A Texas appeals court Judge ruled that a family mourning the loss of their beloved dog had the right to sue for damages. According to the Houston Chronicle, the court reinstated a lawsuit against an animal shelter that mistakenly killed their dog. A lower court had dismissed the case, ruling that the pet’s parents could only collect damages for the market value of their dog. The family appealed the first court’s ruling and had their case heard by the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, Texas.
The case stemmed from an incident in 2009 when a Texas family’s dog was picked up erroneously by animal control. Through several blunders the animal shelter accidentally put the dog to sleep.
In the court’s 11 page legal opinion the judge 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.”
This lawsuit sets a precedent for future civil cases involving the accidental or intentional death or the infliction of injuries upon a pet. Sentimental damages can now be recovered by the pet’s owners, although the lawsuit did not specify the amount of monetary damages sought.
A major battle has just been won in the fight to grant animals greater rights in society. In recognition of the good deeds undertaken by animal activists we have compiled our top picks for the best pet charity helping vulnerable pets find good homes. Members of the Pet Boogie community are invited to download our free dog iPhone app to learn about the unique traits of over 400 dog breeds.