ of mandate challenging a county hearing officer's decision finding that puppies born to the dog while she was impounded were dangerous animals. The trial court denied the writ. The Court of Appeal reversed and held that there was insufficient evidence that the puppies were “dangerous animals." The evidence received by the hearing officer relates mainly to appellant's actions and his mistreatment of the parent animal, and the only evidence relevant to the puppies' “inherent nature” was the observed aggressive behavior toward each other while caged together and certain possible assumptions about their nature from the condition and use of their mother.

Siegert v. Crook County 266 P.3d 170 (Or.App., 2011)

An individual appealed County Court’s decision to approve the location of a dog breeding kennel in a zone where such kennels were not permitted. The county interpreted the code that was in effect at the time the kennel began operating to allow dog breeding as animal husbandry, and thus permissible farm use. The Court of Appeals found the county's interpretation to be plausible.

Dubner v.City and County of San Francisco 266 F.3d 959

Photographer brought § 1983 claim and several state law claims against city, police officers, and chief of police alleging unlawful arrest. The Court of Appeals, D.W. Nelson, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) photographer established prima facie case of her unlawful arrest by police officers at animal rights demonstration; (2) police lacked probable to cause to arrest photographer for trespassing under California law; (3) police lacked probable cause to arrest photographer under California's unlawful assembly statute; and (4) police chief could be held liable in his individual capacity.

Burkholder v. Department of Agriculture 265 A.3d 863 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2021) In this Pennsylvania case, James Burkholder, d/b/a Whispering Spring Kennel (Burkholder), petitioned for review of an adjudication of the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) that imposed a $19,500 civil penalty on Burkholder for transferring two dogs in excess of the annual limit under his Class IV kennel license in December of 2017. Burkholder raises two arguments: first, the Dog Law does not specify that transfers of more than 60 dogs by a private kennel constitute violations; and two, the penalty imposed is excessive and unreasonable. This court first noted that a Kennel Class IV license clearly does not allow him to transfer more than 60 dogs and thus any transfers in excess violate the Dog Law. As to the excessive penalty argument, the court first examined the distinction between separate and ongoing violations of the Dog Law because it raised a question of first impression under the Dog Law. Relying on the distinction in other contexts, particularly regarding penalties imposed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the court found that a kennel owner holding too many dogs could remedy the violation simply by transferring the excess dogs. The problem here is that, where an owner has transferred more dogs than his license allows, there is no way to correct the violation. Thus, said the court, a per-day fine is improper. "Each unauthorized transfer of a single dog is a single violation of the Dog Law, not a continuing violation, because it is not ongoing in nature and such transfers can be feasibly segregated into discrete violations so as to impose separate penalties." The court concluded that the Department erred as a matter of law by imposing ongoing penalties for two discrete unauthorized transfers. The order of the Department as to the excess transfers of dogs was affirmed, but the portion as to the amount of the penalty was vacated. The matter was remanded for further proceedings.
Williams v. Reynolds 263 S.E.2d 853 (N.C.App., 1980) This is an action for veterinary malpractice brought by the owner of a horse against a veterinarian that performed the castration surgery that led to the death of the horse. The trial court refused to allow a veterinarian with experience practicing in the same area and with a similar background to testify about whether he was familiar the accepted standards or to answer questions to elicit his opinion about whether defendant's treatment of the horse was unacceptable for practicing veterinarians in the area. The trial court then granted defendant's motion for a directed verdict, and this appeal followed. The court held that the judge erred in excluding the testimony, and reversed and remanded the case.
HAGEN v. LAURSEN 263 P.2d 489 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 1953)

Two Irish setters knocked down a neighbor while playing outside.   Previously no one had seen them run into anyone while playing.   They were not shown to have been more boisterous than dogs usually are.   There was no evidence that these dogs were vicious. The court found that there was no foreseeable risk of harm and therefore no duty upon which to base a claim of negligence.

Jenkins v. State 262 P.3d 552 (Wyo.,2011)

Defendant was convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Defendant appealed, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. The Supreme Court held that he was not entitled to a reversal, because he failed to demonstrate that his counsel failed to render reasonably competent assistance that prejudiced him to such an extent that he was deprived of a fair trial. The Court held that it was not ineffective assistance to 1) fail to object to testimony regarding defendant's arrest and incarceration, and 2) fail to object to defendant's brother testifying while wearing a striped prison suit.

Alternative Research & Dev. Found. v. Veneman 262 F.3d 406 (D.C. Cir. 2001)

An animal rights foundation sought to have the definition of “animal” amended, so that birds, mice and rats used for research would not be excluded.   USDA agreed to consider the animal rights foundation petition to have the definition amended, and agreed to do so in reasonable amount of time.   The National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), a biomedical research group that used birds, mice and rats in its research, attempted to intervene and prevent USDA from considering the petition.   However, NABR was prohibited from doing so because there was no showing that preventing intervention would result in its interests not being violated.

Prays v. Perryman 262 Cal.Rptr. 180 (Cal.App.2.Dist.)

In an action by a commercial pet groomer against a dog owner for injuries suffered by a dog bite, the trial court found as a matter of law that plaintiff had assumed the risk of a dog bite, and on that basis granted summary judgment in defendant's favor. At the time plaintiff was bitten, she had not yet begun to groom the dog and, in fact, had expressed to defendant her concern whether it was safe for her to do so since the dog was excited and growling. The Court of Appeal reversed. Assuming the veterinarian's rule extended to pet groomers, making the defense of assumption of risk available, it held that plaintiff had not as a matter of law assumed the risk of being bitten since, at the time of the bite, the dog was still under the exclusive control of defendant, who had uncaged it and was holding it on a leash.

Beard v. State 261 S.E.2d 404 (Ga.App., 1979)

Defendants were convicted of hunting with an unplugged pump shotgun and obstructing a law enforcement officer in the discharge of his official duties. The Court of Appeals held that the evidence was sufficient to support convictions, the admission of evidence of defendants' prior run-ins with the law was not error, and the judge's instruction that admissions should be scanned with care, if jury found defendant had made an admission, was a correct statement of law and not, as contended, an expression of the judge's opinion.

Giardiello v. Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, P.C. 261 F. Supp. 3d 86 (D. Mass. 2017) This case dealt with a condo owner and his son who lived in a condo and relied on a service dog for treatment of PTSD. The Plaintiffs filed suit against the condo trust, Board of Trustees, Board members, and others, alleging violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by not allowing the Plaintiffs to keep the dog in their condo unit. The father attempted to communicate with the Trustees about a reasonable accommodation for the service dog, but was met with silence from the Trustees. After the dog had already moved into the condo, the Board sent correspondence stating that fines would be assessed if the dog was not removed after a certain date. After complications with securing the requisite medical info, the dog was ultimately allowed to say, but fines had accrued. The Court held that 1) plaintiffs stated claim that defendants violated FHA; 2) owner was an aggrieved person under the FHA, and thus owner had standing to bring claim; 3) district court would decline to dismiss claim on exhaustion grounds; and 4) under Massachusetts law, claims against attorney and law firm were barred by the litigation privilege. Thus, the court the Court denied the Board and Trust's motion to dismiss and granted Attorney Gaines and the Law Firm's motion to dismiss.
Drinkhouse v. Van Ness 260 P. 869 (1935)

Plaintiffs sued defendants to recover value of a horse that was wrongfully taken from them. The Court held that evidence was admissible to establish the value of the horse at the time of the wrongful taking to fix the damages amount. The peculiar value of the horse as a sire was established by evidence as to the horse’s racing history and to its progeny’s character and racing ability. Owners were entitled to recover damages for the reasonable value of the horse’s use during the period they were wrongfully deprived of it.

United States v. Hardman 260 F.3d 1199 (10th Cir. 2001)

This is an order vacating the opinions issued in Wilgus , Saenz , and Hardman .  The Tenth Circuit requested the attorneys in the above cases to brief the issues outlined by the court.  For further discussion regarding religious challenges to the BGEPA, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act .

U.S. v. Crutchfield 26 F.3d 1098 (11th Cir. 1994)

The court reversed the district court's judgment of convictions against defendants for the illegal importation and the intent to sell iguanas in the United States because of prosecutorial misconduct. The court held that the prosecutor wasted valuable money in pursuing irrelevant testimony, and improperly questioned defendants and their witnesses after repeated warnings from the district court judge.

Haberman v. United States 26 Cl. Ct. 1405 (1992)

The U.S. Claims Court upheld its jurisdiction over an action brought by individuals who had their Private Maintenance and Care Agreements (PMCA) revoked by the Bureau of Land Management and their adopted wild horses repossessed when the agency learned that the individuals intended to sell the horses to slaughter once they obtained full legal title to them under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act.  The court found that the PMCA agreement constituted a contract between the government and the adopter, and thus that the Claims Court had jurisdiction to hear the case. Though the court noted that individual adopters would have to overcome the suggestion that they violated the terms of the PMCA by intending to sell the horses to slaughter.   

State v. Dicke 258 Or. App. 678, 310 P.3d 1170 review allowed, 354 Or. 597, 318 P.3d 749 (2013)

This case is the companion case to State v. Fessenden,258 Or. App. 639, 310 P.3d 1163 (2013) review allowed, 354 Or. 597, 318 P.3d 749 (2013) and aff'd, 355 Or. 759, 333 P.3d 278 (2014). Defendant was convicted of first-degree animal abuse, ORS 167.320, in association with having allowed her horse to become so severely emaciated that it was at imminent risk of dying. On appeal, defendant challenged the trial court's denial of her motion to suppress evidence obtained through a warrantless search of the horse. In affirming the lower court, this court found that the warrant exception that allows officers to assist seriously injured people extends to animals under certain circumstances. Citing Fessenden, this court found that a warrantless seizure will be valid when officers have "objectively reasonable belief, based on articulable facts, that the search or seizure is necessary to render immediate aid or assistance to animals that have suffered, or which are imminently threatened with suffering . . ."

Bozzi v. City of Jersey City 258 A.3d 1048 (N.J., 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.

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