Texas Appeals Court rules in favor of family suing to recover sentimental value of dog
The story revolves around a family and their dog Avery. Avery was a Labrador mix breed and had been in the family since he was a puppy, about eight years. Avery escaped one day and ran off and was captured and taken to the local animal shelter.
When the family went looking for him they discovered him at the shelter the very next day and notified them they were coming to pick him up. According to the Fort Worth animal shelter, due to a series of mistakes, the dog was euthanized. It is unclear from reading different accounts of the story if this all happened in the same day. I don't believe most shelters will put down a dog after only one or two days. Also why didn't the dog have a collar with its name and other identifying information on it to enable the shelter to find the owner?
While I tend to agree with the court ruling that pets are worth more than their "replacement or market value", I do believe that some of the blame in this case squarely falls on the pet's owners.
This will be an interesting case to watch as it makes it way up through the federal court system. It could impact more than just lawsuits at shelters. You may see your vet bills go up as veterinarians have to increase their liability insurance coverage (much like doctors and hospitals today) and pass those additional costs on to you. This could also have an impact on government run shelters if they see an additional risk in running a shelter. Watch for the city attorney to take the position that the case should be dismissed based on governmental immunity.
We'll continue to watch this one and keep everyone up to date on the progress.
What do you think about suing if this happened to your pet?