Cases

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

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

New Hampshire Ins. Co. v. Farmer Boy AG, Inc. Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2000 WL 33125128 (S.D.Ind.)

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

Stamm v. New York City Transit Authority Not Reported in F.Supp.2d 2011 WL 1315935 (E.D.N.Y., 2011) Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and New York State and New York City laws, alleging that the New York City Transit Authority (“NYCTA”) and the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (“MaBSTOA”) (collectively, “Defendants”) failed to ensure that their vehicles and facilities were accessible to her and other persons with disabilities who utilize service animals. Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff (1) was not disabled, (2) was not entitled to use a “service animal,” (3) was seeking to bring dogs which do not qualify as “service animals” onto Defendants' vehicles; had not made out a Title II claim and (5) could not make out a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted only with respect to that portion of the eleventh cause of action that alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress. The parties were also directed to submit supplemental briefing.
Kyles v. Great Oaks Interests (unpublished) Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2007 WL 495897 (Cal.App. 6 Dist.)

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

Brisson v. These Guys New York Deli Corp. Not Reported in Atl. Rptr., 2023 WL 370990 (Conn. Super. Ct. Jan. 20, 2023) The Superior Court of Connecticut considers defendants' motion to strike plaintiffs' claims for emotional distress arising from the death of their pet dog. Plaintiffs argue that previous Connecticut case law (Myers v. Hartford, 84 Conn. App. 395) left open the question of whether courts could consider a claim for emotional distress damages due to the loss of a pet. The incident giving rise to the litigation occurred in 2021, where a driver for the defendants' company ran over plaintiffs' pet dog while making a delivery. The complaint states that one of the plaintiffs directly witnessed the driver speed down the driveway and kill the dog by dragging. The court began its analysis by first observing a dog is chattel and is unambiguously defined as personal property in the state. Myers left often the issue of recovery of damages when a "bystander" owner witnesses a "fatal injury." The court then examined the factors articulated by the Connecticut Supreme Court for recovery of emotional damages by a bystander. In doing so, the court here determined that the relationship between a pet and its owner does not meet the "closely related" element articulated by the Supreme Court. The court stated: "Absent appellate clarification that this factor includes other relationships, including the one at issue here between a pet owner and pet, this court cannot conclude that such a relationship is sufficiently like the close human relationships required under Clohessy." The court noted that it agreed with defendants that allowing plaintiffs' claim would amount to creating a new cause of action without legislative or appellate authority. Defendants' motion to strike was granted.
Tracey v. Solesky Not Reported in A.3d, 2012 WL 1432263 (Md.,2012)

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

JACQUELINE CONRAD, Plaintiff–Appellant, v. SUSAN CATAPANO and JIM CATAPANO, Defendants–Respondents Not Reported in A.3d 2013 WL 673463 (N.J.Super.A.D.,2013)

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

State v. Taffet (unpublished) Not Reported in A.2d, 2010 WL 771954 (N.J.Super.A.D.)
The State of New Jersey, through the Borough of Haddonfield, appeals from the final judgment of the Law Division, which reversed the finding of the municipal court that defendant's dog is a potentially dangerous dog pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-23(a) as well as the imposition of certain measures to mitigate any future attacks. Defendant, a resident of Haddonfield, owns, breeds, and shows four Rhodesian Ridgebacks kept at his home in a residential neighborhood. The Superior Court concluded that the Law Division's did not properly defer to the trial court's credibility determinations and were not supported by sufficient credible evidence. The court found that the dog's dual attacks causing bodily injury to two individuals were undisputed, and along with evidence of more recent intimidating activity in the neighborhood, the municipal court could have reasonably concluded that the dog posed a more serious threat to cause bodily injury to another.
State v. Kess Not Reported in A.2d, 2008 WL 2677857 (N.J.Super.A.D.)

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

Liberty Humane Soc., Inc. v. Jacobs Not Reported in A.2d, 2008 WL 2491961 (N.J.Super.A.D.) This case concerns the authority of the Department of Health to revoke certifications of animal control officers who willfully contravened the state law on impounding dogs.   The court found that “[s] ince the Department acknowledged that it is charged with revoking certifications of animal control off icers when those officers pose ‘ a threat to the health and safety’ of the community, it should follow that allegations of officers willfully and illegally taking a dog from its owner and falsifying records to claim it a stray so as to expose it to adoption by another or euthanasia calls for the Department to take action. It would be both arbitrary and capricious for the Department to ignore its duty to determine if revocation of certification is required.
State ex rel. Griffin v. Thirteen Horses Not Reported in A.2d, 2006 WL 1828459 (Conn.Super.)

Defendant's horses were seized on December 14, 2005 pursuant to a search and seizure warrant signed by the court. The warrant was sought, in part, on affidavits that alleged possible violations of the Cruelty to Animals statutory provisions. Defendant Rowley filed the instant motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction because the state has failed to comply with the provisions of § 22-329a and because the search and seizure warrant is invalid. Specifically, defendant maintains that the phrase in subsection (a) authorizing the chief animal control officer to "lawfully take charge of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated" merely allows the officer to enter the owner's property to care for the animal, but does not authorize seizure of the animal without a prior judicial determination. This court rejected Rowley's interpretation of the phrase "lawfully take charge." The court found that, as a practical matter, it is inconceivable that animal control officers, having found animals that are neglected or cruelly treated, would then leave them at the property.

Liotta v. Segur Not Reported in A.2d, 2004 WL 728829 (Conn.Super.), 36 Conn. L. Rptr. 621 (Conn.Super.,2004)

In this unreported Connecticut case, a dog owner sued a groomer for negligent infliction of emotional distress, alleging that the groomer negligently handled her very large dog when he removed it from her vehicle with “excessive force.” This resulted in a leg fracture, that, after lengthy and expensive care, ultimately resulted in the dog's euthanization. The court held that plaintiff failed to adequately plead a case for negligent infliction of emotional distress, but said in dicta that the results might be different for a pet owner who proves intentional infliction of emotional distress. Motion for summary judgment as against plaintiff's count two is granted.

McDougall v. Lamm (unpublished) Not Reported in 2010 WL 5018258 (2010)

Plaintiff witnessed her dog be killed by Defendant's dog. The  court held that Plaintiff’s damages were limited to her dog's “intrinsic” monetary value or its replacement cost. Plaintiff was not entitled to compensation for the emotional distress she experienced in witnessing the attack.

Naples v. Miller No. CIV.A.08C-01-093PLA, 2009 WL 1163504 (Del. Super. Ct. Apr. 30, 2009) In this case, the plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the defendant alleging damage to property, which included past and future veterinary bills, emotional distress, mental anguish, and punitive damages caused by the attack of “Ricky”, defendant’s rescue dog to the plaintiff’s terrier “Peanut”. Peanut's veterinary treatment cost over $14,000. Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment were filed by both parties. Defendants alleged that veterinary expenses were not compensable in a property damage case. Additionally, defendants argued that there was no basis for recovery for emotional distress and mental anguish as noneconomic damages were not available for damage to personal property either. Finally, defendants contended that facts did not support an argument for punitive damages as this claim required conduct that is "outrageous" or the result of an "evil motive" or a "reckless indifference to the rights of others," Plaintiff’s moved for summary judgment as well. Plaintiff argued that defendants responsibility was based on 7 Del. C. § 1711 that makes the owner of a dog liable in damages for "any loss to person or property." However, the issue as to the measure of damages was not addressed. The court granted partial summary judgment for the defendant. In its opinion, the court stated that “under Delaware law, dogs were seen as personal property, and the damages to Peanut could not be measured as if Peanut was a human being.” As personal property, a dog is “subject to the same measure of damages as a sofa, a car, a rug, a vase, or any other inanimate item of property.” For that reason veterinary expenses in excess of market value and emotional damage could not be recovered. On the punitive damages allegations, the court did not find that the plaintiff had presented any evidence as to the defendant’s conduct that would satisfy the standard of behavior required.
Rehn v. Fischley No. C0-95-813, 1995 Minn. App. LEXIS 1539 (Minn. Ct. App. 1995).

The doctor was a veterinarian and a member of the board of directors for the humane society. The director of the humane society asked her for advice on how to clean cat cages, and the doctor gave advice and donated a bottle of formalin, whereupon the employee who used the formalin suffered permanent lung damage. The employee commenced an action against the doctor and humane society for damages.  The court held that although the doctor would not have advised using formalin if she was not a member of the board, this fact did not establish that giving the advice was within the scope of her responsibilities as a board member.

Quesada v. Compassion First Pet Hosps No. A-1226-19, 2021 WL 1235136 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Apr. 1, 2021) In this unpublished case, plaintiff’s cat “Amor” was euthanized after being diagnosed with heart failure disease and saddle thrombus. At the hospital, plaintiff was visibly affected by the death of his cat, who he was allowed to say goodbye to. Plaintiff also talked and sang to Amor’s body until the body was retrieved. Plaintiff was informed that during the procedure Amor had bitten one of the nurses and that state law required a brain tissue sample to rule out rabies. Plaintiff informed the veterinarian of his wish to display Amor's body for viewing prior to cremation in two different instances. Neither the procedure or alternative procedures were explained to the plaintiff. At the body’s viewing, the plaintiff discovered that his cat had been decapitated. Plaintiff became extremely emotional after discovering his cat’s head had been disposed of as medical waste. As a result of the decapitation, plaintiff developed several severe mental health issues. Plaintiff filed a claim alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and bailment. The case was dismissed for Plaintiff’s failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff appealed the decision alleging that the lower court had mistakenly applied the standard of the bystander negligent infliction of emotional distress, instead of a direct liability claim and error in dismissing his remaining negligence and bailment claims. The court agreed with the plaintiff and reversed the dismissal and remanded for further proceedings. On the count of negligent infliction of emotional distress, the court held that plaintiff’s claim did not fall under the "bystander" liability as his severe emotional distress arose after the passing of his cat and upon seeing his cat's decapitated body. Additionally, the court stated that plaintiff’s “emotional reaction combined with the fact that defendant was twice on notice that plaintiff intended to have a viewing of his cat's body prior to cremation established that defendants owed plaintiff a duty.” Defendants breached this duty by being on notice of plaintiff emotional distress and failing to properly inform plaintiff of the typical procedure of decapitating the cat for rabies testing, inform him of alternative testing procedures, and failing to request that the cat's head be returned after decapitation and prior to the showing. Suffering of plaintiff’s illnesses was still to be determined. The court found that the plaintiff “had pleaded a direct claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.” A claim of bailment had also been appropriately pleaded since plaintiff had given defendants control of his cat's body and defendant returned it in a damaged condition.
Let the Animals Live Assiciation;et al. v. Israel Institute of Technology et al. (in Hebrew) No. 54789-12-11 (Hebrew version) After pressures from multiple animal rights organizations, an Israeli airline stopped flying monkeys to Israeli research institutions. Multiple Israeli research institutions then filed suit, asking the court to present the airline with a permanent order to fly animals as per their requests, including monkeys, for bio-medical research purposes. In the present case, the question to be decided was whether to allow several animal protection organizations to be added to the claim (whether the airline was bound to fly animals for experiments or not) as defendants or as amicus curiae. The court held that the animal protection organizations should be allowed to join the proceedings as defendants because they could bring before the court a more complete picture of the issue before it was decided; they filed their request at a very early stage; and they spoke and acted for the animals in the face of a verdict that might directly affect the legal rights of the animals.
Let the Animals Live Assiciation;et al. v. Israel Institute of Technology et al. No. 54789-12-11 (English version) After pressures from multiple animal rights organizations, an Israeli airline stopped flying monkeys to Israeli research institutions. Multiple Israeli research institutions then filed suit, asking the court to present the airline with a permanent order to fly animals as per their requests, including monkeys, for bio-medical research purposes. In the present case, the question to be decided was whether to allow several animal protection organizations to be added to the claim (whether the airline was bound to fly animals for experiments or not) as defendants or as amicus curiae. The court held that the animal protection organizations should be allowed to join the proceedings as defendants because they could bring before the court a more complete picture of the issue before it was decided; they filed their request at a very early stage; and they spoke and acted for the animals in the face of a verdict that might directly affect the legal rights of the animals.
Baker v. Middleton (unpublished opinion) No. 29D05-0605-SC-1055 (Ind. Super. Ct. Mar. 2, 2007) In Baker , the defendant fed and watered four cats that lived in the neighborhood. These cats damaged the plaintiff’s home, destroying insulation, a vapor barrier, and duct work. The cats also urinated and defecated in the crawl space of the home. In the Superior Court, the plaintiff argued that a town ordinance and a county ordinance independently imposed a duty on the defendant to control the cats and prevent them from damaging the plaintiff's property. The court found, however, that since the defendant was participating in a Trap Neuter and Release program, the county ordinance could not serve as a basis for finding that the defendant was negligent in caring for the feral cats. The court went on to reject two alternative theories of negligence also proffered by the plaintiff. The plaintiff had therfore failed to establish that the defendant was negligent in her actions and judgment was entered in favor of the defendant.
Hayes v. Akam Associates, Inc. No. 156457/2013, 2019 WL 4695713 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Sep. 25, 2019) In this case, plaintiffs sought recovery for property damage and for emotional distress and loss of companionship of their dog Toto, who died as a result of a fire in the building where plaintiffs resided. Plaintiffs were not home at the time of the fire. Upon their return, they learned their dog had died as a result of smoke inhalation. Plaintiffs found Toto’s body lying on the road, covered with a sheet. Plaintiffs alleged that their dog, who they considered a member of their family, had died as a consequence of the defendants’ negligence in inspecting, maintaining, supervising, operating, and controlling the building. In its opinion, the court stated that there was a well-settled common law precedent that pets are personal property and for that reason, damages for emotional injury were not allowed when a companion animal dies. The court declined to follow the cases that considered loss of companionship in determining the value of a pet and dismissed the causes of action seeking damages for the emotional injuries the plaintiffs alleged were caused by the loss of their dog. Defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint was granted.
R. L. N. y otros s/ 239 resistencia o desobediencia a la autoridad MJ-JU-M-135671-AR Coco, formerly known as Simon, is an approximately 6-year-old howler monkey found in a closet without food, water, or ventilation during a police raid following a neighbor complaint due to excessive noise. Coco was underweight, stunted, and deformed. The veterinary report revealed that Coco had broken bones due to malnourishment, had missing teeth, and other irreversible ailments due to the inappropriate conditions he lived in. The prosecutor requested the fulfillment of Coco’s rights, the granting of his freedom, and his relocation to “Proyecto Carayá.” The judge in this case held that Coco was to be granted total and absolute freedom in his status as a non-human animal. Furthermore, the judges stated that animals have legal protection based on their legally recognized status of victims. Since they can’t seek legal protection, humans have the duty to guarantee the protection of their rights. The judge also recognized Coco’s status of the subject of rights and ordered his relocation to the Proyecto Carayá for treatment and rehabilitation. Due to the extent of his injuries, experts recommended that Coco be kept by himself, since he could not defend himself and would be outcompeted for food if he shared space with other monkeys.
McCausland v. People McCausland v. People, 145 P. 685 (Colo. 1914) Action by the People of the State of Colorado against William J. McCausland.  From a judgement overruling defendant's motion to dismiss and finding him guilty of cruelty to animals, he brings error.  Affirmed.
Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. NSF LEXSEE 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22315

The Center for Biological Diversity sought a temporary restraining order to enjoin the National Science Foundation from continuing its acoustical research in the Gulf of California. The scientists who conducted the acoustical research in the Gulf of California, which was an environmentally sensitive area, used an array of air guns to fire extremely high-energy acoustic bursts into the ocean. The sound from the air guns was as high as 263 decibels (dB) at the source. The government had acknowledged that 180 dB caused significant injury to marine mammals. The court found that the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), governed the activities of the scientists on the research vessel, and that any injury or harassment to marine mammals in the course of the research project in the Gulf of California, outside the territorial waters of Mexico, would violate the MMPA.

Let the Animals Live v. Hamat Gader Recreation Enterprises LCa 1684?96

Court held that holding a fighting match between a human and an alligator was a violation of the Israel Anti-Cruelty laws.

Let the Animals Live v. Hamat Gader LCA 1684/96 The petitioner, an organization for the protection of animal rights, petitioned the magistrate court to issue an injunction against the respondents, which would prohibit the show they presented, which included a battle between a man and an alligator. The magistrate court held that the battle in question constituted cruelty to animals, which was prohibited under section 2 of the Cruelty to Animals Law (Protection of Animals)-1994. The respondents appealed this order to the district court, which cancelled the injunction. The petitioners requested leave to appeal this decision to this Court. The Court held that the show in question constituted cruelty against animals, as prohibited under section 2 of the Cruelty to Animals Law (Protection of Animals)-1994.
Ramapo v. Hi-Tor Animal Care Center, Inc. Judgment 10050423 (2010) This court was asked to determine whether a dog shoul be declared dangerous pursuant to section 108 (24) (a) of the Agriculture and Markets Law. The case is unusual in one aspect as the respondent is an animal shelter and the alleged victim is an animal control officer from another township. The Justice Court found the shelter dog was not 'Dangerous' pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law. Interestingly, the court found the reasonable person standard in the statute to be problematic and in need of legislative amendment restoring in appropriate language the consideration of evidence of vicious propensity.
Robledo, Leandro Nicolás y otros s/ resistencia o desobediencia a la autoridad Id SAIJ: FA21370027 Coco was a 6-year-old male howler monkey (an endangered species) that was found in the defendant's house in a neglected condition. He had bone deformities, was malnourished, and had restricted mobility as his limbs were not moving properly. His canines were extracted to keep him from injuring humans, he had no light or ventilation, and no visible access to food or water. His health was so deteriorated that the veterinarians recommended that he was not reinserted as he would not have the ability to survive in the wild. The judge, in this case, held that the defendants had taken Coco from his natural habitat without a proper permit or authorization, causing Coco unnecessary suffering. In the same line as other courts in Argentina, the judge also held that Coco was a non-human animal, subject of rights based on "Ley 14.346" which grants animals the status of victims. The judge ordered his "total and absolute freedom," ordering Coco’s relocation to a facility specializing in treatment and rehabilitation, “Proyecto Carayá.” regarding standing, the judge stated that “as animals cannot file a lawsuit by themselves and therefore, it is the duty of human beings to represent them in court when their rights are violated.” The court found in this particular case the prosecutor to be the right person to reestablish Coco’s rights.
Pometti, Hugo c/ Provincia de Mendoza s/ acción de amparo Id SAIJ: FA17190000 This is an action of protection or "accion de amparo” filed by Hugo Edgardo Pometti against the Province of Mendoza in The Court of Associated Judicial Management No. 2 of Mendoza. The Petitioner sought to stop the transfer of the chimpanzee Cecilia to the sanctuary located in Brazil and to keep her in the Zoo of Mendoza in order to preserve the natural and cultural heritage and the biological diversity. The petitioner also requested a precautionary action to not transfer the chimpanzee until decision on the the action of amparo was issued.
T. , J. A. s/ infracción Ley 14.346 Id SAIJ: FA12340061 The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower court that sentenced the Defendant to eleven months of imprisonment after finding him criminally responsible for acts of cruelty in violation of Article 1 of Ley 14.346 against a stray dog. The Defendant was found guilty of sexually abusing a dog, who he forced into his premises. The dog’s genital area was sheared and she had serious injuries, which the veterinarian concluded were clear signs of penetration. The Supreme Court referred to the Chamber of Appeals on Criminal Matters of Parana "B.J.L. s/ infracción a la Ley 14.346", of October 1, 2003, where the referred court stated that “the norms of Ley 14.346 protect animals against acts of cruelty and mistreatment, is not based on mercy, but on the legal recognition of a framework of rights for other species that must be preserved, not only from predation, but also from treatment that is incompatible with the minimum rationality." Further, "the definition of ‘person’ also includes in our pluralistic and anonymous societies a rational way of contact with animals that excludes cruel or degrading treatment."
Horton v. State Horton v. State, 27 So. 468 (Ala. 1900).

The defendant was charged under the Alabama cruelty to animal statute killing a dog.  The trial court found the defendant guilty of cruelly killing the dog.  The defendant appealed the descision to the Supreme Court for the determination if the killing of the dog with a rifle was cruel.  The Supreme Court found that the killing of a dog without the showing of cruelty to the animal was not a punishable offence under the cruelty to animal statute.  The Supreme Court reversed the lower court's descision and remanded it.

Hodge v. State Hodge v. State, 79 Tenn. 528 (1883).

The indictment charged that the defendant unlawfully and needlessly mutilated a dog by setting a steel-trap in a bucket of slop and catching the dog by the tongue, and that great pain and torture were unlawfully and needlessly inflicted upon the dog. Defendant argued that a dog had been invading his property and destroying hens' nests for a long time. Witnesses testified that the dog had a bad character for prowling about through the neighborhood at night. The court reversed and remanded for a new trial, finding that defendant had a right to protect his premises against such invasions, and to adopt such means as were necessary for that purpose. There was no evidence that the slop used by defendant was such as was calculated or likely to lure dogs away from the premises where they belonged on to his premises or within his enclosures. If the dog was in the habit of committing the depredations, defendant had a right to set a steel-trap for the purpose of capturing him, and if, while committing the nightly depredations the dog was thus caught and mutilated, it was not needless torture or mutilation within the meaning of the Act, and the jury should have been so instructed. The indictment charged that the defendant unlawfully and needlessly mutilated a dog by setting a steel-trap in a bucket of slop and catching the dog by the tongue, and that great pain and torture were unlawfully and needlessly inflicted upon the dog. Defendant argued that a dog had been invading his property and destroying hens' nests for a long time. Witnesses testified that the dog had a bad character for prowling about through the neighborhood at night. The court reversed and remanded for a new trial, finding that defendant had a right to protect his premises against such invasions, and to adopt such means as were necessary for that purpose. There was no evidence that the slop used by defendant was such as was calculated or likely to lure dogs away from the premises where they belonged on to his premises or within his enclosures. If the dog was in the habit of committing the depredations, defendant had a right to set a steel-trap for the purpose of capturing him, and if, while committing the nightly depredations the dog was thus caught and mutilated, it was not needless torture or mutilation within the meaning of the Act, and the jury should have been so instructed. The court reversed defendant's conviction for cruelty to animals and granted a new trial.

Grise v. State Grise v. State, 37 Ark. 456 (1881).

The Defendant was charged under the Arkansas cruelty to animal statute for the killing of a hog that had tresspass into his field.  The Defendant was found guilty and appealed.  The Supreme Court found that the lower court commited error by instructing the jury that all killing is needless.  The Court reveresed the judgment and remanded it for further consideration.

Griffith v. State Griffith v. State, 43 S.E. 251 (G.A. 1903).

Defendant was indicted under Ga. Penal Code § 703, which prohibited one from instigating, engaging in, or doing anything furtherance of the an act or cruelty to a domestic animal. Ga. Penal Code § 705 defined cruelty as every willful act, omission or neglect, whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death is caused or permitted. The court affirmed the conviction, finding that the law provided that a domestic animal, such as a horse, should be sheltered and cared for by his owner. The jury was authorized to find that the defendant willfully abandoned the horse by turning the horse out to the elements, and failing to feed, shelter, or care for the animal. Such conduct was "willful." The court affirmed the judgment of the superior court on the jury's conviction of defendant for cruelty to animals.

Glover v. Weber Glover v. Weber,183 Wash.App. 1044 (Wash. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2014)

In this case, Sylvia Weber filed suit against Monika Glover for injuries sustained when Weber’s daughter fell off a horse owned by a third party and boarded on Glover’s land. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Weber. Glover appealed the trial court’s decision, arguing that she was immune from liability under the Equine Activities statute. The court of appeals reviewed the issue and reversed the trial courts decision and granted summary judgment in favor of Glover. The main issue of the case whether or not Glover fell under the definition of “equine activity sponsor” provided in the act. Weber argued that Glover was not an “equine activity sponsor” because she was not participating in a public or group-based equine activity or a professional equine activity. The court of appeals disagreed with Weber’s argument and determined that noting in the plain language of the statute requires the equine activity to be public or group-based or professional to be covered under the statute. For this reason, the court of appeals found that Glover was considered a “equine activity sponsor” under the act and was therefore immune from liability.

F. c/ Sieli Ricci, Mauricio Rafael s/ maltrato y crueldad animal FUNDAMENTOS DE SENTENCIA Nº1927 "Poli" was a mutt dog that was tied to the bumper of a car by the defendant and dragged at high speed for several miles. Poli sustained severe injuries as a result of being dragged by the car. After the incident, the defendant untied her and left on the road to die. The defendant was found guilty of the crime of animal cruelty, under "ley 14.346." the judge held that this law "protects animals as subjects of rights, and the defendant's conduct was not against an object or a "thing," but rather against a subject deserving of protection." The defendant was sentenced to 6 months of suspended imprisonment for the crime of "animal mistreatment and cruelty." In addition, the judge ordered the defendant to provide food weekly for the animals in A.M.P.A.R.A (The ONG that filed the police report), with the purpose of giving the defendant the opportunity to learn firsthand that “all animals in general, and dogs, in particular, are sentient beings, that have feelings, suffer, cry, and that their right to live, freedom, and integrity has to be respected…” this, with the purpose to prevent the defendant from committing animal cruelty crimes in the future.
Freel v. Downs Freel v. Downs, 136 N.Y.S. 440 (1911)

Cleveland H. Downs and Walter Smith were informed against for cruelty to animals, and they move to quash complaints. Complaint quashed against defendant Smith, and defendant Downs held to answer.

C., M. M. M. s/ Denuncia Maltrato Animal; seguidos contra E. P. S., D.N.I. N° X- Causa Tita Fallo 481/2021 This court decision has two important aspects, where the judge recognizes families as multispecies, and non-human animals as sentient beings and subjects of rights. The facts of this case arose from a fatal encounter between the police officer and "Tita," a Pitbull-mix family dog, in March 2020 in the Province of Chubut in Argentina. "Tita" attacked an on-duty police officer, and, when Tita was walking away, the officer shot her in front of her family. The injury was so severe that Tita had to ultimately be put down. The judge, in this case, found that Tita was a non-human person and a daughter to her human family, as she and other companion animals had adapted so well to the family life, that it had turned the family into a multispecies one. Therefore, the loss of Tita was an irreparable one. The judge further stated that in today's world animals are not "things," they are sentient beings and they have the right that their life is respected. The holding of the court was also based on the case of Sandra, the orangutan, and the Universal declaration of animal rights. The police officer was sentenced to one year of suspended imprisonment, professional disqualification for two years, and to pay the attorney and court fees for the crimes of abuse of authority and damages. However, he was acquitted of the animal cruelty charges. Update: In September 2022, the Chubut's criminal chamber of the Superior Court of Justice (the highest tribunal in the province) heard the case on appeal. The court affirmed the verdict of the Trelew’s criminal chamber that set aside the guilty verdict entered against the police officer. The highest tribunal found that, at the incident, Tita was unleashed and unmuzzled. Also, she was aggressive toward the officer, barking and charging at him before he shot her. The tribunal concluded that the officer found himself in imminent danger, which justified his actions, and therefore, he was not guilty as he acted to defend himself. The tribunal found that Sandra's case and the Universal declaration of animal rights did not apply to Tita's case because there were circumstances in which it is necessary to end the life of an animal, and Sandra’s case was brought up as a habeas corpus on behalf of a hominid primate. The recognition of “subject of rights” was granted to Sandra based on the genetic similarity of her species to humans, which is 97%, as opposed to canines’ which is only 75%. It is important to note that the tribunal did not say anything in regard to the status of Tita as a member of her multispecies family.
M.E.R. c/ B.A.B. del C.| Divorcio por presentación conjunta Expte. N° SI-29770-2022 In August 2022, Amorina Bascoy and Emmanuel Medina jointly petitioned for divorce after ten years of marriage. The couple did not have children but shared their life with Popeye and Kiara, their two beloved dogs. the couple filed their agreement regarding the division of marital assets and the care of Kiara and Popeye, together with the communication agreement regarding their care and visitation time, where visitation dates and times would be assessed flexibly by both spouses. In this instance, the family judge recognized the agreement reached by the spouses regarding the care of their beloved dogs, where each divorcee would keep the custody of a dog according to each dog's preference. In addition, in her holding, the judge stated that "although our legal system has not yet advanced in such a way that it can anticipate and/or regulate the situation in which members who also make up the family and have joined it -will be after the termination of the relationship, in this case, two dogs, POPEYE and KIARA-, this brings a reality that cannot be denied and a question that must be answered but those of us that have an obligation to provide a response because, it is known, that everything that is not prohibited by law is otherwise permitted, even in the absence of specific rules that establish it." the judges continues "Thus, we can say that it is known that animals, especially domestic ones, are sensitive beings, who feel, miss, rejoice, suffer, and who acquire habits, the reason why it is undoubted that the change that will produce the separation of the spouses, will also affect them. It will be their owners, then, who are in a better position, to look out for the dogs' interests. Such an understanding has been accepted in some countries, such as Spain, in the same way as in our jurisprudence. This case joins the set of cases in Argentina, such as the Tita and Sidney cases, and other countries in the region where the consideration of animals as non-human persons is becoming more common among judges.
Expte. N° HC-656/21 - Habeas Corpus en favor del Tortugo Jorge Expte. N° HC-656/21 Jorge is an 80-year-old turtle living in the Municipal Aquarium of Medoza, Argentina. In 2021, three animal lawyers filed a habeas corpus on behalf of Jorge, arguing a violation of the turtle’s right to his locomotive freedom and a violation of Mendoza’s law 7.887, 2018, which prohibits the exhibit of animals in circuses or other events. The lawyers stated that Jorge had to be relocated to a more natural environment where he could live the last years of his life, raising concerns for his age and health. After learning that the government is turning the aquarium into a biodiversity center and after consulting with several experts, the tribunal denied the Habeas Corpus as it found the controversy was moot. It also rejected the idea of releasing Jorge into the wild. However, it is important to mention that the tribunal did not oppose his relocation into a sanctuary so long as his physical integrity was protected.
AFADA habeas corpus Cecilia EXPTE. NRO. P-72.254/15 “Abogados y Funcionarios de defensa Animal” (AFADA) brought a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Cecilia, a 30 year old chimpanzee that lived in the Mendoza Zoo alleging that the chimpanzee had been illegitimately and arbitrarily deprived of her right to ambulatory freedom and right to have a dignified life on the part of authorities of the Zoo of the City of Mendoza, Argentina. The court granted habeas corpus to Cecilia, ruling that Cecilia was a living being with rights and instructing defendants to immediately free her and to relocate her to the Great Ape Project Sanctuary in Brazil. Until this moment, only humans illegally detained had been granted this writ.
R (on the application of Patterson) v. RSPCA EWHC 4531 The defendants had been convicted of a number of counts of animal cruelty in 2011, to include unnecessary suffering pursuant to Section 4, and participation in a blood sport under Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Mr Patterson was found to have breached an attached disqualification order under Section 34 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, on which this appeal is based. The order covered all types of animals for a period of five years. This prohibited him from owning, keeping, participating in the keeping of, or being a party to an arrangement under which he would be entitled to control or influence the way in which animals are kept. A number of animals were found and seized at the home. The appeal was allowed on the basis that Mr Patterson was not entitled to control or influence the way in which the animals were kept by his wife on the facts.
James v. RSPCA EWHC 1642 Defendant was charged with unnecessary suffering towards three horses found in terrible conditions. It was held that where a protected animal is found in distress, a veterinarian's certificate need not be in writing for a constable or inspector to exercise powers under Section 18 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (namely seizure and detention). Oral certification of suffering will suffice in certain circumstances, for example where the protected animal requires urgent treatment and there is not sufficient time to produce a written certificate.
Decision STL12651-2017 Decision STL12651-2017 The Labor Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice decided on an action of ‘tutela’ filed by la Fundación Botánica y Zoológica de Barranquilla, Fundazoo against the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court, Luis Domingo Gómez Maldonado, Corpocaldas and others. The Plaintiffs argued that the Defendants had violated their rights to due process and right to defense, as well as the principle of legality and contradiction, when the Defendant ordered the transfer of the spectacled bear ‘Chucho’ from the Barranquilla zoo to a natural reserve in Narino. Plaintiff sought to leave without effect Decision AHC4806 2017 that granted habeas corpus to ‘Chucho’, the spectacled bear, allowing the bear to stay at the Barranquilla Zoo, which according to Plaintiffs, is able to provide Chucho with all the requirements for his well being, including veterinary care, food, companionship and infrastructure. The Labor Chamber decided for the Plaintiff and left without effect the decision of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court, arguing that the Civil Chamber had ruled based on norms that did not apply to the specific case, to a point that the effects of such application had resulted in an interpretation that completely deferred to what the legislative had intended. The Civil Chamber, the court said in its reasoning, wrongly applied the procedure of habeas corpus, which led to the violation of the due process of law of the Plaintiffs, as ‘Chucho’ has no legal capacity to be a party in a legal procedure. The labor chamber explained that from a constitutional view, the granting of habeas corpus for the protection of animals was not proper, as it is established to protect the right to freedom of persons, which is the basis for a society. For that reason, it can only be attributable to human beings that can be individualized. This rules out the other beings to use this mechanism, including legal persons, as it would erode the real essence of this legal mechanism, the court stated. Furthermore, the magister judge states that the legal treatment that has been given to animals corresponds to the sentients beings, which implies their protection, rather than persons. This means that humans have the responsibility to respect animals, but does not imply that animals can fight for their freedom through the mechanism of habeas corpus, in these cases the defense of animals cannot be resolved by giving them the status of persons, but rather through judicial mechanisms such as popular actions (for the protection of collective and diffuse rights and interests), or with preventive material apprehension
Decision AHC4806-2017 Decision AHC4806-2017 (Original case in Spanish below; English translation attached as pdf). The Supreme Court of Justice rules in favor of the spectacled bear, ‘Chucho’, granting him the habeas corpus after the bear’s attorney challenged the lower court decision that denied it. Chucho is a 22 year old spectacled bear that was born and raised in semi-captivity. He lived for 18 years in a natural reserve in the city of Manizales with his sister. After his sister died, Chucho became depressed and started escaping. The environmental authorities thought that it would be in the best interest of the bear to relocate him, for which they decided to move him to a zoo in the northern of Colombia. Unfortunately, the living conditions of Chucho were diminished, as he went from living in semi-captivity to living into a smaller area. Attorney Luis Domingo Maldonado filed an habeas corpus in representation of the bear that was denied on first instance by the civil chamber of the Superior Tribunal of Manizales. Attorney Luis Domingo Maldonado argued that the current legal system did not have a specific proper mechanism that allowed the taking of immediate and urgent measures to protect the rights of animals as sentient beings to retire them for centers of captivity when they have spent their lives in natural reserves. He also used as examples the precedents from Brazil and Argentina where a chimpanzee and an orangutan were granted habeas corpus. Attorney Maldonado sought that the court order the immediate and permanent relocation of Chucho to the natural reserve ‘La Planada’, located in the Department of Narino. The Civil Chamber reversed the decision on first instance, and ordered the relocation of Chucho from the zoo in Barranquilla to a more appropriate location of semi-captivity conditions. In its reasoning, the magistrate judge stated that animals are entitled to rights as sentient beings, not as humans, and that the idea is to insert a morality of respect to counter a global ecological public order where the tendency of men is to destroy the habitat. After long considerations, the chamber stated that it is necessary to modify the concept of ‘subject of rights’ in relation with nature, understanding that who is subject of rights is not necessarily correlatively-bound to have duties. “The legal, ethical and political purpose is the unavoidable need to create a strong conscience to protect the vital environment for the survival of men, conservation of the environment and as a frontal fight against the irrationality in the man-nature relationship.”
Davis v. A.S.P.C.A. Davis v. A.S.P.C.A. 75 N.Y. 362 (1873).

Plaintiff hog slaughterers challenged the trial court (New York) judgment in favor of defendants, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and director, in an action seeking to enjoin defendants from arresting them for cruelty to animals pursuant to 1867 N.Y. Laws 375. The hog slaughterers asserted that they were innocent of the alleged statutory violations. The court affirmed the judgment in favor of defendants, denying the request of the hog slaughterers for an injunction to prevent defendants from arresting them for violating a statute prohibiting cruelty to animals.

Amparo Directo D.A.- 454/2021 - Mexico DA 10417/2021 The administrative tribunal in Mexico City recognizes companion animals as family members, protected under Article 4 of their Constitution. Citing the Supreme Court of Justice, the tribunal stated that there are different types of families that are protected constitutionally, which includes some families that consider domestic animals their members. This is the decision to an Amparo against a resolution issued by the Institute of Administrative Verification (Instituto de Verificación Administrativa) holding that the owner of a pet boarding facility providing grooming and training services lacked the land use permits to have the commercial establishment. The owner of the pet boarding argued that she would only use 20% of her home for these purposes. After citing comparative law from countries such as Spain, Colombia, and Brazil, the court stated that “currently pets are considered sentient beings that are also part of the family nucleus and require attention and care. Therefore, the service provided by the Amparo promoter has become necessary for people or families also made up of domestic animals, who are looking for a place [to] care for their pets when they are away from their home for a long time” and, as such, these types of families ought to be considered by the authorities. The court stated that domestic animals “play a role of protection, support, company, affection, and care towards humans. Even the reciprocal attachment relationship between people and domestic animals is clear in multispecies families because they are treated as part of the family. They are, in a few words, members of it. Hence the name multispecies or interspecies family.”
Karnail Singh and others v. State of Haryana CRR-533-2013 High Court of Punjab & Haryana At Chandigarh The fact of the case arose in 2004 and related the transportation of cows from one province to another in violation of restrictions on the export of cows for meat slaughter. An opinion on that case was given in 2013, then a revised petition was submitted to this court, and several years later this opinion was given. Much of the 100 pages did not deal with the events of the case, but with the jurisprudence of animal rights. The ultimate holding of the judge directed a state agency to enforce a number of very specific standards for the transportation of animals. The Punjab and Haryana High Court declared, in this exceptional judgment, that animals and birds have legal rights, just as humans. It further declared citizens as the “guardians of [the] animal kingdom” with a duty to ensure their welfare and protection. Justice Rajiv Sharma, in his order, said, “All the animals have honour and dignity. Every specie[s] has an inherent right to live and is required to be protected by law. The rights and privacy of animals are to be respected and protected from unlawful attacks. The Corporations, Hindu idols, holy scriptures, rivers have been declared legal entities, and thus, in order to protect and promote greater welfare of animals including avian and aquatic, animals are required to be conferred with the status of legal entity/legal person. The animals should be healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour without pain, fear and distress. They are entitled to justice. The animals cannot be treated as objects or property.”
Corte Suprema Rol N°50.969-22 Corte Suprema Rol N°50.969-22 In July 2022, the Interspecies Justice Foundation filed the first writ of habeas corpus for a non-human animal in Chile. The petition urged the court to recognize Sandai, a 28-year-old orangutan to be recognized as a non-human person and subject of rights, and therefore, to end his captivity in Buin Zoo in Chile. The plaintiff argued that Sandai lived in conditions unfit for his species. One of the expert testimonies submitted to the court stated that “Sandai’s body language reflects a depressed, defeated, and vulnerable emotional and psychological state, which is normal if we consider the conditions in which Sandai is being kept.” The Chilean Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower court denying the admissibility of the habeas corpus filed on behalf of Sandai. In dismissing the appeal, the court stated that the constitution in its article 19 refers to persons and that in accordance with the Royal Spanish Academy, persons are individuals of the human species. Therefore, Sandai does not meet the legal requirements to be protected under this legal mechanism. Thus, upholding the decision of the Court of Appeals of San Miguel on July 27. Furthermore, with the purpose of protecting the well-being of Sandai, the Supreme Court ordered the Livestock Service (SAG) to adopt all appropriate measures to guarantee that the Buin Zoo complies with the law, specifically attending to Sandai’s case, stating: “that the deprivation of his liberty does not cause him suffering and any other alteration of its normal development, verifying that they have the appropriate facilities for his species, avoiding all mistreatment and deterioration of his health”.
Cornett v. Red Stone Group, Inc. Cornett v. Red Stone Group, 41 N.E.3d 155 (Ohio Ct. App. 2015)

Cornett filed suit against Red Stone Group, Inc. alleging negligence and premise liability. Cornett argued that Red Stone Group maintained a defective gate and fence that led to the Red Stone Group's horses escaping and trampling Cornett which caused her serious injuries. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Red Stone Group on the basis of that it was immune from liability under the equine activities statute. Cornett appealed the court’s decision and the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. Ultimately, the court of appeals needed to determine whether or not Red Stone Group was immune from liability under the statute. In order to determine whether or not Red Stone Group was covered under the statute, the court of appeals looked to the language of the statute. After looking at the language of the statute, the court of appeals found that Cornett was an “equine activity participant” at the time of her injury and therefore Red Stone Group could not be liable for her injuries. Finally, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision and granted summary judgment for Red Stone Group.

Auto 547, 2018 - Colombia Constitutional Court. Auto 547, 2018 The court held unconstitutional Law C-041, 2017, which held bullfighting and other exceptions in article 7 of this law should be prohibited as they are cruel and inhumane. However, Law C-041 deferred its effects and gave Congress a two-year deadline to allow Congress to rule on the issue. On Auto 547, the Court held, “Congress is the only body that has the power to prohibit traditional practices that involve animal abuse.”

Pages