North Carolina

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Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Woodley

In this North Carolina Case, Barbara and Robert Woodley (defendants) appeal from an injunction forfeiting all rights in the animals possessed by defendants and the removal of the animals from defendants' control, and an order granting temporary custody of the animals to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. On 23 December 2004, plaintiff filed a complaint against defendants seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions under North Carolina's Civil Remedy for Protection of Animals statute (Section 19A). N.C. Gen.Stat. § 19A-1 et seq. (2005). Plaintiff alleged that defendants abused and neglected a large number of dogs (as well as some birds) in their possession. On appeal, defendants argue that Section 19A is unconstitutional in that it purports to grant standing to persons who have suffered no injury, and that it violates Article IV, Section 13 of the N.C. Constitution by granting standing through statute. The court held that Article IV, Section 13 merely “abolished the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity," rather than placing limitations on the legislature's ability to create actions by statute, contrary to defendants' interpretation.

Animal Legal Defense Fund, Wake County, A North Carolina Body Politic and Kelli Ferris, D.V.M., Plaintiffs v. Janie Conyers, Def Plaintiffs in this case consist of the Wake County Animal Care, Control, and Adoption Center and the local chapter of the ALDF. They seek preliminary and permanent injunctions pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. Secs. 19A-1 through 19A-4 against Defendant Janie Conyers, who was found to have 106 animals living in her house under deplorable conditions. Specifically, plaintiffs seek to enjoin Defendant from acquiring any animals for 10 years after entry of judgment in this action. Plaintiffs also moved for an order pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 19A-4 terminating all possessory interests in the animals seized and awarding custody and possessory rights to the ALDF. Most of the animals suffer from severe chronic oral and skin conditions due to neglect. Included in the documents are affidavits from veterinary professionals and the director of Wake County Animal, Care, Control, and Adoption Center concerning both the conditions of the animals seized and the estimated costs of care for those animals during the pendency of the litigation.
Branks v. Kern

In this negligence action, a cat owner brought suit against veterinarian and veterinary clinic after she was bitten by her own cat while the cat was receiving treatment by the veterinarian. At issue, is whether the veterinarian owed a duty to the cat owner to exercise reasonable care in preventing the cat from harming the owner while the cat was being treated.  In review of the lower court’s grant of motion for summary judgment, the Court of Appeals held that substantial issues of material fact existed to preclude the grant of summary judgment. However, this was overturned on appeal at the Supreme Court. (



Branks v. Kern (On Appeal) 

 359 S.E.2d 780 (N.C.,1987)).

Branks v. Kern (On Appeal)

On grant of appeal from

Branks v. Kern

, 348 S.E.2d 815 (N.C. 1986).  Cat owner brought negligence action against veterinarian and veterinary clinic after her hand was bitten while she held her own cat during a catheterization procedure. In reversing the Court of Appeals decision (348 S.E.2d 815 (N.C. App. 1986)), the Supreme Court held that defendants in the instant case have met their burden of showing that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law where the evidence showed that the danger was obvious to plaintiff and defendants only owed plaintiff a duty to exercise ordinary care.

Clark v. Cardinal Animal Care This is a complaint for veterinary malpractice. The cat had been checked in for a routine flea treatment. The cat ended up with a severe problem, which the veterinarian lied to the owner about. The veterinarian performed an unauthorized surgery on the cat. The cat died.
Detailed Discussion of North Carolina Great Apes Laws The following article discusses Great Ape law in North Carolina. While the state of North Carolina does not prohibit the possession of great apes, the law does allow cities and counties to regulate possession of dangerous animals by law.North Carolina also indirectly regulates the possession of great apes by reference to the federal endangered species list. In addition, the state declares the unlawful sale, possession for sale, or buying of any wildlife a Class 2 misdemeanor. Like other states, North Carolina does not define great apes as “endangered,” either under its own endangered species law or accompanying regulations. Instead, it covers great apes by reference to federal law. Great apes are also covered under the state’s anti-cruelty law. Still, the law contains a number of exempt categories.
Hair v. Quail Corners Animal Hospital

Standard veterinary malpractice case for a show dog. Includes Interrogatories. Veterinarian negligently treated show dog after she was shot by a hunter. In addition, another vet then left a needle inside the dog. Vets failed to take the needle out, causing the dog's death.

Harris v. Barefoot

A mail carrier was attacked by two dogs, and sued the dogs’ owners for negligence. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the defendants, holding that a dog owner is not liable unless there is evidence that the dog had a vicious propensity and that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous.

Holcomb v. Colonial Associates, L.L.C.

This North Carolina case involves the issue of whether a landlord can be held liable for negligence when his tenant's dogs injure a third party where a landlord has agreed by contract to remove "undesirable" dogs.  Under the terms of the lease, the tenant, Olson, could keep one Rottweiler dog on the property.  It was also stipulated that the landlord could require removal of any "undesirable" pets with 48-hour's notice.  The dogs in the instant action attacked a contractor who was making an estimate on some of the rental homes, and, according to testimony, had committed two prior attacks.  The court concluded that the Court of Appeals erred, in that the plaintiff was not required to show Colonial was an owner or keeper of the dogs in order to show Colonial was negligent; that requirement is limited only to strict liability actions.  As a result, the court found Colonial failed to use ordinary care by failing to require the defendant Olson to restrain his Rottweiler dogs, or remove them from the premises when the defendant knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, from the dogs' past conduct, that they were likely, if not restrained, to do an act from which a reasonable person could foresee.  Of particular importance to the court, was the lease provision, which the court felt contractually obligated the landlord to retain control over defendant's dogs. 

Jones v. Craddock

The plaintiff in

Jones v. Craddock

, 210 N.C. 429 (N.C. 1936), brought a cause of action for negligent injury to her dog. In this case of first impression, the court embraced, “. . . the modern view that ordinarily dogs constitute a species of property, subject to all the incidents of chattel and valuable domestic animals.” The court determined that plaintiff was entitled to a cause of action for negligence since defendant could have avoided running over plaintiff’s companion animal with a slight turn.