Pleading namesort descending Summary
Iris Lewis v. Al DiDonna, Pharmacist; James DiDonna, Pharmacist; Eckerd Drug Store of Stone Ridge, New York; Eckerd Corporation

In this case, the plaintiff brought her dog of nine years to a veterinarian and was given a prescription for an anti-inflammatory drug called Feldene to treat the dog’s condition. After the dog died of renal failure complications, plaintiff discovered that the Feldene prescription was mislabeled by the pharmacist. The Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department held that the allegations in plaintiff’s verified complaint sufficiently allege defendant’s wanton and reckless disregard of plaintiff’s rights to survive a motion to dismiss. Further, the court noted that while plaintiff did not appeal the dismissal of her cause of action for loss of companionship, the court made it clear that loss of companionship is not cognizable cause of action in the state of New York.

James S. Cable, Plaintiff v. Burrows, Defendant

This California judgment awarded no money to plaintiff on his claims.

Jon H. Hammer v. The American Kennel Club and Brittany Club of America, a/k/a The American Brittany Club, Inc.

Plaintiff, the owner of a Brittany Spaniel dog with an undocked tail, sought to enter his dog into AKC competitions. However, AKC standards stated that any tail substantially over four inches long would be "severely penalized." Plaintiff contended the practice of docking a dog’s tail (which oftentimes occurs without anesthesia or even under the proper care of a veterinarian) constituted an act of cruelty in violation of Agriculture and Markets Section 353 and was an arbitrary and capricious discriminatory standard. Plaintiff sought both declaratory relief declaring that the practice is illegal and discriminatory, and injunctive relief to enjoin the practice form being applied in New York and elsewhere.

Julie Marie Grizzel v. James William Hickey d/b/a S & S Farms; Ron Lee Omara and S & S Farms, Inc. aka S.S. Farms Linn County, I

The plaintiff in this Oregon case brought an action alleging negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the defendant, who was a licensed animal dealer. Plaintiff owned “My Girl,” a purebred cocker spaniel, whom plaintiff cared for and enclosed in a secure, fenced backyard. While My Girl was secure in her backyard, two other individuals seized her and transported her to defendant Hickey (who was known to be engaged in the business of selling animals to research laboratories).

Justice, an American Quarter Horse, by and through his Guardian, Kim MOSIMAN, Plaintiff, v. Gwendolyn VERCHER, Defendant. This Oregon complaint seeks economic and non-economic damages for Justice, an American Quarter Horse from Oregon, by and through his guardian. Justice suffered extreme pain, distress, and permanent injury due to the criminal neglect of Defendant Gwendolyn Vercher. According to the facts issued in the complaint, Defendant denied Justice adequate food and shelter for months, abandoning him to starve and freeze. As a result of this neglect, Justice was left debilitated and emaciated. Plaintiffs' attorneys plead negligence per se based on violation of Oregon's anti-cruelty statute. The attached opinion letter from Washington County Circuit Court grants defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of capacity to sue. In an issue of first impression, the court ruled that finding that a horse, or any nonhuman animal, has the capacity to sue would have "profound implications." In addition, the court found that a non-human animal lacks the capacity to "accept[] legal responsibilities." The court left it to the Oregon Legislature or the appellate court to wade into a policy debate on animal rights.
Krcmar v. Kirkland

Veterinarian abused dog, resulting in death. Veterinarian then tried to cover up his actions by improper disposal of body. This is a malpractice suit for damages. This is also a good example of "conspiracy of silence."

Larry Ciaccio, Appellant v. City of Port St. Lucie Animal Control Department, Appellee

The following documents concern the appellant's request to release his dog from the Port St. Lucie, Florida Humane Society. At the time of the petition, the dog was kept in a "quarantine" area of the shelter and had not been let out of his cage for exercise or socialization since he was seized 8 months prior. Appellant asks the court to either let him securely confine the dog at his home or board him at the Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary until the dangerous dog determination is resolved.

Lee v. Cook

Amicus Curae brief on why suit for wrongful death of a dog can include emotional damages.

Leslie Ann Mandel Will (pet trust) This document contains a link to the will of Leslie Ann Mandel. The will contains a bequest and/or trust related to her 32 pet birds for their continuing care in the amount of $100,000. The will contains specific provisions for their care, including days of the week in which the cages must be cleaned and the specific type of feed. A trustee is appointed in the will to carry out the trust created in the will.
Lockett v. Hill

Defendant's pit bulls killed plaintiff's cat while she watched. This is an appellate brief about non-economic damages.

Lucille Everette, Plaintiff v. HBPC Corporation, PS d/b/a Highland Bird & Pet Clinic, a Washington Corporation (UBI 602-374-921)

This King County, Washington order states that the appropriate measure of damages for "Tashi" is intrinsic value and not fair market or replacement value. The matter came before the court on plaintiff's motion concerning damage theories.

Malane Wilson v. City of St. Louis; Dian K. Sharma, Health Commissioner, City of St. Louis Department of Health and Hospitals; R This action concerns the release of a dog who was impounded and classified as “dangerous” without a chance for his owner to argue against the action. Plaintiff Malane Wilson filed a petition for a preliminary and permanent injunction, a petition for declaratory judgment, and a petition for replevin against the City of St. Louis and the Animal Regulation Center, among others. The subject of the petitions concerned her American Pit Bull Terrier named Max who was seized by agents of the Animal Regulation Center as an apparent “dangerous dog.” Plaintiff contends that Max’s alleged actions in killing the neighbor’s dog did not qualify under the St. Louis City Ordinance as a “dangerous dog.” Further, plaintiff was not given any legal or administrative hearing once her dog was seized, contrary to due process requirements. She also sought in her declaratory petition to have the ordinance declared illegal, void, and unconstitutional for its failure to adequately define “dangerous dog” and “potentially dangerous dog.” The Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis found that the plaintiff would suffer irreparable harm if the preliminary injunction was not granted. Thus, the City was enjoined from killing or otherwise harming Max. They were also ordered to release Max, remove his “dangerous” designation, and have him instead classified as “potentially dangerous.” The plaintiff was required to comply with enclosure and other safety requirements for Max.
Maldonado v. Fontanes

This case was initially brought after two successive raids on public housing complexes, within ten days of the Municipality of Barceloneta assuming control of the public housing complexes from the Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration on October 1, 2007. Prior to the raid, the residents, mostly Spanish-speakers, were given notice of the new "no pet policy," which were written in English. During the raids, plaintiffs' pets were seized and then killed by either being slammed against the side of a van or thrown off a 50-foot bridge. This First Circuit affirmed the denial of the Mayor's motion for qualified immunity on the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claims. However, it reversed the denial of qualified immunity to the Mayor as to the plaintiffs' Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claims and ordered those claims dismissed. Included in the pleading documents are plaintiffs' second amended complaint filed in 2007 and plaintiffs' brief filed in December 2008.

MARILYN DANTON v. ST. FRANCIS 24 HOUR ANIMAL HOSPITAL, P.C. a Washington professional services corporation (UBI 602-029-072); an

This document contains the court's instructions to the jury in the Danton v. St. Francis case that concerned the escape of a companion animal (cat) from defendant animal hospital. The cat was being boarded at the hospital at the time it escaped.

MARILYN DANTON v. ST. FRANCIS 24 HOUR ANIMAL HOSPITAL, P.C. a Washington professional services corporation (UBI 602-029-072); an This Washington case involves plaintiff's suit against defendant animal hospital for the escape of her cat while the cat was being boarded at the hospital. Plaintiff sued for simple negligence with a presumption of res ipsa loquitur and breach of bailment contract. With regard to damages, plaintiff pleads intrinsic value of "Moochie," which includes as component the emotional distress suffered by plaintiff. Following a six-person jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff on her negligence and breach of contract claims in a total amount of $2,500.00
Mary Grace Long, plaintiff v. Miles R. Lewis and Darnell Webb, defendants

This King County, Washington case concerns the appropriate measure of damages for the loss of plaintiff's cat. The court granted plaintiff's motion, finding that damages can include intrinsic value and loss of use. While "loss of companionship" may be the subject of testimony and argument, the court stated that it may not be a "line item" measure of damages.

Medeiros v. Lloyd The Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine had sanctioned Dr. Lloyd for improper treatment of a dog, "Pooch," for heartworms. This is a suit for damages against Dr. Lloyd. The briefs are drafted by none other than one of the best-known names in Animal Law, Steven M. Wise.
MICHAEL SEAGRAVE, plaintiff v. MICHAEL ATZET, and DOES 1-20 inclusive, defendant This California complaint arose from the shooting of plaintiff's golden retriever dog. Plaintiff's dog was secure in the backyard which was bordered by a fence. According to the complaint, defendant intentionally used a high-powered pellet rifle and shot the dog by positioning the rifle over or through the fence. This injury resulted in plaintiff's dog's death. The complaint raised three causes of action: (1) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (2) conversion; and (3) violation of California Civil Code of Procedure Section 3340 (related to damages to animals).
N.E. GA. PET RESCUE, INC. and DONALD L. GILBERT, plaintiffs v. ELBERT COUNTY, defendant

In this Georgia case, plaintiff ran a pet rescue out of his home. Defendant Elbert County enacted an ordinance effective in October 2005 that requires every owner or custodian of more than 15 dogs to obtain a kennel license from the Elbert County Animal Control Department. To obtain this license, the applicant must be ". . . accompanied by a written statement signed by the head of household of each residence located within 1,200 feet of the kennel or proposed location of the kennel, stating that said resident does not object to the location and operation of a kennel at said location or proposed location." Plaintiff was unable to obtain these signed statements. He then challenged the ordinance as unconstitutional and unenforceable because it conditions the granting of a license upon the completely arbitrary and subjective approval of neighbors and uses an unconstitutionally vague term ("head of household"). In the consent agreement between the parties, Elbert County agreed to stay enforcement of the ordinance and give plaintiff sufficient notice to again file injunctive relief if it chooses to amend the ordinance.

Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Assoc.

Neighborhood Association had covenants against pets. Woman had two cats (against rules) and was charge large fines for having them. She challenged the validity of the rule, as well as the method of enforcement.

Naruto v. Slater (PETA) This complaint addresses what has come to be known as the "Monkey Selfie" case. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. (PETA) and Antje Engelhardt, Ph.D., as Plaintiff's next friends, filed this lawsuit on behalf of Plaintiff Naruto, a six-year-old male member of the Macaca nigra species (also known as a crested macaque) who lives in the Tangkoko Reserve on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. In 2011, Naruto took a number of photographs of himself, including one that became famous as the “Monkey Selfie.” In 2014, Defendant Slater and Defendant Blurb, Inc. published and sold a book in the United States that contained copies of the Monkey Selfies and stated in that book that Slater and Defendant Wildlife Personalities, Ltd. are the copyright owners of the Monkey Selfies. In this complaint, PETA contends that the Monkey Selfies "resulted from a series of purposeful and voluntary actions by Naruto, unaided by Slater, resulting in original works of authorship not by Slater, but by Naruto." Thus, according to PETA, Naruto has rights to the Monkey Selfies and owns that copyright. PETA observes that "while the claim of authorship by species other than homo sapiens may be novel, 'authorship' under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., is sufficiently broad so as to permit the protections of the law to extend to any original work, including those created by Naruto." As a result, PETA argues that Naruto should be afforded the protection of a claim of ownership, and the right to recover damages and other relief for copyright infringement. PETA also seeks to enjoin and restrain Defendants from copying, licensing, or distributing the Monkey Selfies and claims damages on behalf of Naruto for the unauthorized use of the pictures.
Ortega Administrative Hearing This is a trial brief for an administrative hearing to determine whether dog, "Rocky," was "vicious" or "dangerous." Rocky was normally a very friendly dog.
People of the State of New York v. Mary Dawn Sitors This action is an appeal from dismissal of criminal charges against a woman accused of acts of cruelty on her horses. The Town Court dismissed the criminal charges, finding that since the Catskill Animal Sanctuary's petition seeking the posting of security to care for the horses was dismissed (which had a lower standard of proof than in a criminal action), this necessarily meant it would be impossible to obtain a criminal conviction under the higher standard. Essentially, the Town Court's decision reflected a determination that one cannot violate New York's state cruelty law unless the animal dies due to lack of sustenance or care. The County Court found this reasoning erroneous; a violation under the law occurs when one fails to provide necessary sustenance, not only those acts or omissions that result in an animal's death. The criminal actions were thus, reinstated against defendant.
Pete Mansour v. King County, a municipal corporation; King County Animal Control; King County Licensing and Regulatory Services In this Washington case, Division One of the Washington Court of Appeals reversed a King County Animal Control decision declaring a dog vicious and ordering her removed from the county. This decision overrides the practice of a dog being presumed guilty until proven innocent in that county. The court found that for Mansour or any other pet owner to prove effectively present his or her case and rebut the evidence against him or her, due process requires that he or she be able to subpoena witnesses and present records. Mr. Mansour was prejudiced in his case because he was not allowed to do so and was not given sufficient notice for the hearing.
Phillips v. Department Appellant Reply Brief In their reply brief, Appellants argue respondents' reliance on Simpson v. City of Los Angeles is misplaced. They also argued due process protection applies to all property and that respondents' claims are unsubstantiated.
Phillips v. San Luis Obispo County Dept.

These are detailed briefs on why an administrative hearing is required before a "dangerous" dog is euthanized.

Putnam County Humane Society v. Marjorie Duso d/b/a/ Oakwood Kennels, Putnam County Florida

The Putnam County (Florida) Humane Society brought an action seeking permanent custody of 41 dogs from Marjorie Duso, the operator of a kennel. The PCHS is a not-for-profit corporation that is devoted to the prevention of cruelty to animals pursuant to Florida law. Under that authority, the PCHS seized and took custody of the dogs after an investigation led to the discovery of neglect and mistreatment of the dogs at the kennel. The PCHS seized and took custody of the dogs after an investigation led to the discovery of neglect and mistreatment of the dogs at the kennel. The Putnam County Court granted the PCHS custody of the dogs (except for Ms. Duso’s personal pet dog, which the PCHS was given the right to check on at least once a month). Further, the court enjoined Ms. Duso from owning, possessing, or breeding dogs except those kept as personal pets.

Ray and Marie Powers v. Wesley and Mary Tincher

While plaintiff’s complaint and demand focus on the threats and alleged actions of trespass by defendants, the Common Pleas Court’s decision focuses instead on the defendant’s request for injunctive relief based on a nuisance violation. Specifically, defendants apparently alleged that plaintiff’s keeping of over one hundred roosters constituted a private nuisance. Relying on a case of similar facts, the court held that plaintiffs’ keeping of over one hundred roosters for the purpose of cockfighting constituted a private nuisance.

Richard B. Rappaport v. Max E. McElroy, D.V.M., Sherwood Veterinary Clinic, Inc. and Does 1 through 30, Inclusive

In this California case, plaintiff sued a veterinarian for giving his exotic pet (a Serval cat), a flea treatment known to be toxic to cats. The veterinary malpractice action focused on defendant’s negligence in failing to exercise a reasonable level of knowledge and skill ordinarily possessed by others practicing veterinary medicine. In fact, plaintiff contended that it is well known in the field and indicated by the manufacturer of Spotton, that the drug should not be used on felines. Plaintiff prayed for damages in the amount of $25,000, which included lost wages, the commercial value of the cat, and loss of companionship, among other things.

Robert Zauper, Plaintiff v. Michael Lababit and Jane Doe Lababit, and the marital community comprised thereof; and Does 1-10, De

This Kitsap County, Washington judgment summary, findings of fact, and conclusions of law found defendants liable for five claims including simple negligence, strict liability, private nuisance, public nuisance, and gross negligence. In the award of damages, plaintiff received a total judgment in the amount of $75,501.09, which included $50,000 for intrinsic value and $25,000 for emotional distress.

Ronald Hane and Laurie Simerson, plaintiffs v. Maurice James and Mary James, defendants

This is a copy of a Washington arbitration award that awarded general and special damages.

Sample California Criminal Protection Order for Domestic Violence

On January 1, 2009, this new protective order will be in effect in the State of California. This revised protective order includes Section 5, "For good cause shown, the court grants the protected persons named above the exclusive care, possession, and control of the following animals."

Sample Voir Dire Questions -- Horse Neglect Case, Noah's Arc Case

These are some sample voir dire questions. One from a horse neglect case; one is from the "Noah's Arc Case."

Sarah, Keeli, Ivy, Sheba, Darrell, Harper, Emma, Rain, Ulysses, Henry Melvyn Richardson, Stephany Harris, and Klaree Boose, plai In this case, plaintiffs are non-human primates and humans interested in their welfare. The primates were formerly part of a research program run at Ohio State University for cognition research (the OSU Chimpanzee Cognition Center). After funding ran out, OSU sold the chimpanzees to Primarily Primates Inc. (“PPI”), who held themselves out to be non-profit that acts a sanctuary for retiring animals. However, plaintiffs allege that the conditions in which the chimpanzees were housed were inadequate and proper care was not provided to the primates (several of the animals died in transit and at the facility). Plaintiffs sued for breach of contract or, in the alternative, a declaratory judgment that would transfer the animals to a new sanctuary because defendants’ actions are unlawful under Texas laws. Plaintiffs also sought a temporary restraining order that would allow a team of independent caretakers and veterinarians to assess the current conditions at PPI and prevent them from accepting any new primates, among other things.
Sharon Shumate v. Cecile Mouraux, an individual; Jean-Pierre Mouraux, an individual; both doing business as Happy Pets Inn, and In this California case, the plaintiff sought damages after her companion, a nine-year-old purebred cocker spaniel, suffered terminal injuries after staying at a “dog spa.” The defendants marketed their pet boarding facility in the brochures given to plaintiff as one that would provide “personal care in a secure atmosphere.” After plaintiff’s dog spent a visit at defendants’ facility, she noticed that Daisy was behaving abnormally, crouching low to the ground and apparently cowering. Shortly thereafter, plaintiff then observed the dog whimpering in pain with bloody stools and a slow, lethargic demeanor. Upon bringing the dog in for a veterinary examination, the veterinarian determined that the dog had suffered multiple broken ribs. The dog later died and a necropsy revealed the dog had twelve broken ribs, a torn liver, and brain swelling caused by severe trauma. In a phone call to defendants, the defendants denied any wrongdoing saying that nothing could have happened to Daisy while at the Happy Pets Inn. Plaintiff’s causes of action focused on negligence claims, arguing that Daisy’s injuries could not have occurred without negligence by someone and that she was in the exclusive control of defendants when they occurred. (Plaintiff also raised a violation of business practices claim under California code.) What is significant about this complaint is that it raises a modified res ipsa loquitur argument in a bailment action. It also contends that an exculpatory waiver in such a business relationship was unlawful.
Shelby PROIE; Karen Munro; Patricia Sykes; Animal Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit corporation; and People for the Ethical Treat

This case challenges a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service to exclude from the listing of the Southern Resident killer whale population all captive members of that population and their progeny. By excluding the captive members from the endangered species list under the Endangered Species Act, plaintiffs contend that NMFS has failed to protect these animals from being harmed, harassed, and even killed, as otherwise prohibited under the ESA, and has acted in a manner that is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law, within the meaning of the APA.

Sheldon Park Tenants v. ACHA The Allegheny Public Housing Authority decided to enforce it's "no pets" rule after years of unenforcement. This is a brief in arbitration. The tenants won. Includes a very interesting discussion of depression as a disability.
Stephanski v. Wimpy Complaint against a vet. for malpractice. Plaintiff's dog died after it was neutered. Plaintiff sought non-economic damages.
Susan, Russell and Mary Phillips v. San Luis Obispo County Department of Animal Regulation In this petition for a rehearing, respondents argued that the appellate court's decision (Phillips v. Department, 183 Cal.App.3d 372 (1986)) misstates crucial facts concerning the operation of the subject ordinance; that hearings required under the Atascadero ordinances apply to all dogs, not just strays; and that the appellate court may have been misled in its decision to conclude that no notice had been required.
Terrence Ing v. American Airlines, a corporation doing business in the State of California; and DOES 1 through 20, inclusive

This California complaint arose from the death of plaintiff's dog while in American Airlines' care. The dog flew from New York to San Francisco in the cargo area. Upon arrival, the dog was alive, but in physical distress. Plaintiff raised eleven causes of action, including gross negligence, conversion, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among others.


The Fund for Animals and individuals dedicated to protecting animals brought an action against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) challenging its implementation of its restoration strategy for wild horses and burros on public lands. The approved budget request made by the BLM, which contained outlines of the reinvigorated wild horses and burros program and set broad goals and strategies, was not an “agency action” subject to review. Finally, plaintiffs request for a permanent injunction, to prevent BLM from carrying out specified removal actions, was moot because the “gathers” have already occurred and what happens in the future is based on unknown variables.

The Humane Society of the United States, et al v. Mike Johanns, et al

Before the Court is Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and for a Preliminary Injunction, and Request for a Hearing requesting that the Court, “temporarily and preliminarily enjoi[n] and declar[e] unlawful a Final Rule just promulgated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) that creates a “fee-for-service” inspection system designed to facilitate the continued transport and slaughter of American horses for human consumption abroad.” In an memorandum opinion, the court denied plaintiff's motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction because it found that plaintiffs do not demonstrate the factors necessary for the court to issue a preliminary injunction.

The Humane Society of the United States, Plaintiff v., Inc., JOHN DOE d/b/a UNDERGROUND, PITBULL BREEDERS ASSOCIATION The Plaintiff The Humane Society of the United States filed this complaint alleging unlawful trade practices pursuant to the Consumer Protection Procedures Act (“CPPA”), D.C. CODE ANN. § 28-3904. This action for statutory penalties and appropriate injunctive relief arises from Defendants’ purposeful marketing, sale, and shipment of graphic dog fighting videos and cockfighting magazines in violation of federal criminal prohibitions and District of Columbia animal welfare laws. The videos and magazines depict and/or describe actual animal cruelty, as well as animal fights staged for the purposes of: (1) producing and selling more copies of the videos for commercial gain; and (2) unlawfully promoting the criminal enterprises of dog fighting and cockfighting. In particular, the magazines contain hundreds of criminal solicitations and feature advertisements for fighting birds, fighting dogs, and other contraband that render them unlawful under the following statutory schemes: federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. § 2132 et seq .; the federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 48; the D.C. Cruelty to Animals Statute, D.C. CODE ANN. §§ 22-1015(a)(1), (a)(5); the federal conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371; and the D.C. conspiracy law, D.C. CODE ANN. § 22-1805a(a).
The Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. on behalf of Tommy, Petitioners, v. Patrick C. Lavery, individually and as an officer of Circl

This set of pleadings is from the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP). The NhRP filed the first-ever lawsuit on behalf of captive chimpanzees in New York. The suit includes a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, demanding that the chimps be released from private captivity to a sanctuary that is part of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA). In 2014, the petitioners sought review at the New York Court of Appeals.

Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises, Plaintiffs, by their Next Friends, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc In this case of first impression, five wild-captured orcas named Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”), seek a declaration that they are held by the Defendants in violation of Section One of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude. Plaintiffs were forcibly taken from their families and natural habitats, are held captive at SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld Orlando, denied everything that is natural to them, subjected to artificial insemination or sperm collection to breed performers for Defendants’ shows, and forced to perform, all for Defendants’ profit. As such, Plaintiffs are held in slavery and involuntary servitude. Plaintiffs also seek an injunction freeing them from Defendants’ bondage and placing them in a habitat suited to their individual needs and best interests.
Tracy Skaggs and James David Hardin and Mark Skaggs v. Wal-Mart Stores East, Inc. and 21st Century Pets

This case involves a suit by a dog owner against Wal-Mart and 21st Century Pets after an indoor pet boundary fence and transmitter caused fatal injuries to plaintiff’s dog. The Plaintiff alleged that the product was so defective as to create causes of action based on strict liability, negligence, breach of implied and express warranties, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. The Jefferson County Court held that the “fair market value standard falls far short of fair compensation for the loss of a companion animal.” The court agreed that the household goods exception, well-recognized under Kentucky law, was an example of the extension of damages for property beyond fair market value.

United States Humane Society v. Ed Schafer Secretary US Department of Agriculture This complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief challenges a USDA regulation that fails to prohibit all non-ambulatory ("downed") cattle - those too injured or sick to stand and walk - from being slaughtered for human consumption, even though Defendants have been telling the public for years that all such animals are in fact excluded from the human food supply. Specifically, plaintiff seeks a declaration that the USDA's final rule is arbitrary and capricious; seeks to remand the final rule for new rulemaking to close the downed cattle loophole; and seeks to preliminary and permanently enjoin defendants from allowing downed cattle to be slaughtered for human consumption.
UNITED STATES of America v. Robert J. v. STEVENS, Appellant

The Third Circuit held that 18 U.S.C. § 48, the federal law that criminalizes depictions of animal cruelty, is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. This brief supports the United States' petition for certiorari. Cert. was granted in April of 2009 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

UNITED STATES of America v. Robert J. v. STEVENS, Appellant

The Third Circuit held that 18 U.S.C. § 48, the federal law that criminalizes depictions of animal cruelty, is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The defendant was convicted after investigators arranged to buy three dogfighting videos from defendant in sting operation. Because the statute addresses a content-based regulation on speech, the court considered whether the statute survived a strict scrutiny test. The majority found that the conduct at issue in § 48 does not give rise to a sufficient compelling interest. Cert. was granted in April of 2009 by the U.S. Supreme Court.


The Third Circuit held that 18 U.S.C. § 48, the federal law that criminalizes depictions of animal cruelty, is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. This brief by Stevens opposes the United States' petition for certiorari. Cert. was granted in April of 2009 by the U.S. Supreme Court.