Cases

Case name Citationsort ascending Summary
Commonwealth v. Turner Commonwealth v. Turner, 14 N.E. 130 (Mass. 1887).

Defendant released a fox from his possession and a number of other people then released various dogs, which pursued and killed the fox. Defendant was charged and brought to trial. Defendant moved to dismiss the charge on the basis that there was no such crime, which the trial court denied. Defendant also moved to dismiss for lack of evidence, which the trial court also denied. Defendant was convicted and he appealed. The court found that there was a statutory basis for the charge and that the word "animal" in Mass. Pub. Stat. ch. 207, § 53 encompassed wild animals in the custody of a man. The court denied the exceptions brought by defendant and affirmed the order of the trial court, which convicted defendant of willfully permitting a fox to be subjected to unnecessary suffering.

Commonwealth v. Brown Commonwealth v. Brown, 66 Pa. Super. 519 (1917).

The defendant was convicted of cruelty to animals for the use of acid on some horses' feet.  The defendant appealed the descision because the lower court had found the Commonwealth's circumstantial evidence to be enough to submit the question of quilt to the jury.  The Superior Court found that some of the evidence was improperly admitted by the lower court.  Thus, the Superior Court reversed the judgement.

Commonwealth v. Thorton Commonwaelth v. Thorton, 113 Mass 457 (1873)

The defendant was convicted of causing his dog to be bitten, mangled and cruelly tortured by another dog.  The defendant appealled and the Supreme Court affirmed.

Com. v. Hake Com. v. Hake, 738 A.2d 46 (1998)

Dog owner appealed conviction of harboring a dangerous dog that attacked a child in violation of the Dangerous Dog Statute. The Commonwealth Court held that the statute imposes strict liability for the dog’s first bite if a dog inflicts severe injury on a human being without provocation.

R. v. Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council, ex parte Tesco Stores Ltd. CO/467/93

Although a local authority may not adopt a policy of not enforcing certain laws or not enforcing them against certain types of parties, it may nevertheless make rational choices with respect to the use of its enforcement powers in order to deploy its limited resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

Barrington v. Colbert CO/1273/97

A net was placed over one opening of a land drain and a terrier dog sent into the other entrance with the objective of prompting a fox to run into the net. Magistrates acquitted the defendants of doing an act causing unnecessary suffering to the fox contrary to the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(a). The Divisional Court dismissed the prosecutor's appeal, holding that, applying Rowley v Murphy [1964] 2 QB 43, the fox was not a "captive animal" within the meaning of s 15(c) of the 1911 Act, mere confinement not being sufficient, and was therefore outside the protection of that Act.

Bandeira and Brannigan v. RSPCA CO 2066/99

Where a person has sent a dog into the earth of a fox or sett of a badger with the result that a confrontation took place between the dog and a wild animal, and the dog experienced suffering, it will be open to the tribunal of fact to find that the dog has been caused unnecessary suffering and that an offence has been committed under section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Animals Act 1911.

Causa Penal No. 15241-2022-00006 Causa Penal No. 15241-2022-00006 Following the Estrellita case (Constitutional Court decision No. 253-20-JH/22), in 2022, the owner of "Cuqui Brown," a two-fingered sloth filed a habeas corpus petition following his seizure by the authorities. In this case, the court denied the habeas corpus and held that the plaintiff violated "Cuqui Brown's" rights established in Estrellita's case.
Causa Nº 17001-06-00/13 “Incidente de apelación en autos G. B., R. s/inf. ley 14346” Causa Nº 17001-06-00/13 This is an appeal of a decision in first instance where the lower court gave the custody of 68 dogs to the Center for Prevention of Animal Cruelty. The 68 dogs were found in extremely poor conditions, sick, malnourished, dehydrated under the custody of the Defendant. Various dogs had dermatitis, conjunctivitis, otitis, sparse hair and boils, lacerations, pyoderma and ulcers. The officers that executed the search also found the decomposing body of a dead dog inside the premises. The lower court determined the defendant had mental disabilities, which did not allow her to comprehend the scope of her acts, for which she was not found guilty of animal cruelty. However, the court determined that she was not suited to care for the dogs. The Defendant appealed the decision arguing that the dogs were not subject to confiscation.
CASO 02437-2013 JANE MARGARITA CÓSAR CAMACHO Y OTROS CONTRA RESOLUCION DE FOJAS 258 CASO 02437-2013 Plaintiff, a blind woman, brought a constitutional grievance against the decision issued by the Fifth Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima on January 15, 2013. This decision denied the action of protection after Defendants denied entry of Plaintiff's guide dog at their supermarkets. The Constitutional Tribunal ordered that the blind were allow to enter to the supermarkets with their guide dogs.
Jippes v. van Landbouw Case C-189/01(ECJ)

Jippes, an ECJ case from 2001, involved a legal dispute over the hoof and mouth pandemic ravaging Europe at the time.  To stem spread of the disease, the EU passed a community directive banning the use of preventative vaccinations and mandating compulsory slaughter. The plaintiff—or “applicant,” as plaintiffs are referred to in Europe—owned a variety of farm animals, and, loathe to kill them,  argued that European law embraced a general principle that animals were shielded from physical pain and suffering. Such a principle, the applicant argued, could only be overridden when absolutely necessary; and the compulsory slaughter directive was in direct conflict with this principle. The ECJ, however, rejected the applicant’s argument, holding that the Animal Welfare Protocol of 1997 did not delineate any new important animal-friendly principles in European law, but merely codified old ones. 

Georgia Aquarium v. Pritzker Case 1:13-cv-03241-AT (2015) In this case, the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied the Georgia Aquarium’s application for a permit under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to import 18 beluga whales from Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk for public display. The Aquarium challenged the defendant National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) decision to deny a permit to import the beluga whales as arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The Court found that defendant National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was correct in following the statutory mandate of the MMPA after it found that the Sakhalin-Amur stock of the whales is likely declining and is experiencing adverse impacts in addition to Russian live-capture operations. Further, some of the beluga whales destined for the import were potentially young enough to still be nursing and dependent upon their mothers.
Sentencia C-1192, 2005 C-1192/05 Decision C-1192/05 decides on a claim of unconstitutionality against Articles 1, 2, 22 and 80 of the Taurine Regulatory Statute ley 916 of 2004. In this occasion, the court upheld the constitutionality of this law confirming bullfighting as an artistic expression allowed by the Constitution: “A manifestation of Colombia’s diversity, as intangible good that symbolizes one of the many historical-cultural traditions of the Nation.” The Court stated that since bullfighting is a cultural manifestation of the nation, children do not need to be protected from this practice. The Court believes “children should be provided the opportunity to attend these events so that they can learn and judge for themselves if bullfighting is an art form, or an outdated violent practice. For that reason, the statute does not violate the fundamental rights of children. The court also held that bullfighting is not part of the interpretation of Article 12 that corresponds to the prohibition of torture. The text of the norm speaks about violence and cruel treatment as an “anthropological vision of the human being” the court asserts. With this decision, the Constitutional Court affirms that animals, in this case bulls, are not entitled to any rights. The court considered tradition and culture of a higher value than animal protection.
AUTO 1928 de 2022 AUTO 1928 de 2022 In Colombia, municipalities are not allowed to prohibit bullfighting. It is a power reserved for Congress. Bogota attempted to regulate the practice through ordinance 767 in 2020. Since the city was not allowed to prohibit bullfights, it regulated them by prohibiting the use of sharp objects and killing of the bulls in the ring. In addition, they required that 30% of the publicity of the event be focused on educating the public on the suffering of bulls. It imposed a 20% tax and decreased the number of annual bullfights allowed from 8 to 4. During this time, no bids were sent to use "Plaza Santamaria" (Bogota's bullfighting stadium) because owners and sponsors of this practice did not agree with such requirements. Thus, Plaza Santamaria did not hold any bullfights since 2020. In December 2022, the Constitutional Court ordered the city to refrain from taking any action conducing to the violation of decision T-296 of 2013 and ordered the opening of Plaza Santamaria “to allow bullfights to take place in the usual conditions as an expression of cultural diversity and social pluralism,” effectively ordering the city to do what’s necessary for the comeback of bullfighting to the capital.
ASOCIACION DE FUNCIONARIOS Y ABOGADOS POR LOS DERECHOS DE LOS ANIMALES Y OTROS CONTRA GCBA SOBRE AMPARO ASOCIACION DE FUNCIONARIOS Y ABOGADOS POR LOS DERECHOS DE LOS ANIMALES Y OTROS CONTRA GCBA SOBRE AMPARO” Argentina’s Juzgado No. 4 on Contentious Administrative and Tax Matters of the City of Buenos Aires held on October 21, 2015 that Sandra, an orangutan that had lived at the Buenos Aires Zoo for over 20 years, is a non-human person subject to rights, based on the precedent of the Argentina’s Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation of December 18, 2014 and Ley 14.346, 1954. The court ruled that “Sandra has the right to enjoy the highest quality of life possible to her particular and individual situation, tending to avoid any kind of suffering that could be generated by the interference of humans in her life." In its holding, the court also stated that the Buenos Aires government has to guarantee Sandra’s adequate condition of habitat and the activities necessary to preserve her cognitive abilities. The amicus curiae experts Dr. Miguel Rivolta, Héctor Ferrari and Dr. Gabriel Aguado were instructed to prepare a binding report resolving what measures had to be adopted by the government in relationship to Sandra.
Noah v. Attorney General appeal 9232/01

Court held that the forsed feeding of geese for making foie Gras was a violation of the laws of Israel.(In Hebrew)( English language .pdf - translated by CHAI)

Amparo en Revisión 80/2022 - Mexico AMPARO EN REVISIÓN 80/2022 This is a decision of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico pertaining to a 2019 decree of Nayarit declaring horse racing, bullfighting, cockfighting, and similar practices intangible cultural heritage of the state. A civil association whose mission is to help protect the environment and animals brought an Amparo against the decree, arguing a violation of the right to a healthy environment, as bullfighting and cockfighting are cruel activities where animals are tortured and killed. The Supreme Court analyzed three main questions: (1) What activities can be protected by cultural rights? (2) Does the right to a healthy environment protect animals from abuse or suffering by humans? (3) Can “bullfighting and cockfighting” be constitutionally protected by cultural rights? In answering the first question, the court held that the human right to cultural participation cannot be used as an excuse to violate or destroy other human rights. On the contrary, its exercise must allow the harmony and development of the other rights recognized in our country. Therefore, while some activities, expressions, or manifestations are perceived as “cultural” to society, it is crucial to acknowledge that, from a constitutional standpoint, only those fully aligned with human rights can be officially recognized as such by our nation. Regarding the second question, the court held that “[t]he human right to a healthy environment is a broad concept that includes animal life and well-being, conceiving animals not only as members of a single species or group of species, but also as individual living beings capable of experiencing fear, suffering, and pain.” Moreover, the court stated that it meant that “one of the demands of the right to a healthy environment implied that human beings must live in harmony with other species, not because these species are 'persons,' but because people – that is, human beings – should not behave in a way hostile and cruel towards animals. On the contrary, they must consider animals as beings that must be respected and treated in a decent manner to preserve and be faithful to their moral responsibility as the main driver of the destiny of other species.” Lastly, addressing the third question on whether “bullfighting and cockfighting” should be constitutionally protected under cultural rights, the court concluded in the negative. This decision was based on the recognition that these activities involved the infliction of agony, suffering, and even death upon animals solely for the sake of entertainment, sport, or recreation. The court granted the Amparo and held that the state of Nayarit lacked the power to declare bullfighting and cockfighting intangible cultural heritage as it is a power only the federation has, and not the states, according to the interpretation of the Federal Constitution and the General Law of Culture and Cultural Rights.
Amparo en Revisión 163/2018 - Mexico AMPARO EN REVISIÓN 163/2018 This decision concerns the review of a writ of Amparo filed in 2016, which looks at the constitutionality of cockfighting and whether it should be considered a cultural practice. The President of the Mexican Commission for Cockfighting Promotion and Efraín Rábago Echegoyen filed a writ of Amparo with a District Court of Veracruz, Mexico, against the governor and Congress of the state of the same state. Plaintiff argued that a newly enacted state decree banning cockfighting infringed upon fundamental rights, including the right to culture, right to property, freedom of work, and the right to equality and non-discrimination. Despite the Plaintiff’s arguments, the District Court affirmed the decree’s constitutionality, which amended Veracruz’s animal protection law. Subsequently, the plaintiffs sought a review of the Amparo with the Supreme Court of Justice, which accepted the case and conducted a de novo review. In affirming the lower court decision, the judge used the proportionality test around the alleged violation of rights to culture, property, and freedom of work. The judge found that the defendant’s arguments had no legal basis. Regarding the right to culture, after an exhaustive analysis of the meaning of this right, the Supreme Court stated that cockfighting did not constitute a violation of this right. The court recognized that this practice was a cultural tradition. However, the question was whether such cultural manifestation was protected under the Constitution. In the case of cockfighting, the cultural expression did not directly affect humans, but rather the animals used and, to the high court, cockfighting was not covered by the right to participate in a cultural life. The court stated that culture is not admirable because it is traditional, but when it carries values and rights that are compatible with human dignity and mutual respect with other humans and nature. This means that the right to culture is not absolute, and, in fact, it is limited. Therefore, “any practice that involves the abuse and unnecessary suffering of animals cannot be considered a cultural expression protected by the Constitution. Regarding the right to property and the right to work, the court stated that these constitutional rights were not absolute and that their scope was limited by public interest. The right to work, in particular, was limited to the legality of the activity, the rights of third parties, and the rights of society in general. In weighing these rights, the court concluded that animal protection was a legitimate reason to limit fundamental rights, in particular, of the plaintiffs in this case because animal welfare is a purpose that is compatible with the purpose of a constitutional democracy. In other words, even though animals are not subjects of rights, their well-being is a legitimate limitation to some human rights. Cockfighting is a practice that inflicts severe physical harm on these birds, typically culminating in the death of at least one of the animals. Due to the nature of this practice, the court deemed that prohibition was the appropriate measure to safeguard the welfare of these animals.
Accion Penal 20331-2017- 00179, The case of the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 Accion Penal 20331-2017- 00179 In this case, the environmental authorities of the Galápagos National Park (the Galápagos Islands is an archipelago known for its unique species and marine ecosystems) tracked through the satellite monitoring system the Chinese reefer vessel—Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999—in national waters while it was cruising through the Galápagos marine reserve without the required permit. The park issued an alert to the National Guard, which approached the vessel by water and air. Upon searching the vessel, the authorities found approximately 532 tons of fish that included 7.639 sharks (7207 juveniles or adults, 432 unborn). All shark specimens found on board lacked fins, and nine of the 12 species were protected endangered species. In this case, the National Court of Justice set an exemplary precedent by affirming the lower court decision and ordering the confiscation of the vessel and imposing a 5.9 million dollar fine to be used for the restoration of the damage caused to the Galápagos ecosystem. In addition, the crew members were sentenced to 1–3 years in jail.
Acción de Inconstitucionalidad 7/2021 - Ciudad de México ACCIÓN DE INCONSTITUCIONALIDAD 7/2021 Brought by the National Human Rights Commission, this action of unconstitutionality seeks the annulment of Article 10Bis, Section II, Subsection i) of the Animal Protection Law of Mexico City. This provision was added through Decree Number 495, published in the city's Official Gazette on December 16, 2020. The provision at issue allowed the Animal Squad (Brigada Animal) to enter enclosed areas where there was a presumption of animal cruelty without a warrant. The Supreme Court of Justice (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN)) invalidated section i), section II, of article 10 Bis of the Animal Protection Law of Mexico City.
Crisman v. Hallows 999 P.2d 1249 (Utah App.,2000)

Plaintiff dog owners appeal the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of defendant Ted Hallows. Hallows. a Division of Wildlife Resources employee, shot the dogs after they got loose from plaintiffs' backyard. While the factual accounts of the shooting differed, Hallows asserted that he shot the dogs within the scope of his employment and was therefore protected under the Governmental Immunity Act. On appeal, the court first found that plaintiffs may maintain an action against Hallows for conduct outside the scope of his employment and this claim was not barred by their admitted failure to comply with the Immunity Act's notice of claim and statute of limitations requirements. Further, as to plaintiffs' claims that Hallows was not acting within his scope of employment when the shooting occurred, there was sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact.

Spangler v. Stark County Dog Warden 999 N.E.2d 1247 (Ohio App. 5 Dist.,2013)

The appellant Robert T. Spangler appealed the decision of the Canton Municipal Court, Stark County that affirmed a dog warden's classification of his dog as "dangerous" under R.C. 955.11. While there are no cases on point that interpret this specific procedure on appeal, the court found the record did not reveal an abuse of discretion that would create a manifest miscarriage of justice. Even where there was potentially conflicting testimony whether appellant's dog actually bit the other dog's owner or whether it was caused by his own dog, the statute only requires a demonstration that the dog in question "caused injury" without provocation. Appellant's dog leaving the property lead to a "chain of events resulting in some sort of puncture injury" to the other dog owner's leg.

Commonwealth v. Kneller 999 A.2d 608 (Pa., 2010)

Kneller appealed from a conviction of criminal conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals after she gave an acquaintance a gun and asked him to shoot a dog. The Court affirmed the conviction, concluding that “The Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law” (ADMA) and the “Dog Law” are not ambiguous. In addition, the deadly weapon enhancement applies to an owner who is convicted of cruelty to animals and used a firearm to kill it.

Center for Biological Diversity v. Haaland 998 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir. 2021) This case is a challenge to a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") reversing its previous decision that the Pacific walrus qualified for listing as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (“ESA”). In 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”) petitioned the Service to list the Pacific walrus as threatened or endangered, citing the claimed effects of climate change on its habitat. In 2011, after completing a species status assessment, the Service issued a 45-page decision ("Decision") that found the listing of the Pacific walrus was warranted, but it declined to list the species because it found the need to prioritize more urgent listings. A settlement between the parties in 2017 required the Service to submit a proposed rule or a non-warranted finding. In May of 2017, the Service completed a final species assessment ("Assessment") that concluded some of the stressors to the species had "declined in magnitude" and the walruses had adjusted, which culminated in "a terse 3-page final decision that the Pacific walrus no longer qualified as a threatened species." As a result, in 2018, the Center filed this action alleging that the 2017 Decision violated the APA and ESA. The District Court granted summary judgement to the Service and this appeal followed. The Ninth Circuit first observed that, while the Assessment contains some new information, it does not explain why this new information resulted in an about-face from the Service's 2011 conclusion that the Pacific walrus met the statutory criteria for listing. The Service contends the appellate inquiry must be limited to the 3-page Decision document from 2017. However, the Court noted that a review of the reasons offered by the Service in its appellate briefing illustrates why the Court cannot conduct the required appellate review without reference to the previous Assessment. The agency's new policy contradicts its prior policy (the Decision document which was 40+ more pages longer than the Assessment and includes citations and other data). The Ninth Circuit now holds that the Service did not sufficiently explain why it changed its prior position. As a result, the Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Service and remanded it to the District Court to direct the Service to provide a sufficient explanation of its new position.
Scheele v. Dustin 998 A.2d 697 (Vt.,2010)

A dog that wandered onto defendant’s property was shot and killed by defendant. The dog’s owners sued under an intentional tort theory and a claim for loss of companionship. The Supreme Court upheld the award of economic damages for the intentional destruction of property. It also held that the owners could not recover noneconomic damages for emotional distress under Vermont common law.

Giacalone v. Housing Authority of Town of Wallingford 998 A.2d 222 (Conn.App,2010)

In this Connecticut case, a tenant, who was bitten by a neighbor's dog, brought a common law negligence action against the landlord, the housing authority of the town of Wallingford. The tenant then appealed after the lower court granted the landlord's motion to strike the complaint. On appeal, this Court held that the tenant properly stated a claim under common law negligence against the landlord. Relying on Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church, 286 Conn. 152, 943 A.2d 391 (2008) , the court concluded that a common-law negligence action brought against a landlord in a dog bite case should not be striken simply because the landlord was the the owner or keeper of the dog.

Green v. Housing Authority of Clackamas County 994 F.Supp. 1253 (D. Oregon, 1998) Plaintiffs were tenants of a county housing authority and alleged that the housing authority violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, by failing to reasonably accommodate their request for a waiver of a "no pets" policy to allow for a hearing assistance animal in the rental unit to reasonably accommodate a hearing disability. The housing authority argued that the dog was not a reasonable accommodation for the tenant's specific disability because the dog was not certified as a hearing assistance animal. The court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, holding that the housing authority violated the federal statutes when it required proof from the tenants that the dog had received hearing assistance training.
Romero v. Bexar County 993 F.Supp.2d 658 (W.D. Tex. 2014) Several reports to the police were made that a man had threatened several individuals with a firearm. In responding to the calls, the police identified the plaintiff pet owner as the allegedly armed man. Officers then proceeded to the plaintiff’s home and acknowledged that they saw a “Beware of Dogs” sign, but still entered the fenced-in premises. Upon entering the yard, four dogs approached and one of the officers shot and killed one of the dogs. The plaintiff brought suit against the officer and municipality and alleged violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. In evaluating the officer’s claim of qualified immunity, the court held that the officer’s actions were objectively reasonable, considering he had reason to believe the plaintiff may be armed and dangerous and claimed “several large dogs ran out aggressively charging, barking and growling.” The officer’s relation of events was backed up by his fellow officer on the scene.
Mississippi State University v. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. 992 So.2d 595 (Miss., 2008)

PETA, an animal rights group, sought disclosure of records pursuant to the Public Records Act from Mississippi State University regarding the IAMS's company care of animals used in research, which was conducted at university. After the lower court granted the request, the University and company appealed. The Supreme Court of Mississippi held that substantive portions of company's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocol forms were exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act. The court found that PETA failed to rebut the evidence presented by MSU and Iams that the data and information requested in the subject records constituted trade secrets and/or confidential commercial and financial information of a proprietary nature developed by MSU under contract with Iams. Therefore, the data and information requested by PETA is exempted from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act.

State v. Long 991 P.2d 102 (Wash.App. Div. 2,2000)

Defendant shot and killed two hunting dogs, estimated to be worth $5,000 to $8,000 each, who were chasing deer across his property. The defendant was later convicted by the jury under the first degree malicious mischief felony for “knowingly and maliciously ... [causing] physical damage to the property of another in an amount exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars.”  On appeal, the court upheld the jury’s conviction because the defendant had no right to kill the dogs chasing deer across his property and because the prosecution was allowed to charge under the first degree malicious mischief felony for “knowingly and maliciously ... [causing] physical damage to the property of another in an amount exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars.”

State v. Ancona 991 A.2d 663 (Conn.App.,2010)

Defendant Michael Ancona appealed his conviction of permitting a dog to roam at large in violation of General Statutes § 22-364(a). The defendant claims that (1) the court improperly held him responsible as a keeper of a dog when the owner was present and known to the authorities, and (2) the state adduced insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction. The plain language of the statute § 22-364(a) states that an “owner or keeper” is prohibited from allowing a dog to roam on a public highway. Either the owner or keeper or both can be held liable for a violation of the statute. The court also found sufficient evidence that defendant was the keeper of the pit bull: the dog stayed at his house, he initially responded to the incident and tried to pull the dog away, and defendant yelled at the Officer Rogers that she was not to take "his dog."

Johnson-Schmitt v. Robinson 990 F. Supp. 2d 331 (W.D.N.Y. 2013)

Seeking compensatory and injunctive relief, Plaintiffs commenced a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Defendants County of Erie, Erie County Sheriff's Department, and John Does 1 and 2; Defendants Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ("SPCA") and a SPCA peace officer; and a dog control officer based on alleged searches of Plaintiffs' property and seizure of animals purportedly belonging to Plaintiffs. After reviewing the defendants moved for summary judgment, the district court granted and dismissed the motion in part.

Kimball v. Betts 99 Wash. 348 (1918)

In an action for conversion of household goods kept for use and not for sale, it is not necessary to prove that such goods have no market value as a condition precedent to the right to introduce proof of actual value. If they have no market value, the measure of damages for their conversion is their value to the owner based on the actual money lost.

Washington v. Washington State Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessel Ass'n 99 S.Ct. 3055 (1979)

The United States initiated an action seeking an interpretation of Indian fishing rights under treaties with Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest.  The Court held that the language of the treaties securing a "right of taking fish . . . in common with all citizens of the Territory" was not intended merely to guarantee the Indians access to usual and accustomed fishing sites and an "equal opportunity" for individual Indians, along with non-Indians, to try to catch fish, but instead secures to the Indian tribes a right to harvest a share of each run of anadromous fish that passes through tribal fishing areas.  Thus, an equitable measure of the common right to take fish should initially divide the harvestable portion of each run that passes through a "usual and accustomed" place into approximately equal treaty and nontreaty shares, and should then reduce the treaty share if tribal needs may be satisfied by a lesser amount.  The Court also held that any state-law prohibition against compliance with the District Court's decree cannot survive the command of the Supremacy Clause, and the State Game and Fisheries Departments, as parties to this litigation, may be ordered to prepare a set of rules that will implement the court's interpretation of the parties' rights even if state law withholds from them the power to do so.

Southeastern Community College v. Davis 99 S.Ct. 2361 (1979)

Applicant to nursing program brought suit against the college alleging discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for denying her acceptance to the program based on her physical disability of being deaf. The college alleged that the applicant was not "otherwise qualified" under the statute because, even if provided accommodations for her hearing disability, she would be unable to safely participate in the clinical training program. The court held that "otherwise qualified" under the statute means that a person is qualified for the program "in spite of" the handicap, and that the applicant here was not otherwise qualified for the program. The court also held that a program authority is not required to ignore the disability of the applicant when determining eligibility for the program. Rather, the statute only requires that the disabled person not be denied the benefits of the program solely because of the disability.

Hughes v. Oklahoma 99 S.Ct. 1727 (1979)

The Oklahoma statute at issue prohibited transporting or shipping outside the State for sale natural minnows seined or procured from waters within the State. Appellant, who held a Texas license to operate a commercial minnow business in Texas, was charged with violating the Oklahoma statute by transporting from Oklahoma to Texas a load of natural minnows purchased from a minnow dealer licensed to do business in Oklahoma.  In overruling Geer v. Connecticut, the Court held that the Oklahoma statute on its face discriminated against interstate commerce by forbidding the transportation of natural minnows out of the State for purposes of sale, and thus overtly blocking the flow of interstate commerce at the State's border.

City of Delray Beach v. St. Juste 989 So.2d 655 (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,2008)

In this Florida case, the city of Delray Beach appeals a judgment for damages in favor of  plaintiff, who was injured by two loose dogs. Plaintiff was attacked and severely injured by two large dogs owned by a resident of Delray Beach, when the dogs escaped from the resident's fenced yard. The theory of liability was based on the city's knowledge, from prior complaints and an actual visit by an animal control officer, that these dogs were loose from time to time and dangerous. This court agreed with the city, finding that the decision of an animal control officer was discretionary and therefore immune from liability under these circumstances.

City of Delray Beach v. St. Juste 989 So.2d 655 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 2008) In this Florida case, the city of Delray Beach appealed from a judgment for damages in favor of appellee plaintiff, who was injured by two loose dogs. The theory of liability was based on the city's knowledge, from prior complaints, that these dogs were loose from time to time and dangerous. The plaintiff suggested that the city's failure to impound the dogs after prior numerous complaints contributed to the attack. The court concluded that decisions made by the city's animal control officer and police to not impound the dogs were discretionary decisions, and therefore the city was immune.
In the Matter of the Application of Richard M. COPLAND, as an Executor of the estate of Lenore Lewis Abels, Deceased 988 N.Y.S.2d 458 Co-executor of an estate petitioned the Westchester County Surrogate's Court for a decree in accordance with EPTL 7–8.1[d] reducing the amount of money to be transferred from the estate to the trustees of a testamentary pet trust established under the decedent's will. Since the decedent gave very specific instructions as to how she wanted her cats to be cared for and the petition was in opposition to the decedent’s wishes, the court denied the reduction.
Parker v. Obert's Legacy Dairy, LCC 988 N.E.2d 319 (In. Ct. App., 2013)

A neighboring landowner brought a nuisance claim against a dairy farm when the dairy farm decided to expand its operations; the dairy farm, however, used Indiana’s Right to Farm Act as an affirmative defense. Agreeing with the dairy farm, the trial court granted the dairy farm’s motion for summary judgment.  Upon appeal, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

Hurd v. State 988 A.2d 1143 (Md. App., 2010)

 In this Maryland case, Defendant appealed his convictions for two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of malicious destruction of property valued under $500 relating to the fatal shooting of two of his neighbor's (Randolph's) dogs. On appeal, Defendant maintains the language of the former text of 10-416(b)(3), a section of the Natural Resources Code dealing with deer hunting, renders the shooting justifiable. The Court found that Section 10-416(b)(3) is ambiguous; as such, based on the rule of lenity, the Court construed section 10-416(b)(3), with one exception, as giving persons in Washington County (prior to the 2009 amendment) a right to kill a dog pursing a deer whether or not the dog was being used for purposes of deer hunting. However, the Court found that Section 10-416 of the Natural Resources Article gave Defendant no privilege to kill a dog pursuing a turkey.

Hayes v. Adams 987 N.E.2d 402 (Ill.App. 2 Dist.,2013)

An 8-year-old girl suffered injuries as a result of being bitten by a dog that escaped from a veterinarian clinic. The girl sued the clinic and the owner of the dog, but the owner was granted a motion for summary judgment because she did not have care or dominion over the animal at the time of the injury; this decision was then appealed.  The Second District Appellate Court of Illinois held the Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/16) did not impose strict liability on a dog owner solely because he or she was the legal owner of a dog. The lower court’s decision was therefore affirmed because there was no reasonable or factual basis to impose liability.

Wyoming Farm Bureau v. Babbitt 987 F.Supp. 1349 (D. Wyoming 1997)

The Wyoming Farm Bureau, amateur researchers, and environmental groups appealed an agency to introduce experimental population of gray wolves in a national park and central Idaho. After ruling on the various standing issues, the court held that the ESA section allowing experimental population to be maintained only when it is "wholly separate geographically" from nonexperimental populations includes overlap even with individual members of nonexperimental species.   However, the defendants' treatment of all wolves found within boundaries of designated experimental population areas as nonessential experimental animals was contrary to law as provided in their own regulations.   Therefore, the court ordered that Defendants' Final Rules establishing a nonessential experimental population of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, central Idaho and southwestern Montana was unlawful.   Further, that by virtue of the plan being set aside, defendants must remove reintroduced non-native wolves and their offspring from the Yellowstone and central Idaho experimental population areas.  This decision was reversed in 199 F.3d 1224.

Com. v. Kneller 987 A.2d 716 (Pa., 2009)

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania took up this appeal involving the defendant's criminal conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals after the defendant provided a gun and instructed her boyfriend to shoot and kill their dog after the dog allegedly bit the defendant’s child. The Supreme Court vacated the order of the Superior Court and remanded the case to the Superior Court (--- A.2d ----, 2009 WL 215322) in accordance with the dissenting opinion of the Superior Court's order. The Court further observed that the facts revealed no immediate need to kill the dog and that there was "unquestionably malicious beating of the dog" prior to it being shot.

Hernandez-Gotay v. United States 985 F.3d 71 (1st Cir. Jan. 14, 2021) Plaintiffs filed suit to enjoin the enforcement and challenge the constitutionality of Section 12616 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“Section 12616”), which bans the “sponsor[ship]” and “exhibit[ion]” of cockfighting matches in Puerto Rico. The district court upheld Section 12616 as a valid exercise of Congress's Commerce Clause power. On appeal here, the court first determined whether the plaintiffs had sufficient standing to challenge the law. It concluded that plaintiff Ángel Manuel Ortiz-Díaz, the owner of two cockfighting venues and a breeder and owner of more than 200 gamecocks, has standing to challenge Section 12616. Ortiz faces a credible threat of prosecution under Section 12616 because he regularly sponsors and exhibits cockfighting matches. Finding standing, the court considered plaintiffs' claim that Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause in enacting Section 12616. The court found that cockfighting is an activity that substantially affects interstate commerce and Congress passing Section 12616 was a legitimate exercise of Commerce Clause power. Finally, plaintiffs contend that Section 12616 infringes on their First Amendment freedoms of speech and association. In rejecting this argument, the court held that plaintiffs failed to identify the necessary "expressive element" in cockfighting activities that would render it subject to First Amendment protections and, even if they made such a showing, Section 12616 is a permissible restraint on such speech. Finally, nothing in Section 12616 infringes on the associational right to assemble since it does not prevent individuals from gathering to express their views on cockfighting. The judgment of the district court was affirmed.
U.S. v. Mitchell 985 F.2d 1275 (4th Cir. 1993)

Defendant, a zoologist working for the Department of Interior, was charged in nine count indictment taking and transporting animals in violation of foreign law under the Lacey Act among other violations.  Defendant filed motion to dismiss and government filed motion to determine foreign law.  The government alleged in Count 8 that in September of 1987, Mitchell transported the hides and horns of a Punjab urial (wild sheep) and a Chinkara gazelle out of Pakistan and into the United States knowing that the animals had been taken, possessed or transported in violation of Pakistani law; the Pakistani Imports and Exports (Control) Act of 1950 and the Punjab Wildlife Act of 1974.  The court rejected defendant's reading of the imports and exports law and found it unnecessary to determine the constitutionality of the Punjab Wildlife Act as the Lacey Act impinges on whether defendant violated the portions of the law prohibiting possession of the animals without a permit. 

Hines v. Quillivan 982 F.3d 266 (5th Cir. 2020) This case asks whether a veterinarian in Texas has a right to engage in telemedicine for a pet he has not physically examined. The plaintiff challenged Texas' physical-examination requirement that prohibits veterinarians from offering individualized advice to pet owners unless the vet previously examined the animal. Dr. Ronald Hines, a licensed veterinarian in Texas, stopped practicing in-person veterinary medicine in 2002 due to his age and other ailments. He then transitioned to a practice based remotely through the Internet. In 2012, the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (the Board) investigated Hines and found he had violated state law. The Board ordered him to cease providing veterinary advice electronically without first physically examining the animal. In 2013, Dr. Hines filed suit against the Board members claiming that the physical-examination requirement violated his First Amendment, equal-protection, and substantive-due-process rights. The district court then granted the motion to dismiss by the Board and the Court of Appeals found Hines failed to state a claim on appeal. Since that 2015 opinion, Texas revised its medical doctor laws, allowing them to engage in telemedicine, but did not do the same for veterinary practice laws. In addition to that change, a United States Supreme Court held that statements made by medical doctors could now be deemed "professional speech" (the "NIFLA" case). As a result of these changes, Hines brought the present suit arguing that the changes in Texas' telemedicine laws and the NIFLA case enabled him to pursue a new equal-protection claim and First Amendment claim. With regard to his protected speech claim, this Court found that subsequent caselaw does entitle Hines' claim to greater judicial scrutiny than his previous case allowed. Thus, remand to the district court to make the initial evaluation of whether Hines' conduct or speech is being regulated is required. On the equal-protection argument, the court found that Hines presents an argument slightly different than his previous one. In essence, Hines argued in the prior appeal that the he physical-examination requirement treated veterinarians engaging in telemedicine differently than other veterinarians. Here, Hines argues that changes to the medical doctor licensing laws treats medical doctors differently than veterinarians in the state with respect to telemedicine. Using a rational-basis review, the court held that it is rational to distinguish between human and animal medicine because of the differences in training, schooling, and overall practice of the professions. The court found the state's proffered reason that animals cannot communicate their symptoms as humans can ordinarily was a persuasive rational basis (although both Hines and the Dissent note that some humans like infants are unable to speak similar to animals and yet are allowed to be treated via telemedicine). The court found the services provided by both professions are not interchangeable and thus, the physical-examination requirement is not a protectionist measure for medical doctors. Ultimately, the court left it to the Texas legislature to expand any telemedicine changes to the veterinary practice code. The action was affirmed in part, reversed and remanded in part.
State v. Cleve 980 P.2d 23 (N.M. 1999)

Defendant was convicted of two counts of cruelty to animals, two counts of unlawful hunting, and negligent use of firearm. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that "any animal," within meaning of animal cruelty statute, applied only to domesticated animals and wild animals previously reduced to captivity, and thus, the animal cruelty statute did not apply to defendant's conduct in snaring two deer.  The court also held that even if the Legislature had intended to protect wild animals in Section 30-18-1, New Mexico's laws governing hunting and fishing preempt the application of Section 30-18-1 to the taking of deer by Cleve in this case.

Ladnier v. Hester 98 So.3d 1074 (Miss.App., 2011)

Plaintiff motorist sued horse owner for negligence after he collided with the horse that was loose on the highway. The Court of Appeals sustained summary judgment for owner because the motorist produced no evidence that owner 1) had failed to act with reasonable care in enclosing his horses, 2) that horse had a propensity to escape or cause injury that gave rise to a heightened duty on owner's part, and 3) motorist produced no circumstantial evidence that would imply negligence, such as a dilapidated fence. This judgment was Reversed by Ladnier v. Hester, 98 So.3d 1025 (Miss., 2012).

Ladnier v. Hester 98 So.3d 1025 (Miss., 2012)

Plaintiff motorist sued horse owner for negligence after he collided with the horse that was loose on the highway. Plaintiff sought damages for personal injury. The Court of Appeals sustained summary judgment for horse owner because the motorist produced no evidence that owner 1) had failed to act with reasonable care in enclosing his horses, and 2) that horse had a propensity to escape or cause injury that gave rise to a heightened duty on owner's part. After being granted a writ of certiorari by the Mississippi Supreme Court, the court held that the Plaintiffs had offered sufficient evidence to withstand the horse owner's motion for summary judgment.The case was then reversed and remanded.

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