Pet Damages: Related Statutes
|Statute by category||Citation||Summary|
|AR - Damages, stock - § 23-12-909. Killed or injured animals--Rights of owner||A.C.A. § 23-12-909||This law states that any person who has a special ownership in any horses, mules, cattle, or other stock killed or wounded by any railroad trains running in this state may sue the company running the trains for the damages within 12 months of the injury.|
|CA - Damages - Injuries to animals; exemplary damages||West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 3340||
Exemplary damages may be given for injuries to animals committed in disregard of humanity either willfully or through gross negligence.
|CA - Theft - § 487e. Grand theft; dog exceeding value of $950||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 487e, 487f, 487g, 491||
These provisions of the California Penal Code deal with stealing dogs and other animals. A person who feloniously steals, takes, or carries away a dog of another where the dog's value exceeds $950 is guilty of grand theft. If the value of the dog is less than $950, it is petty theft. If a person steals or maliciously takes an animal of another for purposes of sale, medical research, slaughter, or other commercial use (or does so by fraud or false representation), he or she commits a public offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 1 year or in the state prison.
|Connecticut General Statutes 1918: Chapter 329: Section 6268||Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6268 (1918)||Section 6268 of Chapter 329 from the 1918 General Laws of Connecticut covers the unlawful injury to certain property of another. Specifically, the statute states the punishment for hurting, maiming, poisoning anther's cattle, ox, horse, and mule.|
|CT - Dog - Consolidated Dog Laws||C. G. S. A. § 14-226; § 22-327 - 367a; § 26-39 § 26-49; § 26-51; § 26-107||
These Connecticut statutes comprise the state's dog law. Among the provisions include licensing, kennel, and rabies regulations. With regard to damage by dogs, the law provides a form of strict liability that states if any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper shall be liable for such damage, except when such damage has been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog. The law also contains a unique "dogs on highway" provision that provides that any person owning or having the custody of any dog which habitually goes out on any highway and growls, bites, or snaps at, or otherwise annoys, any person or domestic animal lawfully using such highway or chases or interferes with any motor vehicle so using such highway, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor. Further, among the nuisance provisions, the law states that no person shall own or harbor a dog which is a nuisance by reason of vicious disposition or excessive barking or other disturbance. These laws also contain provisions on reporting neglected or cruelly treated animals. Finally, Connecticut has an anti-ear cropping measures that prohibits cropping by anyone who is not a registered veterinary surgeon, and who performs the operation when the dog is under an anesthetic.
|DE - Property - § 3050F. Dogs deemed personal property; theft; penalty||16 Del.C. § 3050F||
Dogs are considered personal property in Delaware.
|IA - Dog as property - 351.25. Dog as property||I. C. A. § 351.25||This Iowa statute distinguishes between licensed and unlicensed dogs. Specifically, it provides that all dogs under six months of age, and all dogs over said age and wearing a collar with a valid rabies vaccination tag attached to the collar, shall be deemed property. Dogs not provided with a rabies vaccination tag shall not be deemed property.|
|ID - Dog, property - Chapter 28. Dogs.||I.C. § 25-2807||This Idaho statute states that dogs are considered property. It further provides that no entity of state or local government may by ordinance or regulation prevent the owner of any dog from protecting it from loss by the use of an electronic locating collar.|
|IL - Service Animal - Chapter 740. Civil Liabilities.||740 I.L.C.S. 13/1 - 10||
Under this Illinois statute, a physically impaired person may bring an action for both economic and noneconomic damages against a person who steals, injures, or attacks his or her assistance animal with hazardous chemicals (provided he or she reasonably knew the guide dog was present and the chemical was hazardous). The economic damages recoverable include veterinary medical expenses, replacement costs, and temporary replacement assistance (provided by person or animal). No cause of action lies where the physically impaired person was committing a civil or criminal trespass at the time of the attack or theft.
|IN - Property - (Repealed by P.L.162-2006, SEC.49.) - Dogs as Personal Property for Taxation||I.C. 15-5-10-1 (Repealed by P.L.162-2006, SEC.49.)||Dogs are considered personal property in Indiana (repealed).|
|KY - Property - Chapter 258. Animal Control and Protection.||KRS § 258.245||This Kentucky statute provides that all licensed dogs are personal property and can thus be subject to larceny. It further states that it is unlawful (except as otherwise provided by law) for anyone, including a peace officer, to kill or attempt to kill a licensed dog.|
|MD - Pet Injuries, Damages - § 11-110. Damages for injuries or death caused to pets||MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 11-110||This Maryland statute provides that the measure of damages for tortious injury or death to a pet is the market value of the pet before the injury, or the cost of veterinary care that does not exceed $7,500.|
|MI - Statute of Limitations -Chapter 58. Limitation of Actions||M.C.L.A. 600.5805||This Michigan statute outlines the statute of limitations for injuries to persons or property. Under the statute, actions for malpractice have a two-year statute of limitation.|
|MS - Dog Theft - Chapter 17. Crimes Against Property||Miss. Code. Ann. § 97-17-51||This Mississippi Statute provides that a person commits a felonious offense by stealing, taking and carrying away any dog that is the property of another. If the person who commits the offense is indicted and convicted for stealing the dog, he or she shall be punished by a fine not more than $500, imprisonment not more than 6 months, or both, or imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than 1 year nor more than 2 years.|
|MS - Theft - § 97-17-61. Taking of animals or vehicles||Miss. Code Ann. § 97-17-61||This Mississippi statute provides that any person who takes away any livestock animal, dog, or vehicle without the consent of the owner or his or her agent, where such taking and carrying away does not amount to larceny, shall be fined, imprisoned, or both upon conviction. This statute does not apply to anyone who takes property of another believing, in good faith, that he or she has a right to do so.|
|NC - Malpractice - Chapter 90. Medicine and Allied Occupations.||N.C.G.S.A. § 90-21.12||This North Carolina statute provides the standard of health care in actions for damages for personal injury or death arising out of medical-based malpractice. Under the statute, the plaintiff must prove by the greater weight of the evidence that the health care provider’s actions fell below the standards of practice of other health care professionals similarly trained and situated in the same or similar communities.|
|ND - Damages - § 36-21-13. Exemplary damages for injuries to domestic animals||NDCC 36-21-13||This North Dakota statutes provides that exemplary damages may be applied for any wrongful injury to an animal committed willfully or by gross negligence|
|NM - Property - Chapter 77. Animals and Livestock.||NMSA 1978, § 77-1-1||Dogs, cats and domestic birds are considered personal property in New Mexico.|
|NV - Damages, pet - 41.740. Damages for which person who kills or injures pet||N.R.S. 41.740||This Nevada law provides that if a "natural person" intentionally, willfully, recklessly or negligently injures or kills the pet of another natural person, the person is liable for (a) the cost of veterinary care incurred because of the injury or death of the pet; (b) any reduction in market value of the pet caused by the injury; (c) the market value and reasonable burial expenses if the pet is killed; and (d) reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in bringing an action under this section. All the damages must not exceed $5,000 per pet. There are several exceptions under the law. A pet is defined as any domesticated dog or cat normally maintained in or near the household of its owner.|
|NV - Property - Chapter 193. General Provisions.||N. R. S. 193.021||Dogs, domestic animals and birds are considered personal property in Nevada.|
|NY - Property, theft - Chapter 69. Of the Consolidated Laws.||McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 366||This New York statute provides that it is a crime to steal dogs, defined as: removing the collar, identification tag or any other identification by which the owner may be ascertained from any dog, cat or any other domestic animal; seizing or molesting any dog, while it is being held or led by any person or while it is properly muzzled or wearing a collar with an identification tag attached, except where such action is incidental to the enforcement of some law or regulation; or transporting any dog, not lawfully in his possession, for the purpose of killing or selling such dog.|
|NY - Service Animal - Chapter 24-A. Of the Consolidated Laws.||McKinney's General Obligations Law § 11-107||Under this New York statute, a disabled person whose guide, hearing or service dog is injured due to the negligence of the owner of another dog in handling that other dog may recover damages from the owner or custodian of the non-guide guide dog. These damages include veterinarian fees, replacement or retraining costs for the guide dog, lost wages, or damages for loss of mobility during retraining or replacement of the dog.|
|OK - Property - § 1717. Dog as personal property||21 Okl. St. Ann. § 1717||Dogs are considered personal property in Oklahoma.|
|OR - Animal Definitions - Chapter 87. Statutory Liens. Liens Generally. 87.142. Definitions||O. R. S. § 87.142||This is Oregon's statutory definitions for Animal Statutes.|
|OR - Damages - 30.822. Theft of or injury to search and rescue animal or therapy animal; attorney fees||O. R. S. § 30.822||This Oregon law provides that the owner of a search and rescue animal or a therapy animal may bring an action for economic and noneconomic damages against any person who steals or, without provocation, attacks the search and rescue animal or therapy animal. The owner may also bring an action for such damages against the owner of any animal that, without provocation, attacks a search and rescue animal or therapy animal. If the animal dies as a result of the injuries sustained or the incident prevents the animal from returning to service, the measure of economic damages shall include, but need not be limited to, the replacement value of an equally trained animal, without any differentiation for the age or the experience of the animal. If the animal recovers and returns to service, the measure of economic damages shall include, but need not be limited to, the costs of temporary replacement services, veterinary medical expenses and any other costs and expenses incurred by the owner as a result of the theft of or injury to the animal.|
|OR - Property - 609.020. Dogs declared personal property||O.R.S. § 609.020||Dogs are considered personal property in Oregon.|
|TN - Expert - § 29-26-115. Burden of proof; expert witnesses||T. C. A. § 29-26-115||This Tennessee statute provides the requirements for the claimant's burden of proof under malpractice actions, including, inter alia, the proof that the defendant's actions fell below the recognized standard of acceptable professional practice in the community, proximate cause, and proof by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant's actions were negligent.|
|TN - Pet Damages - § 44-17-403. Liability for death of pet; damages; exemptions||T. C. A. § 44-17-403||This Tennessee statute provides that a pet owner may seek non-economic damages up to $5,000 for the death of his or her pet against the person who is liable for causing the death or injuries that led to the animal's death. The person causing the pet's death must have done so intentionally or, if negligently, the incident must have occurred either on the owner or pet caretaker's property or while in the control and supervision of the caretaker. These damages are not for the intentional infliction of emotional distress of the owner or other civil claim, but rather for the direct loss of "reasonably expected society, companionship, love and affection of the pet."|
|VA - Property - § 3.2-6585. Dogs and cats deemed personal property; rights relating thereto||Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6585||This Virginia statute provides that all dogs and cats shall be deemed personal property and may be the subject of larceny and malicious or unlawful trespass. It further grants authority to animal control officers to seize a stolen dog or cat pending court action.|
|WI - Cats - Question 62 - DEFEATED||Wisconsin 2005 Question 62||
This controversial measure would have allowed hunters to hunt any cat that was found free roaming, meaning it did not exhibit a collar or other signs of domestic ownership. At the Monday, April 11, 2005 meeting of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, those in favor of the feral cat hunting proposal approved the measure by a vote of 6,830 to 5,201. This approval was then forwarded to the state Natural Resources Board for consideration. Proponents of the measure suggest feral cats expose domestic animals to disease and endanger native songbirds. Opponents of the measure counter that such a law would be cruel and archaic, putting domestic cats who have escaped from their homes at risk of death. On May 25, 2005 at the Natural Resources Board regular spring meeting, a representative of the Congress indicated that the Executive Committee has declined to pursue the issue any further. (See the official meeting minutes at page 5 at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/nrboard/minutes/M05/0505%20minutes.pdf ). Feral cat advocates claimed a public relations victory, as the measure gained national and even international criticism. (See Alley Cat Allies at http://www.alleycat.org/wi.html ). (For more on the procedural history of this measure, see the "Long Summary" under the "Statute Details" above).
|WI - Dog Bite - Chapter 174. Dogs. 174.12. Actions against owners||W. S. A. 174.12||This Wisconsin statute outlines the allowance procedure by counties for damage done by dogs after a claim is filed and the county sues to recover from the owner of the damaging dog. The claimant shall first be notified that such action is contemplated and shall have been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to offer further evidence in support of the claimant's claim. It also provides that this chapter shall not in any way limit the existing right or authority of any town, village or city to pass ordinances for the keeping and regulating of dogs, or repeal or annul any existing statute or ordinance or local regulation governing the keeping and regulating of dogs.|