Cases

Case namesort descending Citation Summary
Sak v. City of Aurelia, Iowa 832 F.Supp.2d 1026 (N.D.Iowa,2011)

After suffering a disabling stroke, a retired police officer’s pit bull mix was trained to become a service dog. However, the town where the retired police officer resided had a Breed Specific ordinance that prohibited pit bulls. The retired police officer and his wife brought this suit against the city alleging that the ordinance violated his rights under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and also sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin the city from enforcing the ordinance. The officer’s preliminary injunction was granted after the court found: 1) the officer was likely to succeed on merits of ADA claim; 2) the officer would suffer irreparable harm absent injunction; 3) the balance of equities was in favor of injunctive relief; 4) and the national public interest in enforcement of ADA trumped more local public interest in public health and safety reflected in ordinance.

Salazar v. Kubic 370 P.3d 342 (Col. Ct. App. Div. VI, 2015) At her facility, Defendant raised and housed more than 200 mice and rats to be sold as feed for snakes and other carnivores. Until March 2013, Defendant had a valid license issued under Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA), but it expired. Upon the expiration Defendant kept operating her facility despite a cease and desist order from the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. The trial court granted the Commissioner's request for a permanent injunction to prevent Defendant from operating without the required PACFA license and from violating the cease and desist order. On appeal, the court rejected Defendant’s argument that her rodents were outside PACFA’s “pet animal” definition, despite the fact the mice and rats she sold were used as food, not household pets. Additionally, the court found rats and mice did not fit within the statutory exemptions for livestock or “any other animal designated by the Commissioner.” The court was also unpersuaded that Defendants rodents were “working animals” because there was no indication that she used them to perform any function that could be considered “work.” The district court’s decision was affirmed.
Salinas v. Martin 166 Cal.App.4th 404

Construction worker brought negligence action against homeowner for injuries sustained by another contractor's pit-bull dog, after homeowner had given the contractor permission to allow the dog to run loose on homeowner's property. The Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1, California, held that a landlord does not generally owe a duty to protect third parties from injuries by his or her tenant's dangerous dog without actual knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities and ability to prevent or control the harm. However, a homeowner, who maintains possession of and control over the premises, and thus is not acting as a landlord, is not required to have actual knowledge of a dog's dangerous propensities to owe a duty of care to his or her invitees.  

Salzer v. King Kong Zoo 773 S.E.2d 548 (N.C. Ct. App. July 7, 2015) The Plaintiffs appeal from an order granting dismissal of their complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In 2014, Plaintiffs filed a civil suit under North Carolina's anti-cruelty "citizen suit" provision, N.C. Gen.Stat. § 19A–1, against King Kong Zoo. Plaintiffs contended that the zoo kept animals in "grossly substandard" conditions. King Kong Zoo is an Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) licensed exhibitor of wild and domestic animals. The district court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding that the applicable law here is the AWA and “N.C. Gen.Stat. § 19A–1 ... has no application to licensed zoo operations.” On appeal, this Court found in a matter of first impression that the AWA does not expressly preempt claims under N.C. Gen.Stat. § 19A. Instead, the AWA "empowers Section 19A to work in conjunction with the AWA." The Court also found no conflict of law that would preclude bringing the action. The matter was reversed and remanded to the Cherokee County District Court for determination consistent with this opinion.
SAM LAMBERT & ANDRIA LAMBERT v. SALLY MORRIS & STEVE HAIR --- S.E.2d ----, 2018 WL 6314142 (N.C. Ct. App. Dec. 4, 2018) Plaintiffs Sam Lambert and Andria Lambert appeal the trial court's granting of summary judgment in this lost dog case. Specifically, plaintiffs filed an action against defendants Sally Morris and Steve Hair alleging conversion, civil conspiracy, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, as well as injunctive relief and damages related to the disappearance of their dog, Biscuit. Biscuit went missing in August of 2015. After searching for Biscuit for several days, plaintiffs contacted the local animal control and posted Biscuit as a lost dog on animal control's unofficial Facebook page. Over a month later, a citizen brought Biscuit (who had no microchip or collar on) to animal control where she was placed in a holding cell. After the 72-hour hold, Biscuit was transferred to the Humane Society. Biscuit was spayed and examined by a veterinarian, and a picture was posted on the Humane Society website. At the vet exam, tumors were discovered in Biscuit's mammary glands and so surgery was performed, some of it paid for by defendant Hair. Hair eventually adopted Biscuit. Almost a year later, plaintiffs found an old picture of Biscuit on the Humane Society Facebook page and attempted to claim Biscuit. Defendant Hair learned of this and requested that plaintiffs reimburse for veterinary expenses, to which they agreed. After some discussion, Hair learned plaintiffs had over 14 dogs and refused to return Biscuit without a home inspection. That caused a heated discussion and the meeting between plaintiffs and defendant ended without the dog returning. About a month later, plaintiffs filed suit against defendants, whereupon defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. On appeal here, the court first noted that, per state law, an animal shelter hold a lost or abandoned dog for at least 72-hours. Here, animal control satisfied its legal duty by keeping Biscuit in custody for the required holding period before transferring her to the Humane Society. Thus, plaintiffs lost any ownership rights to Biscuit after the 72-hour mark. Moreover, almost a month had passed between the time Biscuit was taken in by animal control and the formal adoption by defendant Hair at the Humane Society. As a result, the court found that Hair was the rightful owner of Biscuit and was entitled to negotiate with plaintiffs as he saw fit. Thus, no genuine issues of material fact existed for plaintiffs at trial. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to defendants and dismissing plaintiffs’ claims.
Sammons v. C.I.R. 838 F.2d 330 (9th Cir. 1988)

In a tax proceeding, the Commissioner argues that defendant should be disallowed a charitable deduction for donating several artifacts containing eagle parts to a museum because it will frustrate the purpose behind the BGEPA.  The court disagrees, finding it unlikely that such an allowance will encourage others to procure eagle artifacts for the sole purpose of obtaining a tax deduction.  Further, the court disagrees with the Commissioner that Sammons acquired illegal title to the artifacts, finding Sammons had sufficient ownership interest in the eagle artifacts for donation.  For further discussion on commerce in eagle parts under the BGEPA, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act.

SAMUEL ZIMMERMAN v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE 57 Agric. Dec. 869 (1998) Agency's choice of sanction is not to be overturned unless it is unwarranted by law, unjustified by facts, or represents abuse of discretion; sanction is not rendered invalid in particular case because it is more severe than sanctions imposed in other cases.
San Jose Charter of Hells Angels Motorcycle Club v. City of San Jose 402 F.3d 962 (C.A.9 (Cal.),2005)

In this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Defendants-Appellants, seven San Jose City Police Officers and Deputy Sheriff Linderman, appeal from an order of the district court denying in part their motions for qualified immunity. This action arises out of the simultaneous execution of search warrants at the residences of members of the Hells Angels, and at the Hells Angels clubhouse on January 21, 1998. While executing search warrants at two plaintiffs' residences, the officers shot a total of three dogs. This court held that the shooting of the dogs at the Vieira and Souza residences was an unreasonable seizure, and an unreasonable execution of the search warrants, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Exigent circumstances did not exist at either residence, as the officers had a week to consider the options and tactics available for an encounter with the dogs. The unlawfulness of the officers' conduct would have been apparent to a reasonable officer at the time the officers planned for serving the search warrants.

Sanders v. Frank 37 N.E.3d 1305 (Ohio App. 11 Dist. 2015)

In this case, Heather Sanders filed suit against Joseph D. Frank after she suffered injuries as a result of rescuing Frank’s horses that were running at large. The lower court dismissed Sander’s complaint with prejudice and Sanders appealed. On appeal, Sanders asserted four main arguments: (1) the doctrine of contributory negligence and assumption of the risk should not be applied when defendant negligently violates a statute; (2) the rescue doctrine should preclude the assumption of the risk doctrine even though Sanders voluntarily assisted in the capture of the horses; (3) the trial court erred in applying the assumption of risk doctrine; and (4) the trial court erred by preventing recovery of damages. Ultimately, the court of appeals reviewed the case and affirmed the lower court’s decision to dismiss the complaint. The court found that all four of Sander’s arguments were without merit. The court held that although Frank had negligently violated a statute, allowing his horses to escape and run at large, Sanders voluntarily assisted in the capture of the horses and was not responding to any immediate emergency or threat to human life. Also, the court pointed out that Sanders had “assumed the risk” based on the fact that she had helped rescue Frank’s horses in the past. As a result, the lower court did not err in dismissing Sander’s claim based on contributory negligence and the assumption of the risk doctrine.

Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles 313 Cal. Rptr. 3d 566 (2023), reh'g denied (Oct. 16, 2023), review denied (Dec. 13, 2023) This case was brought by plaintiff-appellants, several no-kill animal shelters, against defendant-appellee the County of Los Angeles. Plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of mandate against defendant seeking to compel the release of impounded dogs scheduled for euthanasia to plaintiffs. The court sustained defendant’s demurrer without leave to amend, and this appeal followed. Plaintiffs argue on appeal that the Hayden Act imposes a duty on defendant to release the dogs scheduled for euthanasia to plaintiffs. First, the court asked whether defendant had discretion to refuse to release, and then to euthanize, a dog deemed to have behavioral problems when release has been requested by a non-profit animal adoption or rescue organization? Second, the court asked if defendant had discretion to determine and impose requirements for organizations that claim to be animal rescue or adoption organizations to qualify as such, beyond simply ensuring that the organizations are non-profits under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code? The court examined the relevant code, which stated that “any stray dog that is impounded pursuant to this division shall, before the euthanasia of that animal, be released to a nonprofit” and agreed with plaintiffs’ argument that the use of the word shall indicates that the legislature intended to impose a duty on defendant to release these dogs upon request to qualified nonprofit animal rescue or adoption agencies. The court also concluded that the demurrer was improperly granted as defendant lacked discretion to withhold and euthanize a dog based upon its determination that the animal has a behavioral problem or is not adoptable or treatable. The court agreed, however, that defendant had discretion to determine whether and how a non-profit organization qualifies as an animal adoption or rescue organization. The court reversed the judgment of the trial court, vacated the trial court’s order sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend, and remanded to the trial court.
Sanzaro v. Ardiente Homeowners Association, LLC --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2019 WL 1049380 (D. Nev. Mar. 5, 2019) Deborah Sanzaro and Michael Sanzaro are the plaintiffs in this action. Plaintiffs are homeowners and members of a homeowners association ("HOA"). Three incidents occurred at the HOA clubhouse in which Deborah Sanzaro attempted to enter with her Chihuahua, which she claimed was a service animal. In each of these three incidents, Deborah was denied access to the clubhouse. The first incident occurred on March 11, 2009. Deborah entered the club house with her dog and the manager of the HOA asked her why she brought the dog into the clubhouse with her. Deborah explained that her dog assisted her with her disability and was a service animal, however, she could not provide any documentation to the manager as to that effect. She was then asked to leave the clubhouse to which she refused. Only after security was called did Deborah leave. Later, on that same day, Deborah entered the clubhouse with her service dog without any incident. The HOA sent a letter to the plaintiffs after the first incident notifying them that that Deborah had violated the HOA’s governing documents and that a hearing before the HOA board would take place on March 30, 2009. Plaintiffs never showed for this hearing which ultimately resulted in the Board finding that Deborah violated HOA rules and regulations by entering the clubhouse with her dog and not providing documentation. Deborah was assessed multiple fines. Prior to the hearing, the HOA sent out letters to the other residents letting them know that they would accommodate any legitimate service animal if their staff is properly advised of such. They also mailed out a letter regarding the incident with the plaintiffs to all of the other residents. The plaintiffs began to receive hate mail and verbal harassment regarding their dispute with the HOA board. The plaintiffs received many threats and had their property defaced by an anonymous homeowner who spray painted their garage door telling them to get out of the neighborhood. The HOA did nothing to stop this harassment. Plaintiffs filed a complaint with the Nevada Real Estate Division and their claim was submitted to a non-binding arbitrator. Deborah provided a doctor’s statement requesting that her dog be registered as a service dog, a notice of entitlement to disability benefits from the SSA, a doctor’s statement regarding Deborah’s disability, and a statement from Deborah explaining how her dog had been trained to assist her. The Arbitrator found for the Ardiente Homeowners Association because she did not find Deborah’s explanation as to why she needed the dog as being persuasive. The arbitration decision was upheld by the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County, Nevada as well as by the Nevada Supreme Court. On July 26, 2010, Plaintiffs entered the clubhouse again with the dog. They were told that they could not come in unless they provided more documentation despite the documentation that the Deborah had provided during the arbitration proceeding. On January 29, 2011 the plaintiffs entered the clubhouse again with the dog and they were again denied entry until the plaintiffs could provide documentation that the dog was a registered service animal. The HOA eventually foreclosed on the plaintiff’s home in order to recover the fines and attorney’s fees that were owed. Plaintiffs then brought 102 causes of action in federal court under the ADA and FHA which were pared down to two questions: (1) whether the HOA clubhouse was a place of public accommodation under the ADA and NRS § 651.075, and (2) whether Plaintiffs requested, and were ultimately refused, a reasonable accommodation under the FHA. For the plaintiff ADA claims, the District Court found that Deborah is disabled as a matter of law and that the HOA and other defendants were aware of her disability at least as of July 27, 2009 (the date of the arbitration). The Court also found that the clubhouse was not a place of public accommodation and that the entire community including the clubhouse was a private establishment. As a result the plaintiffs were not able to establish a claim for disability discrimination under the ADA. For the plaintiff’s FHA claims, the Court found the following: Deborah was qualified as handicapped under the FHA; the defendants were reasonably expected to know about her handicap; an accommodation was necessary for Deborah to use the clubhouse; the dog qualified as a service animal and permitting the dog to accompany Deborah was a reasonable accommodation; and the defendants refused to make the requested accommodation which makes them liable. For the Nevada law claim, it failed because the community and clubhouse are a private establishment and were not considered public accommodations. Plaintiffs were entitled to damages for their FHA claims only. The Court ultimately found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $350,000 in compensatory damages, $285,000 in punitive damages and attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation.
Sarno v. Kelly 78 A.D.3d 1157 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.. 2010)

A dog bite victim sought damages against absentee landlords after the tenant's bull mastiff dog bit him in right thigh. The deposition testimony of one landlord indicated that he visited the rental house approximately once per month to collect rent and check on the house in general, and only on two of those occasions did he see the dog. During one of these visits, he petted the dog without incident. Thus, the landlord established that he neither knew nor should have known that the dog had vicious propensities, and that he did not have sufficient control over the premises to allow him to remove or confine the dog.

Saulsbury v. Wilson --- S.E.2d ----, 2019 WL 493695 (Ga. Ct. App. Feb. 8, 2019) This Georgia involves an interlocutory appeal arising from a dog bite lawsuit. In 2016, Plaintiff Saulsbury was walking her English Bulldog past Defendant Wilson's house when Wilson's pitbull dog escaped its crate in the open garage. A fight ensued between the dogs. Wilson then attempted to break up the fight and was allegedly bitten by Saulsbury's dog, suffering a broken arm in the process and necessitating a course of rabies shots. The Saulsburys then sued the Wilsons in magistrate court to recover hospital and veterinary expenses. Wilson counterclaimed for her injuries in excess $15,000, thus transferring the case to superior court. At this time, the Saulsburys moved for summary judgment, which the trial court denied. The Court of Appeals here reverses that denial. The court found that Wilson assumed the risk when she intervened in a dog fight with her bare hands. In particular, the court observed that assumption of risk serves as a complete defense to negligence. That finding was bolstered by the fact that Wilson had knowledge that her dog had previously bitten other persons and had admitted to breaking up previous dog fights with a stick. The court relied on previous case law showing that all animals, even domesticated animals, pose a risk as does the act of breaking up even human fights. The court was not persuaded by the fact that Saulsbury may have been in violation of various DeKalb County ordinances related to an owner's responsibility to control his or her animal. A plain reading of those ordinances does not impose a duty on the part of an owner to "dangerously insert herself into a dog fight." The court found the lower court erred in denying the Saulsbury's motion for summary judgment and reversed and remanded the case.
Savage v. Prator 921 So.2d 51 (La., 2006)

Two Louisiana "game clubs" filed an action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against parish commission and parish sheriff's office after being informed by the sheriff that an existing parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting would be enforced. The clubs contended that the ordinance was violative of the police power reserved explicitly to the state (the state anti-cruelty provision is silent with regard to cockfighting).  The First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo granted the clubs' request for a preliminary injunction.  The Supreme Court reversed the injunction and remanded the matter, finding that the parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting did not violate general law or infringe upon State's police powers in violation of Constitution.

Savage v. Prator 921 So.2d 51 (La. 2006)

After being informed by the Caddo Sheriff's Office that a 1987 Parish ordinance prohibiting cockfighting would be enforced, two organizations, who had held cockfighting tournaments since the late 1990s and the early 2000s, filed a petition for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. After the trial court granted the organizations' request for a preliminary injunction, the Parish commission appealed and the court of appeals affirmed. Upon granting writ of certiorari and relying on the home rule charter, the Supreme Court of Louisiana found that local governments may authorize or prohibit the conduct of cockfighting tournaments within municipal boundaries. The case was therefore reversed and remanded to the district court with the injunction being vacated.

Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of City of Albany 56 A.D.3d 32, 865 N.Y.S.2d 365 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept.,2008)

An Organization dedicated to the protection of the Karner Blue Butterfly and other species that live in an area of land used as a nature preserve brought challenge against the City Common Council’s; (“Council”) approval of a Developer’s rezoning application for the land.   The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York, held that the Organization had standing to bring suit, because the Organization showed the existence of an actual injury different from that of the general public, due to the Organization’s regular use of the preserve, at least one member’s nearby residency to the preserve, and the Organization’s historic involvement in the protection and preservation of the preserve. (2010 - Order Reversed by Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of City of Albany, 13 N.Y.3d 297, 918 N.E.2d 917, 890 N.Y.S.2d 405, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 07667 (N.Y. Oct 27, 2009) (NO. 134)).  

Savory v. Hensick 143 S.W.3d 712 (Mo. 2004)

Contractor brought a premises liability action against homeowners after falling over their dog.  Contractor was descending from a ladder while working on homeowners' premises and stepped on the dog at the base of the ladder.  The trial court held in favor of the contractor because the homeowners' dog made the yard foreseeably dangerous and the appellate court affirmed. 

Sawh v. City of Lino Lakes 823 N.W.2d 627 (Minn.,2012)

A city ordered a dog to be destroyed after three separate biting incidents. Upon the owner’s appeal of the city’s determinations, the appeals court reversed the city’s decision to destroy the dog because the city had not allowed the owner an opportunity to challenge the “potentially dangerous” determination. The appeals court (800 N.W.2d 663 (Minn.App.,2011) held the city had therefore violated the owner’s procedural due process rights. Upon review by the Supreme Court of Minnesota, however, the court held that the owner’s procedural due process rights were not violated because the “potentially dangerous” determination did not deprive the owner of a property interest and because the city satisfied the basic requirements of procedural due process. Additionally, the court found that the dangerous dog and the destruction determinations were not arbitrary or capricious. The court therefore reversed the decision of the court of appeals, upheld the city's “dangerous dog” determination, and affirmed the city's order of destruction.

Sawh v. City of Lino Lakes 800 N.W.2d 663 (Minn.App.,2011)

The city council ordered the destruction of a dog after finding it to be a dangerous animal and the owner appealed. The Court of Appeals held that procedural due process required that the owner should have been given a meaningful opportunity to contest the declaration of the dog as a “potentially dangerous animal” before it was declared a “dangerous animal” under the city ordinance.

Saxton v. Pets Warehouse 180 Misc.2d 377 (N.Y. 1999)

In this small claims action, the plaintiff purchased an unhealthy dog from defendant that died soon after purchase.  The court held that the plaintiff is not limited to the remedies provided by General Business Law § 753 (1), which sets forth a consumer's right to a refund and/or reimbursement for certain expenses incurred in connection with the purchase of an unhealthy dog or cat, as plaintiff's dog came within the definition of "goods" as set forth in UCC 2-105 and defendant was a "merchant" within the meaning of UCC 2- 104 (1).  Accordingly, plaintiff could recover damages pursuant to UCC 2-714 on the theory that defendant breached the implied warranty of merchantability.  The case was remanded for a new trial to solely on the issue of damages limited to any sales tax paid by plaintiff that was not reimbursed by the insurance policy and the reasonable cost of veterinary expenses incurred.

Scales v. State 601 S.W.3d 380 (Tex. App. 2020) Defendant, Jade Derrick Scales, was convicted of two counts of cruelty to non-livestock animals which constituted a state felony. Michelle Stopka had found two puppies in an alley and took them in. On February 8, 2015, Defendant confronted Stopka in her front yard holding a knife and wearing a mask and brass knuckles. Leonard Wiley, the man Stopka was residing with, confronted the Defendant and a brief confrontation ensued which resulted in both individuals sustaining a cut. Stopka soon discovered that both puppies had been sliced open and were bleeding. The puppies did not survive their injuries. Defendant’s sentence was enhanced to a second-degree felony based on the finding of use or exhibition of a deadly weapon during the commission of, or during immediate flight following, the commission of the offense and the fact that the Defendant had a previous conviction for a second-degree-felony offense of burglary of a habitation. Defendant was sentenced to seven years and a fine of $2,000. The Defendant subsequently appealed. The first issue raised on appeal by the Defendant was the deadly weapon finding which the the Court found was appropriate. The second issue regarded a jury instruction error. The Defendant contended that the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury that a deadly-weapon finding is only appropriate when the weapon is used or exhibited against a human being. The Court found that although a deadly-weapon instruction should not have been given, the error was not egregious and therefore overruled the issue because a jury could have reasonably believed that the Defendant used the same knife to both inflict wounds upon the puppies and Leonard. The failure to provide such a jury instruction did not materially affect the jury’s deliberations or verdict. The third issue raised by the Defendant was that he was provided ineffective assistance of counsel. The Court overruled this issue as well. The Fourth issue raised by Defendant was that his prosecution was based on two identical indictments for the same conduct committed in one criminal episode which violated double jeopardy and due process principles. The Defendant did not preserve his claim of double jeopardy and the Court further found that two separate dogs were the object of the criminal act and each dog could have been prosecuted separately. No double jeopardy violation was found on the face of the record and, therefore, the Defendant did not qualify for an exception to the preservation rule. The fifth issue Defendant raised was that his sentence was illegal because the range of punishment for the offense for which he was convicted was illegally enhanced. The Court overruled this issue because his conviction was not illegally enhanced. The trial court’s judgment was ultimately affirmed.
Scharer v. San Luis Rey Equine Hosp., Inc. 147 Cal.Rptr.3d 921 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)

Horse owner sued veterinarians and equine hospital for professional malpractice after horse was euthanized less than two months after surgery to remove horse’s ovaries. The Superior Court granted summary judgment for defendants based on the one-year statute of limitations. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that equitable tolling did not apply because plaintiff was not prevented from pursuing her claim in a timely manner by the defendants or the court. A provision in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act extending the statute of limitations by 90 days did not apply absent a claim for personal injury or wrongful death to a person.

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.

Schindler v. Mejias 100 A.D.3d 1315 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2012)

This appeal is an appeal of the denial of defendant's motion for summary judgment in a defamation action. Plaintiff, an attorney, brought an action against Hector L. Mejias Jr., an employee of defendant Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, claiming that Mejias falsely accused him of misrepresenting himself as the Ulster County District Attorney during a sworn deposition. The statement occurred during an incident at the SPCA where Plaintiff-Schindler was trying to pick up a dog owned by his client. The particular issue on appeal is whether the supreme court erred in determining that Mejias's supporting deposition constitutes libel per se. The court found that the alleged act was sufficiently egregious because such a claim would suggest professional misconduct on an attorney's part and invites both disciplinary action and damage to an attorney's professional reputation. Further, defendants failed to meet their burden of showing an absence of malice. The order was affirmed.

Schmidt, d/b/a Top of the Ozark Auction 65 Agric. Dec. 60 (U.S.D.A. Feb. 10, 2006) The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), United States Department of Agriculture instituted a disciplinary proceeding alleging that Jerome Schmidt, a veterinarian, willfully violated the regulations and standards promulgated under the Animal Welfare Act. The alleged violations were based upon ten inspections conducted by a USDA inspector of Schmidt’s Top of the Ozark Auction facility where he conducted dog auctions. The 36 alleged violations centered on housing standards, structural soundness, soundness and security of the enclosures, house keeping and sanitation, trash on the premises, sufficiency of the lighting, the adequacy of the Schmidt’s insect and rodent control program, and interference and refusal of access to a USDA inspector. The Court found that the frequent inspections of Schmidt’s auction facility were inconsistent with and not based upon an objective risk-based assessment. None of the inspections, with the potential exception of one, conformed to the requirements of established Agency guidelines or policy. The inspector’s findings were exaggerated, biased, and unsupported by sufficient credible objective evidence of non-compliance. The egregious behavior of the inspector tainted the inspection results and, therefore, were precluded from being used for the purposes of an enforcement action. The Court ultimately dismissed the complaint against Schmidt and directed the Administrator of APHIS to take appropriate action to insure that the published polices and procedures of the Department are followed by APHIS personnel in future inspections.
Schor v. N. Braddock Borough 801 F. Supp. 2d 369 (W.D. Pa. 2011) Sadie, a six (6) year old pit bull and family pet was shot and killed by the Defendant Officer Wittlinger. The Plaintiff, Sadie’s owner, filed a twelve count complaint alleging four § 1983 claims under federal law against all Defendants including the borough, police department, board of supervisors, police chief, and Officer Wittlinger. The remaining eight counts alleged claims solely against the officer. The Defendants' filed a partial motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The Court granted the dismissal of claims against the board, police chief, and officer in their official capacities. The court also dismissed the Plaintiff’s state negligence claims. However, the court did not dismiss claims brought against Police Chief Bazzone and Officer Wittlinger in their individual capacities. The court reasoned that the facts pled by the Plaintiff were sufficient to show that Chief Bazzone may have acted with deliberate indifference by not disciplining Officer Wittlinger after a prior dog shooting incident, and maintained a custom within the Police Department that it was proper to shoot a pet dog wandering the streets. The court also denied the motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s fourth amendment rights claim. The court reasoned that the facts pled by the Plaintiff were sufficient to state a claim for violation of her Fourth Amendment rights because the plaintiff had a possessory interest in her dog Sadie as “property” and the officer used excessive force while seizing the Plaintiff’s property.
Schor v. North Braddock Borough 801 F.Supp.2d 369 (W.D. Pa. 2011) The plaintiff’s dog jumped her fence and after encountering a couple of friendly people in the neighborhood, was confronted by two police officers. At the same time the officers arrived, the plaintiff and her sister arrived at the scene. The plaintiff’s sister yelled to the officer, “that’s our dog,” and while displaying no signs of aggression, with her owner 10-15 feet away, an officer shot the dog four times, killing her. The officer had previous similar encounters with dogs, having shot another dog approximately six months prior to this event. In evaluating the immunity of the police officer, the court held that the plaintiff failed to establish an exception to immunity under the Pennsylvania Subdivision Tort Claims Act. However, the court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment claims.
Schwerdt v. Myers 683 P.2d 547 (1984)

This appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court related to the mental state requirement in determining an animal owner's liability for escape of cattle.  The Oregon Supreme Court, on review, held that simple rather than criminal negligence was the correct level of culpability for determining an animal owner's liability, and damages are available under a statute making an animal owner liable if an animal is permitted to escape onto another's property.

Scott v. Donkel 671 So.2d 741 (Ala.Civ.App.,1995)

In this Alabama case, there was an injury to a non-tenant child by a dog bite, and the defendant was a landlord.  The attack occurred off the rented premises in the public street.    The action was based upon negligence, that is, a failure to protect against a dangerous condition.   The key to such a claim is the knowledge of the landlord. Plaintiff presented no evidence of the landlord being aware of the dog let alone that he knew of its vicious propensity.   The court did not find a duty to inspect the premises and discover this information.  The court did not reach the point that the attack occurred off the premises.  The granting of the motion for summary judgment for the landlord was upheld.

Scott v. Jackson County 403 F.Supp.2d 999 (D.Or.,2005)

On July 22, 2003, plaintiff filed suit alleging violations of her constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, various state common law claims, and violation of the Oregon Property Protection Act (plaintiff's neighbor complained to animal control in May 2001 after hearing the rabbits "screaming and dying"). Plaintiff's claims arise from the seizure of over 400 rabbits from her property, and the subsequent adoption and/or euthanasia of these rabbits. Defendants move for summary judgment on grounds of qualified immunity, failure to allege the proper defendant, and failure to provide notice under the Oregon Tort Claims Act. In granting defendants' motion for summary judgment, the Court found that even if the officers' entry and seizure of plaintiff's property was unlawful, they reasonably believed their actions to be lawful, therefore affording them qualified immunity protection. Further, the court found no taking occurred where the rabbits were euthanized and/or adopted out as part of a initial criminal forfeiture action.

Sebek v. City of Seattle 290 P.3d 159 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2012)

Two Seattle taxpayers filed a taxpayer action lawsuit against the city of Seattle for violating Washington’s animal cruelty statute and Seattle’s animal cruelty ordinance with regard to a zoo’s elephant exhibit. After the lawsuit was dismissed by the King County Superior Court for lack of taxpayer standing, plaintiffs appealed the court’s decision. The appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision because the plaintiffs’ complaint alleged the zoological society, not the city, acted illegally and because the operating agreement between the city and the zoological society made it clear that the zoological society, not the city, had exclusive control over the operations of the elephant exhibit. Significantly, the appeals court found that a city’s contractual funding obligations to a zoological society that  cares and owns an animal exhibit at a zoo is not enough to allege a city violated animal cruelty laws.

Secretary of State for The Home Office v. BUAV and the Information Commissioner [2008] EWHC 892 (QB Appeal concerning the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and experiments involving animals. The BUAV had made an information request in respect of five research project licenses issued under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The Home Office released limited summary information, relying on exemptions under FOIA to reason this; namely under section 24(1) which would prohibit information from being disclosed that had been given “in confidence.” The Court of Appeal upheld the decision that the Home Office was entitled to refuse BUAV’s information request.
Seiber v. U.S. 364 F.3rd 1356, 34 Envtl L. Rep. 20,026

Owners of commercial timberland designated as northern spotted owl nesting habitat brought suit against the United States, alleging that the land was temporarily taken when the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) denied their application to cut timber on the property which had been considered critical habitat for the endangered species. The appeals court upheld the lower court and held that no adequate claim for a "takings" was made.

SEIDNER v. DILL 206 N.E.2d 636 (Ind.App. 1965)

Charles Dill, appellee, brought this action in the Municipal Court of Marion County, Indiana, therein alleging that the defendant-appellant, Harold Seidner, maliciously and intentionally shot and killed plaintiff's dog. The case essentially involved a companion animal that was shot and killed by the defendant neighbor who alleged that the dog was after his livestock. A statute in Indiana provided that a person was authorized to kill a dog “known” for “roaming” that harmed or threatened to harm the livestock. A verdict of six hundred dollars for the wrongful killing of the dog was affirmed. This case, however, was subsequently overruled  by Puckett v. Miller , 178 Ind. App. 174 (Ind. App. Ct. 1978).

SENTELL v. NEW ORLEANS & C. R. CO. 166 U.S. 698 (1897)

This was an action originally instituted by Sentell in the civil district court for the parish of Orleans, to recover the value of a Newffoundland bitch, known as 'Countess Lona,' alleged to have been negligently killed by the railroad company.  The company answered, denying the allegation of negligence, and set up as a separate defense that plaintiff had not complied either with the requirements of the state law, or of the city ordinances, with respect to the keeping of dogs, and was therefore not entitled to recover.  Recognizing that an owner has only a conditional interest in a dog as a form of property, the Supreme Court held that the Louisiana law was within its police power, and the judgment of the court of appeals against plaintiff was therefore affirmed.

Sentencia 09333-2022-00667T - Ecuador Sentencia 09333-2022-00667T Este es el caso de cuatro gatos llamados Luna, Manchas, Sonic y Tiger y dos perros, Pantera y Noah que estaban dentro de las propiedades confiscadas por las autoridades en un caso de tráfico de drogas. El abogado Kevin Prendes Vivar presentó un recurso de habeas corpus en representación de los cuidadores de los animales, alegando que los animales estaban siendo retenidos ilegalmente por el "Secretario Técnico de Gestión Inmobiliaria del Sector Público" o "Inmobiliar", la agencia gubernamental que confiscó las propiedades. El demandante argumentó que los animales, como sujetos de derechos según la decisión de la Corte Constitucional 253-20-JH/22, estaban en un estado de soledad que los ponía en riesgo de problemas de salud y bienestar, ya que estos animales tenían un apego emocional a sus cuidadores. Los animales son seres sensibles diferentes de otros objetos, y su detrimento se refleja en su salud física y emocional, causando condiciones como depresión y ansiedad, condiciones que podrían poner fin potencialmente a su vida. Los animales estaban siendo retenidos por 'Inmobiliar', y los demandantes no habían recibido ninguna información sobre la condición de los animales. Además, los demandantes estaban preocupados por la condicion de los animales ya que no tenian conocimiento acerca de su alimentacion. Especialmente porque 'Inmobiliar' no tenía presupuesto para alimentar a los animales sujetos a confiscaciones. Según loa demandante, los animales eran miembros de su familia, y sus hijos sufrían sin ellos. El tribunal provincial de Guyanas concedió el habeas corpus, sosteniendo que los animales son sujetos de derechos, encontrando que 'Inmobiliar' había violado los derechos de los animales al considerarlos propiedad personal embargable. Por lo tanto, el tribunal determinó que su confiscación era ilegal, arbitraria e ilegítima. Para proteger sus derechos a la vida, la libertad y la integridad, ordenó a 'Inmobiliar' devolver los animales a sus cuidadores. En su análisis, el tribunal afirmó que, según el caso de Estrellita, los animales no deberían ser protegidos únicamente desde una perspectiva del ecosistema o desde la perspectiva de las necesidades humanas, sino más bien desde su individualidad y su valor intrínseco. El tribunal también instruyó a la entidad gubernamental a no considerar más a las "mascotas" como semovientes en futuros procedimientos judiciales, y a distribuir, a través del correo electrónico institucional, a todos sus funcionarios la decisión de la corte constitucional 253-20-JH/22, ordenándoles leerla y analizarla. Esta decisión fue apelada por 'Inmobiliar' y la sala especializada en lo penal de la Corte Provincial de Justicia de Guyanas anuló la decisión que otorgaba el habeas corpus a favor de los animales, afirmando que este mecanismo legal no era apropiado en el caso de animales domésticos. En su fallo, el tribunal ordenó la devolución de los animales a "Inmobiliar". Esta decisión ha sido enviada a la Corte Constitucional para su revisión. Si la corte la selecciona, decidirá si un recurso de habeas corpus es apropiado en casos relacionados específicamente con animales de compañía.
Sentencia 10013-103027-2023-00229-00 (0327) Tribunal Superior de Bogotá, Sala Mixta, Sentencia del 6 de octubre de 2023, Rad. 10013-103027-2023-00229-00 (0327) This is the case of “Simona,” the dog in a family that went through a divorce in 2021. The husband, acting as the plaintiff, filed a lawsuit in the third Family Court to establish a visitation arrangement for their beloved companion, “Simona,” who lived with his ex-wife. The plaintiff argued that Simona was an integral part of their family and that both Simona and him had been emotionally impacted since the separation, as the defendant contended that visitations were distressing for Simona. The plaintiff further contended that Simona used to sleep with him and watch movies, but since she could no longer do so, Simona had become depressed and refused to eat. The family court dismissed the case, stating that it fell under the civil court’s jurisdiction. The Superior Tribunal of Bogotá resolved the jurisdictional conflict between the third Family Court and the twenty-seventh Civil Circuit Court.
Sentencia 25000-23-24-000-2011-00227-01(AP) 25000-23-24-000-2011-00227-01(AP) Update: on December 12, 2014, the State Council's Fourth Chamber invalidated the Third Chamber's decision by revoking defendant's license to capture monkeys on the Amazon. This decision resulted from a "Tutela" filed by the defendants arguing procedural and substantive errors. In its decision, State Council stated that the Third Chamber, Subsection C, had violated the fundamental rights to due process and scientific investigation. Therefore, defendants are allowed to hunt and capture night monkeys in the Amazon so long as they meet the requirements and conditions for granting such licenses established in Resolutions 028 of May 13, 2010, and 0632 of June 29, 2919. This case concerns the monkeys used in scientific research in the Colombian Amazon to create a malaria vaccine. In 2012, plaintiff, a primatologist, raised before the Administrative Tribunal in Cundinamarca a series of irregularities incurred by the defendant in the capture and treatment of night monkeys (Aotus vociferans). Through a popular action (A constitutional mechanism to protect collective rights), the plaintiff argued that the defendants were violating collective rights such as administrative morality, the existence of ecological balance and the management and rational use of natural resources, and public safety and health. The defendant, "Fundación Instituto de Inmunología de Colombia" (FIDIC), is a scientific institution dedicated to research and scientific study for creating and developing chemically synthesized vaccines. Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, the Director, is a renowned Colombian scientist and the creator of the first vaccine against malaria accepted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Patarroyo had a license to hunt and capture 800 primates of this species per year for his research against malaria. In her complaint, plaintiff alleged that Patarroyo was illegally trafficking monkeys from Brazil and Peru to Colombian territory, as there was evidence that they were using monkeys from across the border with these countries without complying with legal importation requirements. Furthermore, the plaintiff argued that the defendant was experimenting on monkeys of a different species (Aotus nancymaae) found in Peru and Brazil, for which they did not have the corresponding license. Plaintiff also alleged that specimens of both species were acquired by paying members of native indigenous groups, who captured the animals without permit or supervision from respective authorities. In addition, the plaintiff alleged that governmental authorities did not perform inspections, and there were no records of how many specimens were being used and how they were being treated. Finally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants released surviving monkeys infected with malaria back into the wild once they were of no use to the laboratory, ignoring the risks that this posed to the ecosystem and indigenous communities. The Administrative Tribunal in Cundinamarca ruled in favor of the plaintiff, revoking the defendant's permit to capture monkeys in the Amazon. Defendants appealed the decision before the Third Chamber of the State Council, which affirmed the revocation of the license. The State Council stated that the defendants had violated the collective rights and affirmed the license revocation to protect the collective rights of wild animals, particularly of the Aotus Vociferans monkeys. This ruling suspended the investigations and ordered disciplinary investigations against the governmental authorities that issued the license. In affirming the tribunal's decision, the court stated: "To the Colombian legislator, animals and plant species (for example, forests, the Amazon, páramos, water sources, resources, etc.) are subject to rights. Therefore, through popular action, any person can request their protection by acting as an unofficial agent of these entities without it being possible to acknowledge that it is a collective-subjective right belonging to society. On the contrary, it is about the express recognition by the Constitution and the Colombian legislator of attributing value in themselves to animals and plant species, for which, in each specific case, the judge must make a judgment by weighting competing interests" (...) "humans can use animals for survival, company, research, work, or recreational activities, but without violating the rights that assist them."
Sentencia C-041, 2017 Sentencia C-041, 2017 Sentencia C-041 is one of the most important court decisions on bullfighting. On this occasion, the court held unconstitutional Article 5 of Ley 1774 of 2016 that referred to the Article 7 of the Statute of Animal Protection. Article 7 contains the seven activities that involve animals for entertainment that are exempted from the duty of animal protection. The practices permitted correspond to rejoneo, coleo, bullfighting, novilladas, corralejas, becerradas and tientas (all variations of bullfighting), cockfighting and all the related practices. Even though the court held that the legislature had fallen into a lack of constitutional protection towards animals, and stated that bullfighting was cruel and inhumane, it deferred the effects of its sentence and gave Congress a two-year period to decide whether bullfighting and the other exception established in Article 7 of the Statute of Animal Protection will continue to be legally allowed. If after this period, the Congress has not legislated on the matter, decision C-041, 2017 will take full effect and bullfighting along with all the practices established in Article 7 will be considered illegal.
Sentencia C-045/19 This Constitutional Court's decision declares sport hunting illegal in the entire territory. In its reasoning, the court stated that sport hunting is not an exception to the duty to protect animals against cruelty, as it does not satisfy any objective or purpose compatible with the Constitution. "It is not an expression of religious freedom, nor intended for food or medical or scientific experimentation. It is not done to control the species population and is not a deeply rooted cultural manifestation." The court further stated, "The sacrifice of an animal by humans is an extreme form of mistreatment as it eliminates its very existence and is an act of annihilation. When it is unjustified, an animal's death is cruel because it means understanding that the animal is exclusively a resource available to humans. Sport hunting, in short, is a harmful act insofar as it is aimed at capturing wild animals, either by killing, mutilating or catching them alive." "What happens here is an example of how the content and scope of constitutional norms adapt to a changing society. It is about the concept of a Living constitution, in which its scope and content take shape with the political community's economic, social, political, and cultural changes." Other forms of hunting, such as subsistence hunting, hunting for scientific and research purposes, and controlled hunting, continue to be allowed under the circumstances delineated by laws and regulations and with prior authorization of the natural resources managing authority.
Sentencia C-115/06 Sentencia C-115/06 In this opportunity, the Court held that bullfighting represents a cultural manifestation and artistic expression of human beings that the legal system must protect. Therefore, bullfighting could not be considered a violent act in terms of article 12 of the Constitution because the prohibition of torture and cruel treatment or punishment presumes an act to be violent when it is against a human being. In turn, bullfighting cannot be considered a violent act because here, there is no treatment that is incompatible with human dignity.
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.
Sentencia C-148, 2022 Sentencia C-148, 2022 In this opportunity, the Colombian Constitutional Court deemed national recreational fishing regulations unconstitutional three years after banning recreational hunting. Specifically, the Court determined that provisions pertaining to this matter, contained in the Code of Natural Renewable Resources, the General Statute of Animal Protection, and the Fishing Statute, violated the government's constitutional obligation to protect the environment, the right to environmental education, and the prohibition of animal cruelty. The Court recognized constitutional limitations on the prohibition of animal cruelty that were based on religious freedom, eating habits, medical research and experimentation, and deeply rooted cultural manifestations. Consequently, the Court held that fishing for recreational purposes was a cruel practice that did not fall within any of these exceptions.
Sentencia C-148/22 - Colombia Sentencia C-148/22 Attorney Gabriel Andrés Suárez Gómez filed an unconstitutionality complaint with the Constitutional Court, arguing that recreational fishing violated the precautionary principle, the right to a healthy environment, and the prohibition of animal cruelty. Following the precedent created with C-045, 2019, prohibiting sport or trophy hunting, the Colombian Constitutional Court held on May 2, 2022, that the provisions concerning recreational fishing contained in various national laws were unconstitutional, effectively banning this practice in the entire territory. The court found that fishing for the sole purpose of recreation without any other relevant purposes like commercial or sustenance constitutes a form of animal abuse. Specifically, the court emphasized that the mandate of animal protection stems from the principle of the ecological constitution, the social function of property, and human dignity. Moreover, it was pointed out that, in this context, both the Legislature and the Court have previously recognized all animals as sentient beings. The court held that while it is not possible to define with absolute certainty the harmful consequences of recreational fishing in terms of conservation and animal welfare principles or the degradation of hydrobiological resources, there is relevant scientific information that must be considered to avoid harmful effects on fish and the habitat. Regarding animal sentience, after an exhaustive analysis, the court emphasized that there are compelling reasons to consider that fish can feel pain, and the mandate of animal protection requires treating sentient beings with dignity. Similarly, according to the FAO, there is currently no method capable of fully eliminating the mistreatment of fish, and there are environmental impacts that must be seriously considered alongside the economic benefits proposed in favor of recreational fishing. This situation led the Constitutional Court to activate the precautionary principle. The court held that there is a duty to protect animals, which implied a prohibition of animal cruelty. This duty protects both the ecosystemic balance and individual sentient animals with intrinsic value. This protection is differentiated and weighted based on the type of species involved, whether domestic or wild. Moreover, the duty of animal protection carries an indisputable binding effect, requiring assessments of reasonableness and proportionality in its application by both legislators and judges. After an extensive analysis of the positive and negative effects that the prohibition of this activity would carry out, the court concluded that recreational fishing constitutes a form of animal cruelty that violates the right to a healthy environment, specifically the prohibition against animal cruelty in accordance with laws and constitutional jurisprudence that lacked constitutional support as it is not grounded in constitutionally permissible limits for animal mistreatment, such as (a) religious freedom; (b) dietary habits; (c) medical research and experimentation; and (d) deeply rooted cultural practices. Considering the interests of those affiliated with the activity, who would be significantly impacted by the invalidation of the laws subject to this opinion, and who have been conducting activities under laws previously deemed constitutional, the court decided to defer the effects of the decision for one year. This was with the purpose of allowing those adversely affected by it to adapt to the new circumstances.
Sentencia C-148/22 - Colombia Sentencia C-148/22 El abogado Gabriel Andrés Suárez Gómez presentó una demanda de inconstitucionalidad ante la Corte Constitucional, argumentando que la pesca recreativa violaba el principio de precaución, el derecho a un medio ambiente sano y la prohibición de crueldad animal. Siguiendo el precedente creado con la sentencia C-045 de 2019, que prohíbe la caza deportiva, la Corte Constitucional de Colombia decidió el 2 de mayo del 2022 que las disposiciones relativas a la pesca recreativa contenidas en diversas leyes nacionales eran inconstitucionales, prohibiendo efectivamente esta práctica en todo el territorio. La corte determinó que pescar con fines recreativos, sin ningún otro propósito relevante como comercial o de sustento, constituye una forma de crueldad animal. Específicamente, la corte enfatizó que el mandato de protección animal se deriva del principio de la constitución ecológica, la función social de la propiedad y la dignidad humana. Además, se señaló que, en este contexto, tanto el legislativo como la corte han reconocido previamente a todos los animales como seres sintientes. La corte sostuvo que, aunque no es posible definir con certeza absoluta las consecuencias dañinas de la pesca recreativa en términos de principios de conservación y bienestar animal o la degradación de los recursos hidrobiológicos, existe información científica relevante que debe ser considerada para evitar efectos perjudiciales en los peces y el hábitat. Respecto a la sintiencia animal, tras un exhaustivo análisis, la corte enfatizó que hay razones convincentes para considerar que los peces pueden sentir dolor, y el mandato de protección animal requiere tratar a los seres sintientes con dignidad. De manera similar, según la FAO, actualmente no existe ningún método capaz de eliminar completamente el maltrato a los peces, y hay impactos ambientales que deben ser considerados seriamente junto con los beneficios económicos propuestos a favor de la pesca recreativa. Esta situación llevó a la Corte Constitucional a activar el principio de precaución. La corte determinó que hay un deber de proteger a los animales que implica proteger tanto el equilibrio ecosistémico como a los animales sintientes individuales con valor intrínseco. Esta protección se diferencia y pondera en función del tipo de especie involucrada, ya sea doméstica o silvestre. Además, el deber de protección animal lleva consigo un efecto vinculante indiscutible, que requiere evaluaciones de razonabilidad y proporcionalidad en su aplicación tanto por parte de legisladores como de jueces. Tras un extenso análisis de los efectos positivos y negativos que conllevaría la prohibición de esta actividad, la corte concluyó que la pesca recreativa constituye una forma de crueldad animal que viola el derecho a un medio ambiente sano, específicamente la prohibición contra la crueldad animal de acuerdo con leyes y jurisprudencia constitucional que carecían de respaldo constitucional al no estar fundamentadas en límites permisibles constitucionalmente para el maltrato animal, como (a) la libertad religiosa; (b) los hábitos alimenticios; (c) la investigación médica y experimentación; y (d) prácticas culturales arraigadas. Teniendo en cuenta los intereses de aquellos afiliados a la actividad, que se verían significativamente afectados por la invalidación de las leyes sujetas a esta opinión, y que han estado llevando a cabo actividades bajo leyes previamente consideradas constitucionales, la corte decidió posponer los efectos de la decisión por un año. Esto con el propósito de permitir que aquellos afectados adversamente por ella se adapten a las nuevas circunstancias.
Sentencia C-283, 2014 Sentencia C-283/14 This is an unconstitutionality claim against Articles 1º, 2º and 3º of Ley 1638, 2013 that prohibit the use of native and exotic wild animals in circuses. Plaintiffs argued that these Articles violated numerous provisions of the Constitution, including the right to work, right to choose a profession, rights to culture and recreation, and a violation to the freedom private initiative of the owners of the circuses. In decision C-283, the court held that Congress has the power to prohibit certain cultural manifestations that involve animal cruelty. The Court stated that “culture needs to be permanently reevaluated so it can adapt to human evolution, to guarantee of rights and the fulfillment of duties. Especially when the purpose is to eliminate the traces of a marginalized society that has excluded certain individuals and collectives.” The court also stated that the duty to protect animals is not absolute, as its application can be limited by values, principles and constitutional norms in specific cases that are contradictory to the principales. The judge must analyze each case under a reasonableness test, in a way that cultural manifestations can work harmoniously with the rights, principles, and duties established in the legal system. The Court held Article 1 of Ley 1638, 2013 constitutional, and refrains from deciding on the constitutionality of Articles 2 and 3, for lack of evidence to render a decision.
Sentencia C-367, 2006 Sentencia C-367, 2006 Decision C-367 decides on the unconstitutionality of some of the provisions of the Taurine Regulatory Statute. The Court held the provisions constitutional, but added a limitation to the participation of minors in the practice of bullfighting. With this decision, children under 14 cannot participate in the “cuadrillas.” The term “cuadrillas” is used to describe the group of people that accompany and assist the matador in the bullring throughout the duration of the bullfight. Sentencia C-367 imposes the principle of impartiality on the behavior of Mayors. Mayors have to act in strict accordance to the Law and the Constitution, and must be impartial when it comes to making decisions that affect this activity. According to this principle, “Mayors have the duty to act, recognizing that the purpose of the different procedures is to assure and guarantee the rights of all the people without any level of discrimination.” The Court also reaffirmed that Congress has complete power to legislate on bullfighting on the national level.
Sentencia C-439, 2011 Sentencia C-439, 2011 This is an unconstitutionality claim against Article 87 of Ley 769, 2002 (Trafic Code), relating the transportation of animals on vehicles of public transportation. Article 87 of Ley 769, established that only guide dogs could travel in this type of transportation when accompanying a blind person. The Plaintiff argued that this Article, which prohibited the transportation of animals on vehicles like buses and taxis, violated the right to equality, rights to personal and family privacy, right to free development of personality, freedom of locomotion, and private property. The court concluded that there was a violation to the right to free development of personality, freedom to locomotion, and to private property of the owners of domestic animals. The court added domestic animals as an exception to article 87, of Ley 769, meaning that this prohibition still remains for specimens of the wild fauna. Domestic animals now can travel on vehicles of public transportation, so long they are transported in conditions of health, safety, comfort and tranquility according to the applicable rules. The court also considered that a pertinent regulation was necessary to establish the requirements to transport animals on public vehicles.
Sentencia C-467/16 Sentencia C-467/16 This lawsuit seeks the unconstitutionality of articles 665 and 658 of the Civil Code that define "movable objects" and "real property by destination." The plaintiff alleges that these categorizations are against the Constitution's environmental orientation and international agreements. The court upheld the validity of these articles and stated that such categorizations were not against legally considering animals as sentient beings deserving of protection against pain and suffering. In other words, the protection of animals is not affected by this language. "Animals are included in the category of property because property rights may be exercised over them, and animals are often the subjects of legal transactions. Therefore, categorizing animals as property responds to a necessity and does not affect the regulation in other provisions to develop the duty to protect animals as sentient beings (Law 1774, 2016)."
Sentencia C-666, 2010 Sentencia C-666/10 The Constitutional Court decided on an unconstitutionality claim against Article 7 of the Statute of Animal Protection Ley 84 of 1989 that corresponds to the exceptions to the duty of animal protection. This decision established the conditions that must be met for the exceptions of Article 7 to apply. Put in different words, through Decision C-666, the court limits the scope of the legality of bullfighting, establishing certain requirements. In its holding, the Court stated that the seven practices in Article 7 would not violate the Constitution, so long as they were done within the following parameters: (1) As long as it is understood that these animals should, in all cases, obtain special protection against suffering and pain during the execution of these activities. This exception allows the continuation of cultural expressions and entertainment with animals, so long as exceptionally cruel acts against these animals are eliminated, or lessened in the future in a process of adaptation between cultural expressions and duties of protection to animals; (2) These practices can only take place in municipalities and districts in which the practices are themselves a manifestation of a regular, periodic and uninterrupted tradition, and therefore their execution responds to a certain regularity; (3) These practices can only take place during occasions in which they have commonly taken place and in the municipalities and districts where they are authorized; (4) These are the only practices that are authorized to be part of the exception in Article 7 to the constitutional duty to protect animals; and (5) Municipal authorities cannot economically support the construction of installations for the exclusive execution of the activities listed in Article 7 with public funds.

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