Pets-Property Law Tested Again This Time in Texas


Could be worthless in $$ value,  but if killed, worth $250,000?

Our prediction: Court will NOT agree with ARs case. NO emotional distress damages. Zero.

SI Exif

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — They say all dogs go to heaven. But if they get there before their time, should someone pay up?

The Texas Supreme Court began mulling Thursday whether grieving dog owners should be able to sue for the “emotional value” of man’s best friend. It comes after a Fort Worth animal shelter mistakenly euthanized a beloved — but essentially worthless, in terms of actual market value — family Labrador retriever named Avery who ran away from home in 2009.

Lining up in opposition are skittish veterinarians who say letting juries somehow calculate sentimental payouts would set a costly precedent that would ripple nationwide. Justices on Texas’ highest civil court appeared skeptical, too, at times of whether dogs should be granted an emotional price tag that humans in many scenarios aren’t even afforded under state law.

“Where do we draw the line?” Justice Jeffrey S. Boyd asked from the bench. “Cats? Fish? Birds?”


PD:  That is correct, how about ants, mosquitos, tics and anything alive that ARs could claim they are attached to, in love with, live for, want to keep alive, don’t want to kill, anything that breathes somehow and is alive and could be kept in a jar? Bees in a colony?  A backyard? Inside in a bugkeeper container? Why could all these things not be pets to AR people? They are alive and they could be pets if one wanted to have them as a pet. Vertebrae or no vertabrae.

—->We can just see ARs start to draft the new laws that would include pet sitters (“I have an emotional attachment to all my animals I babysit), vets (“I have an extreme attachment to my client’s pets) Rescue groups (“We have an extreme emotional BOND to all of our adopted animals and now I can’t sleep”) Shelter workers (“We have an ongoing emotional attachment to every animal we feed and kill”) Animal Trainers/zoo tender (“We all have extreme attachment to every single creature we see in the zoo year after year”)  Just recall, the 10yr case (yes–TEN years)  against the circus by ARs, where ARs LOST their saga to find that their PAID Plaintiff (shill) has resulted in RACKETEERING claims against the ARs where ASPCA (the national “non profit”) already gave up and paid $9.3 million to the circus rather than to be legally found guilty of RACKETEERING, which they would have been found guilty–not doubt?

—-> APHIS alleged ‘puppy mill’ inspectors (“We are very emotionally attached to any seized animals we bring in, especially when HSUS gives us the tip off that caused us to raid the owners and let the rescues take the animals for free”)  Chicken farm inspectors (“Oh you would not believe the emotional attachment we have for those poor liddle chickie-poos that we see day after day!”)  The list would be an endless train of bad law after bad law, after bad law.  As if we don’t have enough of this crap already? We know “extreme” and we know ARs ARE extreme, period.


The court isn’t expected to issue a ruling for several weeks.

Dogs are property under Texas law. Steal your neighbor’s cocker spaniel, and you’ll be jailed for theft. But Jeremy and Kathryn Medlen, Avery’s owners, believe dogs deserve the same standing the law gives to truly irreplaceable objects — say a great-grandmother’s wedding ring, or an old family photograph destroyed in a fire.

Juries in Texas are allowed to weigh sentimental value when it comes to that kind of one-of-a-kind, cherished property. So the Meldens asked: Why aren’t dogs and their loyal, loving and faithful companionship classified the same?   “We’re asking dogs to be treated like all other property,” Randall Turner, the family’s attorney, told the court.

From the start, justices of the nine-member panel peppered Turner with questions and wild hypotheticals, resulting in stifled laughs from the courtroom gallery more than once.

Justice Don Willett asked where a stuffed dog might fall under this new standard.

He later painted a difference scenario: a twin sister walking a dog down the street when both are run over by a distracted driver barreling around the curve while texting. Under the law, damages for mental anguish can be collected only for the death of a parent, spouse or child.

So wouldn’t it be strange, Willett asked, for the surviving sister to collect money for the dog, but not her twin?

PD:  NOW this is what we call ACTUAL LEGAL THINKING. This is why ARs should NOT make laws, mostly because they hire lawyers who will bring forward idiotic and asinine stupid crap like whales have constitutional RIGHTS.

“It might seem strange. But not really,” Turner responded. “Let’s change the hypothetical and say that instead of walking her dog, she’s carrying a family heirloom. And there’s a collision, the sister is killed, and also the cherished family heirloom is destroyed. Well, under existing Texas law handed down by this court, there is no dispute she couldn’t recover a wrongful death case for (her) sister, but she could for the sentimental value of the heirloom. That would be a strange result, but that’s the law.”

PD:  YES it may be a strange “result” for property recovery, BUT it does not reward the property loss by taking away from the loss of a person, because the law never allowed recovery for the “sister” because she was not a parent, spouse, or child. The ANIMAL recovery–by changing the law, would cause the ANIMAL to equate with the “parent, spouse or child”–while the animal is only property.  

Although the majority of people understand this reality–ARs believe the ANIMAL is NOT actually property, so to try and make the animal either into PROPERTY that can be deemed qualified for “emotional” loss, ARs then try to change laws to MAKE the animal into something other than plain property.  Once that is done (if at all) it then opens the Pandora’s box into an endless stream of laws, case precedent, and a never ending stream of “loss of emotional comfort” lawsuits for every animal alive in the United States.

John Cayce, an attorney for the shelter worker named in the lawsuit, argued that a victory for the Medlens would result in skyrocketing insurance premiums for veterinarians terrified of being sued.

He also said that sentient beings aren’t like any other irreplaceable family memorabilia.

“Humans don’t bond to heirlooms,” Cayce said. “They bond to pets.”

The Medlen family did not attend the hearing. Their dog was mistakenly euthanized in 2009 despite the shelter placing a hold tag on Avery after the family came to claim her at the shelter, but was unable to immediately pay an $80 fee to get her back. When the family returned with the cash, they learned Avery had been put down.

PD:  MANY animals are killed because people let their animals run loose and then can’t find them and don’t have the money to bail them out.  If you don’t have $80 to get your dog out, we believe you don’t have the right to keep the dog anyway. And ARs are constantly claiming poor people are not responsible anyway, so what is the difference?

Turner said the Medlens remain so brokenhearted they have yet to adopt another dog. He added that the family isn’t actually trying to collect money, but merely trying to change the law so that “Avery didn’t die in vain.”

PD:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. HSUS wording.

Cayce said Texas is already more generous than most states when it comes to compensating owners who lose dogs that have marketable value, such as a prize-winning pedigree show dog or a stunt dog whose owners invested thousands of dollars in training.

Justice Phil Johnson said changing the law might motivate owners to downplay their dog’s actual worth so they could collect more on sentimental value instead.“They’re going to try to prove this is a worthless dog so that I can get a lot of money,” he said.



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