[photo credit] Many pet parents today are opting for indoor dog houses instead of a cold, outdoor shed to house their furry friends. Indoor dog houses have some benefits over using a crate in the house. For one, they can … Continue reading
In Fort Worth, Texas, a dog who was wrongly euthanized changed the face of the law for all dogs: thanks to a new court ruling, families can sue for the sentimental value of their pets. In a revolutionary change, the court stated that:
Dogs are unconditionally devoted to their owners. Today, we interpret timeworn supreme court law in light of subsequent supreme court law to acknowledge that the special value of ‘man‘s best friend’ should be protected.
The court also states that:
Because of the special position pets hold in their family, we see no reason why existing law should not be interpreted to allow recovery in the loss of a pet at least to the same extent as any other personal property.
Changes to the law, which previously viewed pets as market value only, not unlike a car or sofa, gives more legal power to dogs. Now, dogs will be seen as worth their true value. Pet parents to Avery, the eight-year-old dog who was wrongly euthanized, could sue for the intrinsic value of the pet. Opposition to this court ruling claims that there is no way to put a monetary value on a family friend, and that this will cause problems for the veterinary world and animal rescue workers. Some power animal-based groups, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Kennel Club, The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Animal Health Institute, American Pet Products Association, and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, are against the ruling and want the courts to reconsider their position.
Adrian Hochstadt of the American Veterinary Medical Association states that “if this becomes the law of the land, it will lead to higher costs to own a pet, disproportionally hurting middle-class and low-income pet owners.” Some may find it surprising that these animal advocate groups are against the court ruling, especially since they should have pets’ best interest at heart. In any case, it will be interesting to see where this legislation takes pet owners in Texas.