Cases

Case namesort descending Citation Summary
Taub v. State of Maryland 296 Md. 439 (Md.,1983)

Maryland Court of Appeals held that animal-cruelty statute did not apply to researchers because there are certain normal human activities to which the infliction of pain to an animal is purely incidental and unavoidable.

Taylor v. Howren 606 S.E.2d 74 (Ga.App., 2004)

A family friend wanted to ride a horse and the horse owner told him it was rideable, despite knowing the horse was not fully trained yet.  The family friend sued after being kicked in the eye, knocked unconscious and paralyzed by the horse.  The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's entry of summary judgment for the horse owner on the basis that there was still a genuine issue of material fact as to the horse owner's immunity under the Equine Activities Act. 

Taylor v. RSPCA [2001] EWHC Admin 103

Two women, who had been disqualified from keeping horses by a court, transferred ownership of the horses to their niece, but had continued to make arrangements for the accommodation of the horses and to provide food and water for them. The women were convicted in the Magistrates' Court of the offence of "having custody" of the horses in breach of the disqualification order, and appealed. Dismissing the appeal, the Divisional Court held that, what amounted to "custody" was primarily a matter of fact for the lower court to decide, and that the local justices had been entitled to conclude that, notwithstanding the transfer of ownership, the two women had continued to be in control, or have the power to control, the horses.

Ten Hopen v. Walker 55 N.W. 657 (Mich. 1893)

Defendant was convicted of wilfully and maliciously killing a dog.  On appeal, the court found the instructions proper and held that a plaintiff could recover exemplary damages in addition to market value as compensation, not as punitive damages.  The court also found that the killing of a dog is not justified by trespass because there are remedies for destruction of property by animals of another.

Tennant v. Tabor 89 A.D.3d 1461 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept.., 2011)

Motorist collided with a horse and sued horse owners for damages. The Supreme Court held that, even if horse owners violated statute requiring them to provide shelter to horse, this did not constitute common-law negligence, which was required for damages. In addition, horse owners were not liable because there was no evidence that horse exhibited propensity to interfere with traffic prior to incident involving motorist.

Terral v. Louisiana Farm Bureau Cas. Ins. Co. 892 So.2d 732 (La.,2005)

A motorcyclist hit a dog wandering on the road and sued the defendant under strict liability theory. The court found that the defendant was strictly liable because he owned the dog in fact. Although the dog was originally a stray, the court upheld a finding of ownership because the defendant regularly fed the dog and harbored it on his property.  

Terranova v. United States Dep't of Agric. --- Fed.Appx. ----, 2020 WL 4589346 (5th Cir. Aug. 10, 2020) Petitioners seek review of a decision and order of the USDA/APHIS determining that they violated various provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) and its implementing regulations, imposing civil penalties, and revoking the exhibitor license granted to Terranova Enterprises, Inc. Petitioners were licensees who provide wild animals like tigers and monkeys for movies, circuses, and other entertainment. In 2015 and 2016, APHIS filed complaints against petitioners that they willfully violated multiple provisions of the AWA and knowingly violated a cease and desist order issued in 2011 to avoid future violations of the AWA. After consolidating the complaints, the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") found that petitioners willfully committed four violations, so the ALJ issued a cease and desist order, suspended petitioners' license for 30 days, and assessed a $10,000 penalty and an $11,550 civil penalty for failing to obey the prior cease and desist order. On appeal by both parties to the Judicial Officer of the USDA, petitioners' exhibitor license was revoked and the penalties were increased to $35,000 and $14,850, respectively. On appeal here to the Fifth Circuit, petitioners claim that the determinations of the Judicial Officer were not supported by substantial evidence and that she abused her discretion in revoking their exhibitor license. This court found there was sufficient evidence to support the violations, including failing to allow APHIS officials to conduct compliance investigations and inspections, faulty tiger enclosures, insufficient distance/barriers between tigers and the public, failure to make an environmental enrichment plan, and failings involving tiger enclosure and protection from inclement weather, among other things. With regard to petitioners' claim that the Judicial Officer abused her discretion in revoking the exhibitor license, this court court found that petitioners committed more than one willful violation of the AWA so revocation was not unwarranted or without justification. The court concluded that the USDA Secretary’s order was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law, and that it was supported by substantial evidence. Therefore, the court denied the petition for review.
Test Drilling Service Co. v. Hanor Company 322 F.Supp.2d 957 (C.D. Ill. 2003)

Owner of oil and gas mineral rights sued the operators of commercial hog confinement facilities for negligence, claiming that the operator's allowed hog waste to escape the confines of the facility and flow into the mineral rights.   The District Court held that plaintiff's alleged damages were not barred by a rule prohibiting recovery of economic loss in tort actions; that defendant's alleged violations were evidence of negligence, but not negligence per se; and that defendant's owed a duty of ordinary care to plaintiff.

Texas Attorney General Letter Opinion 94-071 Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. LO 94-071

Texas Attorney General Opinion regarding the issue of whether staged fights between penned hogs and dogs constitutes a criminal offense. The Assistant Attorney General deemed these staged fights as violating the criminal cruelty laws.

Texas Attorney General Opinion No. JC-0048 Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. JC-0048

Texas Attorney General Opinion regarding the issue of whether city ordinances are preempted by statutes that govern the treatment of animals. Specifically, the opinion discusses pigeon shoots. The opinion emphasizes that organized pigeon shoots are prohibited under Texas cruelty laws but that present wildlife laws allow the killing of feral pigeons.

Texas Attorney General Opinion No. JC-0552 2002 Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. JC-0552

Texas Attorney General Opinion clarifying a new provision in Chapter 822 of the Texas Health & Safety Code that requires all dangerous wild animals to be registered in the county in which they're located.  Otherwise, possession of these animals is unlawful.

Texas Beef Group v. Winfrey 201 F.3d 680 (C.A.5 (Tex.),2000)
Cattle ranchers in Texas sued the  The Oprah Winfrey Show and one of its guests for knowingly and falsely depicting American beef as unsafe in the wake of the British panic over “Mad Cow Disease.” The matter was removed from state court to federal court. The federal district court granted summary judgment as a matter of law on all claims presented except the business disparagement cause of action, which was eventually rejected by a jury. The court alternately held that no knowingly false statements were made by the appellees. This court affirmed on this latter ground only, finding that the guest's statement and the producers' editing of the show did not violate the Texas False Disparagement of Perishable Food Products Act. 
Thacker ex rel. Thacker v. Kroger Co. 155 Fed.Appx. 946 (C.A.8 (Mo.),2005)

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed district court decision that Thacker family failed to link an injury to ground beef on which the USDA requested a recall.

The Duck Shooting Case (1997) 189 CLR 579

The plaintiff was charged with being in an area set aside for hunting, during hunting season, without a licence. The plaintiff argued that he was there in order to collect dead and wounded ducks and endangered species and to draw media attention to the cruelty associated with duck shooting. The Court found that although the regulation under which the plaintiff was charged restricted the implied freedom of political communication, it was appropriate to protect the safety of persons with conflicting aims likely to be in the area.

The Ecology Center v. Russell 361 F.Supp.2d 1310 (D.Utah,2005)

The instant case is a Petition for Review of Agency Action, brought by The Ecology Center and The Aquarius Escalante Foundation (Plaintiffs). Plaintiffs seek review of a Record of Decision (ROD) issued by the Acting Forest Supervisor of the Dixie National Forest (the DNF), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. The decision in question is the final approval by the DNF of the Griffin Springs Resource Management Project, (the Project) in which the DNF approved a plan to allow logging in the Griffin Springs area of the DNF. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief to stop the implementation of the plan, claiming that the ROD violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).  Of particular concern, is the effect upon the northern goshawk.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (Australia) Pty Ltd and Minister for Environment and Heritage (2005) 93 ALD 594

Zoos in New South Wales and Victoria sought to import asian elephants for conservation and exhibition. The Tribunal considered whether the elephants were being imported "for the purposes of conservation breeding or propagation", the zoos were "suitably equipped to manage, confine and care for the animals, including meeting the behavioural and biological needs of the animals", the importation of the elephants would "be detrimental to, or contribute to trade which is detrimental to ... the survival .... or ... recovery in nature of" Asian elephants and whether the elephants were "obtained in contravention of, [or] their importation would ... involve the contravention of, any law". The importation was allowed.

The South African Predator Breeders Association v. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism South African Predator Breeders Association and Others v Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (1900/2007) [2009] ZAFSHC 68 (11 June 2009) This application is about the validity of regulations designed to regulate the hunting of lions that were bred in captivity.
Theis v. Yuba County Sheriff's Department Slip Copy, 2019 WL 3006261 (E.D. Cal. July 10, 2019) The Plaintiffs allege that their cat, named Pizza, was unlawfully euthanized at Yuba County Animal Care Services shelter in Olivehurst, California on or about February 9, 2018. Pizza went missing on or about February 9, 2018 and Plaintiffs found out later that same day that a neighbor had found the cat and brought it to the Yuba County animal shelter. The Plaintiffs attempted to contact the shelter, but it had already closed for the evening. The next morning around 9:30 a.m., the Plaintiffs arrived at the shelter and learned that Pizza had been euthanized as early as 5:00 p.m. the night before. Defendant Barnhill, the shelter’s supervising officer, informed the Plaintiff’s that Pizza had been injured, however, the neighbor who brought the cat to the shelter without knowing it was the Plaintiffs’ described Pizza as looking healthy. The Plaintiffs contend that Pizza’s euthanization falls within an ongoing pattern and practice of abuse and failure to follow state and federal law. Plaintiffs filed their original complaint on October 1, 2018. The Defendants removed the case to federal court. Plaintiff’s asserted four claims in their First Amended Complaint: (1) the failure to perform mandatory duties in violation of California Government Code section 815.6, (2) petition for a writ of mandate under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1085, (3) violation of the plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process rights under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, (4) negligence under California common law. The Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint and alleged that the Plaintiff’s did not plead facts sufficient to show that Barnhill engaged in unlawful conduct or to establish a substantive or procedural due process violation. The Court, however, granted the Plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint as to the section 1983 claim. The Court declined to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims, which were the Plaintiff’s first, second, and fourth claims since the Plaintiff’s had conceded that their federal claim by requesting to amend their complaint. As a result, the Court reviewed remaining claims to determine whether they may be included in any amended complaint or whether leave to amend would be futile. The Court determined that granting Plaintiff’s leave to file a second amended complaint would not be futile on all of their claims except for the petition for writ of mandate claim. California’s Civil Procedure Code section 1085 does not apply to federal courts and, therefore, the Plaintiff’s leave to amend this claim would be futile. Ultimately, the Court ordered Plaintiff’s third cause of action for violations of their Fourteenth Amendment substantive and procedural due process rights be dismissed with leave to amend, the Plaintiff’s state law claims in their first, second, and fourth causes of action be dismissed with leave to amend to the extent consistent with the order, and denied the Defendant's motions to strike Plaintiffs' punitive damages claim. Plaintiffs were required to file a second amended complaint within 21 days of the date the order was filed if they wished to amend their complaint.
Thomas v. Stenberg 142 Cal.Rptr.3d 24 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.)

While driving his motorcycle down a private road that had easement access, the plaintiff was injured by a charging cow. Arguing the defendant had a duty to warn of the presence of an unconfined and inherently dangerous animal, the plaintiff brought a negligence and a premise liability suit against the defendant. Upon appeal, the court held that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the defendant was negligent and that the defendant was strictly liable for the cow's actions; the court, therefore, ruled in favor of the defendant.

Thompson v. Dover Downs, Inc. 887 A.2d 458 (Del.Supr.,2005)

Vernon Thompson appeals from a Superior Court order reversing a decision and order of the Delaware Human Relations Commission (DHRC) after Thompson was denied access to defendant's casino because Thompson insisted that his dog accompany him, but refused to answer the officials' inquiries about what his alleged support animal had been trained to perform. The DHRC determined that by denying access, Dover Downs had unlawfully discriminated against Thompson in violation of the Delaware Equal Accommodations Law. The Supreme Court here agreed with the Superior Court in reversing the DHRC. It found that Dover Downs' personnel were entitled to ask Thompson about his dog's training. Since Thompson refused to answer these questions, there is no rational basis to conclude that Dover Downs' refusal to admit Thompson accompanied was pretextual.

Thompson v. Hancock County 539 N.W.2d 181 (Iowa 1995)

In this case, the Supreme court of Iowa held that hog confinement buildings were agricultural buildings and thus exempt from county zoning ordinances.

Thorp v. District of Columbia 319 F. Supp. 3d 1, 20 (D.D.C.), reconsideration denied, 327 F. Supp. 3d 186 (D.D.C. 2018) Two officers were stationed in a church parking lot near the home of Plaintiff, Mark Thorp. The two officers claimed they saw and heard the plaintiff “forcefully strike” his dog. The plaintiff then took the dog inside and would not speak with the officers. The officers reported the incidence to a Washington Humane Society Law Enforcement Officer who applied for a search warrant of plaintiff’s home. The warrant was subsequently approved. The Lieutenant who led the team that executed the search warrant on the plaintiff’s home previously had a sexual relationship with the plaintiff’s ex-girlfriend. During the search, the officers secured the dog and concluded that the dog was uninjured and in good health exhibiting no signs of abuse. The search warrant was only approved for evidence of animal cruelty/neglect, however, the search continued even after the plaintiff’s dog had been found in good health. The plaintiff believes that the search continued because the officers wanted to find drugs in his home. Plaintiff believes that the search for animal cruelty was just a disguise so that the officers could search for drugs. The officers found in the plaintiff’s freezer two zip-loc bags full of capsules which turned out to be amphetamines. The plaintiff insists he had a prescription for the pills. A second warrant was issued for evidence of drugs and related materials. After the second search, the officers found additional drugs and drug paraphernalia in the house. The plaintiff was charged with animal cruelty and possession of illegal drugs, however, the prosecutor abandoned the case and all criminal charges were dismissed. Plaintiff brought this action seeking redress for his injuries against the Lieutenant who led the search and the District. Both parties filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff claims his fourth amendment rights were violated under section 1983. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the first animal-cruelty warrant application was deficient and made at the behest of the Lieutenant and that false information was used on the warrant application. The Court rejects this argument because the plaintiff abandoned the fact that the two officers fabricated the warrant application at the behest of the Lieutenant. The Court, therefore, concluded that the Lieutenant played no role in preparing or submitting the warrant application. Next the plaintiff contends that the Lieutenant’s reliance on the warrant was improper. The Court concluded that since the Lieutenant had no part int the warrant application, he had no reason to distrust its contents. The warrant was facially valid and as a result, the Court cannot hold the Lieutenant responsible for executing it. Plaintiff contended that the Lieutenant exceeded the scope of the first warrant because the rummaging around in closed spaces after the search was considered finished exceeded the scope. The Court disagreed and concluded that the warrant authorized a search for animals that were dead or alive and an animal can surely fit in a freezer. The Court said that the Lieutenant’s “judgment that the scope of the warrant was supported by probable cause may have been mistaken, but it was not plainly incompetent.” Next the plaintiff argues that the second warrant was invalid. The Court reasoned that since the Lieutenant could have reasonably believed that he had authority to search the freezer, it would also be reasonable for him to obtain a warrant based on its contents. Plaintiff also contended that the pills in the freezer were not in plain sight. However, the photos that the plaintiff used to prove his point actually belies this claim because the Court could clearly make out the same clear plastic baggies with pills in both pictures. Next the plaintiff argues that the warrantless field test of the methamphetamines was improper. The Court concluded that field tests of methamphetamine are not recognized as a search and therefore do not implicate Fourth Amendment protections. Even if that were the case, qualified immunity would shield the Lieutenant from civil liability. Next the plaintiff argues that his arrest was without probable cause. The Court stated that given the amount of drug evidence that was found in the second search, there was enough probable cause to arrest the plaintiff. Next the plaintiff argues that the execution of the warrants unnecessarily cause property damage. The plaintiff failed to challenge this claim because he did not accompany it with specific points of law to support it. The Court refused to decide this matter. Finally, plaintiff argues that the officers unlawfully seized more than $53,000 in cash from the apartment. This claim also falls outside of the lawsuit because the plaintiff failed to make mention of it in his complaint. The plaintiff lastly alleges that the district negligently supervised and retained the lieutenant and he asserts a claim of abuse of process. The plaintiff failed to show that the Lieutenant engaged in behavior that should have put his employer on notice that he required additional training or that he was dangerous or otherwise incompetent. As for the abuse of process claim, plaintiff alleges two acts: Lieutenant’s arrest of him and the seizure of his property. The court held that the Lieutenant’s warrantless actions cannot sustain an abuse of process claim. The Court ultimately granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and denied the Plaintiff’s Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
Thurber v. Apmann 91 A.D.3d 1257 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2012)

In 2007, the plaintiff and defendant were walking their respective dogs when one of defendant's two dogs, a retired K-9 dog, attacked the plaintiff's dog. Plaintiff sued defendant for damages she received as a result. While each dog did received "handler protection" training (where a K-9 dog is trained to react to an aggressive attack on defendant while on duty), that situation had never arisen because the dogs acted in passive roles as explosive detection dogs. Plaintiff countered that the severity of the attack coupled with the dogs' breed and formal police training should have put defendant on notice of the dogs' vicious propensities. In affirming the summary judgment, this court found that the formal police training was not evidence of viciousness and there was no support to plaintiff's assertion that defendant kept the dogs as "guard dogs."

Thurston v. Carter 92 A. 295 (Maine, 1914) This action of trespass is brought for the recovery of damages for the killing of the fox hound of plaintiff by defendant.  Defendant claimed that he shot and killed the plaintiff's dog while it was chasing and worrying a cat belonging to and upon the land of the defendant. After the introduction of all the evidence, the court ordered a verdict for defendant. To this direction, plaintiff filed his bill of exceptions in which it is stipulated that if a cat is a domestic animal, the ruling below is to stand, otherwise judgment is to be entered for plaintiff in the sum of $50.
Tighe v. N. Shore Animal League Am. 36 N.Y.S.3d 500 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016)

In this New York case, the defendant appeals denial of its motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed an action to recover damages for personal injuries after the dog she adopted from defendant-North Shore Animal League America bit plaintiff's face causing severe personal injuries. Plaintiff alleges causes of action that include negligence, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and interposed a claim for punitive damages. After defendant opposed the filing, plaintiff submitted evidence that the dog previously had been returned to defendant animal shelter after biting another individual in the face. This court noted that, under long-standing rule, the owner of a domestic animal who knew or should have known of the animal's vicious propensities is liable for harm. However, here, even if defendant failed to disclose the dog's vicious propensities, that breach was not the proximate cause of plaintiff's injuries. In fact, the dog showed aggressive behavior during the three-and-a-half months the plaintiff owned the dog (including a previous bite to plaintiff's hand). This, in effect, placed the plaintiff on notice of the dog's vicious propensities. The court found that the lower court erred by not granting defendant's motion for summary judgment. With regard to the reach of the implied warranty of merchantability, the court found that even if a transaction from an animal shelter is subject to the warranty, the plaintiff failed to notify defendant of the "nonconformity of the goods" (to wit, the dog) within a reasonable period of time. The order was reversed.

Tighe v. North Shore Animal League 142 A.D.3d 607, 36 N.Y.S.3d 500 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016) In May 2012, Tighe adopted a dog from the North Shore Animal League after having been warned that the dog was possessive regarding food. After taking the dog home, Tighe noticed that the dog exhibited aggressive behavior, such as jumping at the backyard fence and growling at her when she attempted to feed the dog. In July of 2012, the dog bit Tighe’s hand when she tried to pick up a cookie off of the floor. As a result, Tighe spent three days in the hospital due to severe blood loss and swelling. Additionally, in September of 2012, the dog bit Tighe in the face causing severe injuries. After the incident in September, Tighe filed suit against the North Shore Animal League to recover damages for negligence, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court dismissed the claim of emotional distress but granted summary judgment in favor of Tighe with regard to the other claims of negligence. The North Shore Animal League appealed the lower court’s decision. Ultimately, the Supreme Court of New York overturned the lower court’s decision and granted summary judgment in favor of the North Shore Animal League on all claims. The court found that the North Shore Animal League was not a proximate cause to Tighe’s injuries for failing to adequately warn her about the dog’s aggreesive behavior because Tighe learned of the dog’s aggressive behavior three months prior to the incident that caused Tighe’s injuries. According to the court, once Tighe learned of the dog’s aggressive tendencies, she was in the best position to take “precautionary measures to prevent harm to herself.” So, even if the North Shore Animal League had failed to warn Tighe of the dog’s aggressive tendencies prior to the adoption, Tighe “independently” learned of the dog’s aggressive behavior prior to the incident which eliminated the North Shore Animal League as being a proximate cause of her injuries.
Tilbury v. State 890 S.W.2d 219 (Tex. App. 1994).

Cruelty conviction of defendant who shot and killed two domesticated dogs. Defendant knew dogs were domesticated because they lived nearby, had demeanor of pets, both wore collars, and had been previously seen by defendant.

Tilikum ex rel. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Sea World Parks & Entertainment, Inc. 842 F.Supp.2d 1259 (S.D.Cal.,2012)

Plaintiffs sued aquarium for declaratory and injunctive relief seeking a declaration that wild-captured orcas were being held in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition on slavery and involuntary servitude. The court dismissed the action, holding that Plaintiffs had no standing because the Thirteenth Amendment only applies to humans, and therefore, the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

Tiller v. State 218 Ga. App. 418 (1995)

Defendant argued that being in "possession" of neglected, suffering animals was not a crime. The court held that where a veterinarian testified that the horses were anemic and malnourished and where defendant testified that he had not purchased enough to feed them, the evidence was sufficient to authorize the jury to find defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of seven counts of cruelty to animals. The court held the trial court did not err in admitting a videotape depicting the horses' condition and that of the pasture when the horses were seized, where the videotape was relevant to the jury's consideration.

Tillett v. Bureau of Land Management Slip Copy (unpublished decision), 2016 WL 1312014 (D. Mont. Apr. 4, 2016) In this case, plaintiff (proceeding pro se) filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) challenging its management of wild horses on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR). Plaintiff filed suit challenging BLM’s fertility control and gather programs. BLM argued that plaintiff’s claims should be denied as a matter of summary judgment. The court ultimately held that plaintiff failed to provide any “legal authority” or “jurisdictional basis” for the remedies in which she was seeking. The court held that BLM was within its own authority to rely on its own data and surveys of its programs and was under no obligation to review its programs based on plaintiff’s alleged observations. Finally, the court held in favor of BLM as a matter of summary judgment.
Tilson v. Russo 30 A.D.3d 856 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2006),

In this New York case, plaintiff, an experienced recreational horse rider, was bitten by a horse she intended to use to practice her techniques at defendant's stable. The rider then  brought a negligence action against owners of horse that bit her on the shoulder. In affirming the lower court's granting of summary judgment, the appellate court found that rider's injury occurred in the context of her participation in the recreational sporting activity of horseback riding, for purposes of primary assumption of the risk principles. She was aware of the inherent risks in sporting events involving horses, had an appreciation of the nature of the risks, and voluntarily assumed those risks.

Toledo v. Tellings 871 N.E.2d 1152 (Ohio, 2007)

In this Ohio case, the defendant, who owned three pit bull type dogs, was convicted in the Municipal Court, Lucas County, of violating the Toledo city ordinance that limited ownership to only one pit bull per household. On appeal by the City, the Supreme Court found the state and the city have a legitimate interest in protecting citizens against unsafe conditions caused by pit bulls. The evidence presented in the trial court supports the conclusion that pit bulls pose a serious danger to the safety of citizens. The statutes and the city ordinance are rationally related to serve the legitimate interests of protecting Ohio and Toledo citizens.

Toledo v. Tellings - Reversed - 871 N.E.2d 1152 (Ohio, 2007) Slip Copy, 2006 WL 513946 (Ohio App. 6 Dist.), 2006-Ohio-975

Reversed - 871 N.E.2d 1152 (Ohio, 2007). In this Ohio case, defendant, who owned three pit bull type dogs, was convicted in the Municipal Court of violating city ordinance limiting ownership to only one pit bull per household, and of violating statute requiring owner of a "vicious dog" to provide liability insurance.  On appeal, the court held that the statute requiring an owner of a pit bull to provide liability insurance was unconstitutional.  Further, the statute, which provides that the ownership of a pit bull is prima facie evidence of the ownership of a vicious dog, was unconstitutional because after hearing evidence the trial court found that pit bulls as a breed are not inherently dangerous.  Thus, the court held that R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) is unconstitutional, since it has no real and substantial relationship to a legitimate state interest. 

Toney v. Glickman 101 F.3d 1236 (8th Cir., 1996) Plaintiffs were in the business of selling animals to research facilities. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found that they had committed hundreds of violations of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq. The ALH then imposed what was, to that point, the harshest sanction, $200,000, in the history of the Act. The Judicial Officer affirmed the ALJ's findings and denied the Plaintiffs' request to reopen the hearing for consideration of new evidence. While the 8th Circuit affirmed most of these findings, it held that the evidence did not support all of them. Accordingly, the court remanded the matter to the Department for redetermination of the sanction. The court also affirmed the Judicial Officer's refusal to reopen the hearing and denied the Plaintiffs' Request for Leave to Adduce Additional Evidence. The Plaintiffs were free, however, to seek leave to offer this additional evidence on remand to the extent it was relevant to the sanction.
Towers-Hammon v Burnett [2007] QDC 282

The respondent pleaded guilty to bashing several cats with an iron bar causing four deaths. The dead cats, along with one severely beaten but still alive kitten, were placed in a bag and disposed of in a charity clothing bin. On appeal, it was held that the trial judge failed to have sufficient regard to the callous nature of the respondent's actions and the respondent was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.

Town of Bethlehem v. Acker 102 A.3d 107 (Conn. App. 2014) Plaintiffs seized approximately 65 dogs from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Connecticut pursuant to a search and seizure warrant that had been issued on facts showing that the dogs, which were being kept in an uninsulated barn with an average temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit, were neglected, in violation of General Statutes § 22–329a. The trial court found that the smaller breed dogs were neglected, but found that larger breed dogs were not. On an appeal by plaintiffs and a cross appeal by defendants, the appeals court found: (1) the trial court applied the correct legal standards and properly determined that the smaller breed dogs were neglected and that the larger breed dogs were not neglected, even though all dogs were kept in a barn with an average temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit; (2) § 22–329a was not unconstitutionally vague because a person of ordinary intelligence would know that keeping smaller breed dogs in an uninsulated space with an interior temperature of approximately 30 degrees Fahrenheit would constitute neglect; (3) the trial court did not err in declining to admit the rebuttal testimony offered by the defendants; and (4) the trial court did not err in granting the plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief and properly transferred ownership of the smaller breed dogs to the town. The appellate court, however, reversed the judgment of the trial court only with respect to its dispositional order, which directed the parties to determine among themselves which dogs were smaller breed dogs and which dogs were larger breed dogs, and remanded the case for further proceedings, consistent with this opinion.
Town of Ogden v. Lavilla 185 A.D.3d 1414, 126 N.Y.S.3d 832 (2020) This matter involves an appeal of an order for euthanasia of respondent's dog. The Justice Court of the Town of Ogden found respondent's dog to be dangerous under Agriculture and Markets Law § 123 and ordered the dog to be euthanized. On appeal, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department agreed with respondent that the lower court misapprehended and misapplied the law. The court found the power to apply the most drastic measure (euthanasia) under Section 123 is reserved for aggravating circumstances, namely a serious disfigurement. The court noted that emotional trauma is not a factor in determining whether a victim has been disfigured. In addition, the language of the law is permissive, not mandatory; even with aggravating circumstances, a court may direct other measures to keep the dog contained. The court noted that the lower court repeatedly misstated the law, saying it only had two options, euthanasia or permanent confinement. As a result, this court modified the by vacating that part affirming the order of the Justice Court insofar as it directed that respondent's dog be euthanized, and remitting to the Justice Court for a determination whether petitioner established the existence of an aggravating circumstance and for the imposition of remedial measures as permitted by statute.
Town of Plainville v. Almost Home Animal Rescue & Shelter, Inc. 182 Conn. App. 55 (Conn. App. Ct., 2018) This is an appeal by the town of Plainville following the lower court's granting of defendant's motion to strike both counts of the plaintiffs' complaint. The complaint raised one count of negligence per se for defendant's failure to provide care for animals at its rescue facility. Count two centered on unjust enrichment for defendant's failure to reimburse the town for expenditures in caring for the seized animals. The facts arose in 2015 after plaintiff received numerous complaints that defendant's animal rescue was neglecting its animals. Upon visiting the rescue facility, the plaintiff observed that the conditions were unsanitary and the many animals unhealthy and in need of medical care. The plaintiff then seized 25 animals from defendant and provided care for the animals at the town's expense. Soon thereafter, plaintiffs commenced an action to determine the legal status of the animals and requiring the defendant to reimburse the town for care expenses. Prior to a trial on this matter, the parties reached a stipulation agreement that provided for adoption of the impounded animals by a third party, but contained no provision addressing reimbursement by the defendant to the town. Because there was no hearing on the merits of plaintiff's petition as to whether defendant had neglected or abused the animals for reimbursement under the anti-cruelty law, the court had no authority to order the defendant to reimburse the plaintiffs. Plaintiff then filed the instant action and the lower court held that each count failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Specifically, the court held that, with respect to count one on negligence per se under § 53–247, the statute does not impose such liability on one who violates the law. Further, unjust enrichment is only available is there is no adequate remedy at law, and another law, § 22–329a (h), provides the exclusive remedy for the damages sought by the town. On appeal here, this court held that the court properly determined that the plaintiffs were not among the intended beneficiaries of § 53–247 and that that determination alone was sufficient to strike count one. The court found "absolutely no language in the statute, however, that discusses costs regarding the care of animals subjected to acts of abuse or neglect or whether violators of § 53–247 have any obligation to compensate a municipality or other party." Thus, plaintiffs could not rely upon § 53–247 as a basis for maintaining a negligence per se case against the defendant. As to count two, the court rejected plaintiffs' unjust enrichment claim. Because the right of recovery for unjust enrichment is equitable in nature, if a statute exists that provides a remedy at law, the equitable solution is unavailable. The court found that Section 22–329a provides a remedy for a municipality seeking to recover costs expended in caring for animals seized as a result of abuse and neglect. The stipulation agreement signed and agreed to by the parties contained no provision for reimbursement and settled the matter before there was an adjudication that the animals were abused or neglected. As a result, the judgment was affirmed.
Tracey v. Solesky Not Reported in A.3d, 2012 WL 1432263 (Md.,2012)

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

Tracey v. Solesky 50 A.3d 1075 (Md., 2012)

 

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

Trager v. Thor 516 N.W.2d 69 (Mich.,1994)

In this Michigan case involving an action for damages after personal injury, the father of the dog’s owner was visiting his son's home when he agreed to supervise the dog while his son and daughter-in-law went shopping.   The n eighbor’s child was subsequently bitten by the dog, which had been put by defendant into a bedroom. This court held that the defendant, as a temporary caretaker of the dog, could not be held to the strict liability standard of an owner keeper, but could be liable under theory of negligence. Thus, a genuine issue of material fact remained as to whether the father was negligent in fulfilling his duty of care in supervising the dog, which precluded summary judgment in a negligence action.

Tran v. Bancroft 648 So.2d 314 (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,1995)

In this Florida case, a tenant's next-door neighbor, who was bitten by tenant's dog when it leaped over fence and then attacked the neighbor on property not owned by landlord, brought a personal injury suit against the landlord.  The appellate court upheld a motion of summary judgment in favor of the defendant non-owner.   The court found that t he existence of a duty in a negligence action is a question to be decided as a matter of law.  Although the so-called "dog bite" statute, section 767.04, Florida Statutes (1993) controls actions against a dog's owner, actions against a non-owner must be brought upon a theory of common law liability.  Essentially, a landlord has no duty to prevent injuries to third parties caused by a tenant's dog away from leased premises.

Tranchita v. Callahan --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2021 WL 50349 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 5, 2021) This case involves a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction by Plaintiff Tranchita against Colleen Callahan, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). In 2019, agents of the IDNR seized four coyotes Tranchita was raising at her home. After the seizure, three of the four coyotes died, and the remaining coyote, Luna, is elderly and in poor health. Tranchita seeks return of Luna from the coyote rescue center where Luna now resides. The IDNR contends that it will not release Luna until a court declares that the Plaintiff can legally possess her. By way of background, Tranchita is a wildlife exhibitor and educator who has cared for orphaned coyote pups since 2006. In 2016, Tranchita forgot to obtain another Breeder Permit and then failed to do so for the successive three years. Consequently, while she possessed a USDA Exhibitor License, she did not possess the required Illinois state licenses to keep coyotes. In 2019, Plaintiff sought relief in Illinois state court, which found that should she regain possession of Luna again, she must possess a Breeder Permit. The court did not consider whether that permit alone was sufficient or whether a Hound Running Permit is also required. Plaintiff then voluntarily dismissed her state court complaint and, four months later, filed a six-count verified complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. After that filing, Plaintiff moved for a TRO and preliminary injunction enjoining Defendants from (1) requiring her to hold a Hound Running Permit in order to keep Luna in Illinois; and (2) seizing Luna so long as Tranchita holds a current Breeder Permit. Tranchita seeks prospective declaratory and injunctive remedies that are all directed to allowing her to keep Luna in Illinois without a Hound Running Permit. The court first examined Tranchita 's likelihood of success on the merits for her five claims: her “class-of-one” equal protection claim, preemption claim, free exercise claim, procedural due process claim, and substantive due process claim. As to the first "class-of-one" claim, the court found that Tranchita's displeasure and disagreement with Defendants’ failure to enforce the Hound Running Permit requirement against other alleged violators likely does not give rise to a class-of-one claim. Further, the court found Tranchita was not likely to success on her claim asserting that the AWA preempts the IDNR's policy requiring an individual who wants to possess a coyote to obtain a Hound Running Permit. The court rejected Plaintiff's argument that hound running in Illinois constitutes an “animal fighting venture” that the AWA prohibits. Indeed, the court noted that the state definition for "hound running" includes when an authorized species "pursued with dogs in a hound running area, but not in a manner or with the intent to capture or kill.” Further, the court noted the Seventh Circuit held that Congress did not intend for the AWA to preempt or ban state legislation, like the Wildlife Code, that regulates wild animals. Tranchita also asserts that the Hound Running Permit requirement violates her rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The court found that Hound Running Permit requirement is neutral and generally applicable and is rationally related to a legitimate government interest" (i.e., regulating who can keep coyotes (and where) in that it requires an individual who wants to raise a coyote to do so on at least ten contiguous acres of land). Because the Hound Running Permit requirement appears to be supported by a rational basis, Tranchita is not likely to succeed on her Free Exercise claim. Finally, Tranchita brings claims for procedural and substantive due process violations. The court stated that, to succeed on this contention, Plaintiff must provide something that happened after April 2019 that could arguably return her property interest in Luna or provide her with a new, independent property interest in Luna. However, the court found that Plaintiff did not have a property interest in Luna at the time of the seizure because she did not have a Breeder Permit at that time. Because Tranchita has not demonstrated that she is likely to establish a protected property interest in Luna, she has failed to show that she is likely to succeed on either due process claim based on this interest. Tranchita's argument that her current Breeder Permit (issued without the concomitant Hound Running Permit by Illinois) protects her property interest also failed to persuade the court because the law states that "[n]o fur-bearing mammal breeder permits will be issued to hold, possess, or engage in the breeding and raising of striped skunks acquired after July 1, 1975, or coyotes acquired after July 1, 1978, except for coyotes that are held or possessed by a person who holds a hound running area permit under Section 3.26 of this Act." That granting of the Breeder Permit without the necessary Hound Running Permit required by law led Tranchita to her last argument: "the IDNR's custom and policy of issuing her Breeder Permits and allowing her to keep coyotes without a Hound Running Permit created an entitlement to possess a coyote based on a Breeder Permit alone." In fact, Tranchita points out that IDNR issued her a Breeder Permit on several separate occasions without requiring her to first have a Hound Running Permit while she already possessed coyotes. The court noted that a protected property interest may “arise from mutually explicit understandings," but the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating the existence of a mutually explicit understanding. Here, the Court was "skeptical" that sufficient evidence existed to demonstrate a department-wide custom or policy. In essence, the court found Tranchita had no likelihood of succeeding on the merits of the claims. The court did briefly engage in addressing the preliminary injunction factors. With regard to her claim that she will suffer irreparable harm in the form of Luna's imminent death, the court noted that the harm must be "likely" rather than just "possible." Tranchita's delay in seeking preliminary injunctive relief (four months after she withdrew her state court claims) undermines her irreparable harm argument. While the court was sympathetic and concludes that Luna's death would constitute irreparable harm to Plaintiff, it was not enough to persuade the court that death is likely absent the issuance of a TRO or injunction. Finally, on balancing the harms and public interests, the court found they do not weigh decidedly in Plaintiff's favor. Thus, the court denied Tranchita's motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction.
Tranchita v. Dep't of Nat. Res. --- N.E.3d ----, 2020 IL App (1st) 191251 (2020) Plaintiff Tomi Tranchita alleged that she cared for four abused and abandoned coyotes for 13 years. The coyotes were housed within a fully fenced-in backyard, ate appropriate food, and received medical care from a veterinarian. The Plaintiff possessed a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Class C exhibitor’s license which imposed restrictions on the licensee such as unannounced annual inspections by a veterinarian or specially trained animal expert. Plaintiff alleged that she had never been cited for any USDA violations and had passed all inspections. Plaintiff also held an Illinois state permit as a fur-bearing mammal breeder from 2011 to 2016, however, this permit lapsed after Plaintiff failed to pay the annual fee. On April 24, 2019, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) executed a search warrant on Plaintiff’s premises. The coyotes were seized during this raid. Plaintiff was told that if she did not sign a relinquishment form that the coyotes would be euthanized or confined to a small space that would end up killing them. IDNR cited Plaintiff for lacking proper permits and for several criminal violations of the Wildlife code. Three of the four coyotes ended up dying from what was believed to be distemper. Plaintiff filed suit alleging claims under the fourth and fourteenth amendments. Plaintiff also filed an emergency motion for preliminary injunctive relief arguing that the coyote’s lives were at risk if they were not returned. Plaintiff alleged that she had a protected property interest in the coyotes pursuant to her federal exhibitor license. The trial court found that Plaintiff did not have a protected property interest in the coyotes because she did not possess the proper Illinois permit at the time of the seizure. The trial court subsequently denied her motion for a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff then appealed. The Court looked to state law to determine whether Plaintiff had a property interest in the coyotes. Under the Illinois Wildlife Code, a fur-bearing mammal breeder permit is necessary in order to possess or raise a coyote. Plaintiff was in violation of Illinois law the moment her permit lapsed in 2016. This made the coyotes contraband since they were possessed in violation of Illinois’ Wildlife Code. No person is permitted to assert legal ownership or a right to possession of property that is contraband. Plaintiff argued that her federal exhibitor’s license recognized a right of property in her coyotes, however, the Court found that the mere possession of a federal exhibitor’s license does not automatically vest a property right in the permit holder. The Court ultimately affirmed the judgement of the trial court.
Trautman v. Day 273 N.W.2d 712 (N.D. 1979)

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

Travis v. Murray 977 N.Y.S.2d 621 (Sup. Ct. 2013)

A short, childless marriage ended in a custody battle over a dachshund after one spouse allegedly took the dog while the other spouse was away on a business trip. After reviewing the progression of the law in New York and in other states, the court decided to apply a “best for all concerned” standard and to give the parties a full, one-day hearing. The plaintiff’s motion to order the defendant to return the couple's dog and to be awarded “sole residential custody” of the dog was therefore granted.

Trimble v. State 848 N.E.2d 278 (Ind., 2006)

In this Indiana case, the defendant was convicted after a bench trial of cruelty to an animal and harboring a non-immunized dog. On rehearing, the court found that the evidence was sufficient to show that defendant abandoned or neglected dog left in his care, so as to support conviction for cruelty to an animal. The court held that the evidence of Butchie's starved appearance, injured leg, and frost bitten extremities was sufficient to allow the trial judge to discount Trimble's testimony and infer that Trimble was responsible for feeding and caring for Butchie, and that he failed to do so.

Trummer v. Niewisch 792 N.Y.S.2d 596 (N.Y., 2005)

A woman fell from a horse during a riding lesson when her horse was frightened.  The woman brought claims against the riding facility and riding instructor for negligence.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the Court of Appeals affirmed reasoning horses becoming frightened is an inherent risk when riding.

Tulloch v. Melnychuk 1998 CarswellAlta 573

In this case, the Plaintiff seeks damages from the Defendants for trespass to chattels. She alleged that the Defendants shot her valuable dog. The Defendants countered that they were justified in shooting the dog since it was on their land chasing and worrying their cattle contrary to the Stray Animals Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-23, Part 3. Here, the court found credible the testimony from the defendant cow-operator that the dog was chasing a lame cow to the point where the cow was exhausted. The action by plaintiff was dismissed.

Tuman v. VL GEM LLC Slip Copy, 2017 WL 781486 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 2017)

In this case, Tuman sued the owners of her apartment complex, VL GEM LLC and GEM Management Partners LLC, after the apartment complex refused to allow her to keep an emotional support dog in her apartment to help her deal with her post-traumatic stress disorder. Truman argued that she was discriminated against after she requested a “reasonable accommodation” for her disability, in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The defendants argued that Truman failed to provide sufficient medical documentation of her need for the support dog and therefore were not liable for discrimination under the FHA. The court found that Truman was able to establish a disability under FHA by showing that her PTSD “causes her to have severe anxiety and difficulties with socialization.” The court held that this satisfied the requirement under the FHA that the disability must “substantially limit one or more major life activities.” Since Truman qualified as disabled under the FHA, the court turned to whether or not she had provided the apartment complex with sufficient documentation and notice. Ultimately, the court found that Truman had provided the apartment with sufficient documentation because she provided them with a note from her doctor stipulating that Truman needed an accommodation in order to cope with her disability. Lastly, the court found that the apartment complex knew of Truman’s disability and request for an accommodation and still refused to allow her to have a dog, which resulted in a violation under the FHA. As a result, the court found for Truman. 

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