White papers: Damages and Guardianship+ OMG

You won’t find this article and comment anywhere except here. and it’s true—because we know the AR thinking and planning movement. No one else probably bothers to think that far ahead.


…[I]n Rabideau v. City of Racine, an off-duty police officer shot his neighbor’s dog after it entered his yard and smelled his family dog. [FN108] The court in Rabideau thoroughly analyzed the public policy decisions involved in considering whether or not to award pet owners’ emotional damages for the wrongful loss of their pet, noting first that it was “uncomfortable with the law’s cold characterization of a dog … as mere ‘property.”’ [FN109] The court noted that “the victim [dog] … is not related to [the plaintiff] as a spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild.” [FN110] Although the court recognized “humans [can] form important emotional connections that fall outside the class of spouse, parent or child,” there was nevertheless a quantum difference between a human victim and a companion animal victim. [FN111] “Relationships between a victim and a spouse, parent or child… are deeply embedded in the organization of our law and society… [and are] less likely to be fraudulent and … a loss that can be fairly charged to the tortfeasor.” [FN112]

Even were the court to recognize such a claim, it feared that it could find little basis for rationally distinguishing other categories of animal companions “because the human capacity to form an emotional bond extends to an enormous array of living creatures.” *246 [FN113] The Rabideau court feared that “were such a claim to go forward, the law would proceed upon a course that had no just stopping point.” [FN114] ……..



…[G]oals of the Owner-to-Guardian Campaign IDA’s campaign sets forth a number of goals that it seeks to achieve by changing the language we use to refer to non-human animals. It hopes to reinforce our society’s changing view of animals and to increase the recognition that animals are individual beings “with needs and interests of their own,” rather than objects for our use.21 By encouraging the use of different language to effect these changes in attitude,22 the campaign hopes to meet a number of practical goals, which include reducing the amount of animal abuse and abandonment,lessening “puppy mill” breeding23 by discouraging purchase of animals in pet stores, and lowering the population of animals in shelters.24

PD:    Calling owners guardians is pure nonsensical and can only lead to worse things, more lawsuits, and HSUS hiring people to file lawsuits as guardians, for guardians, by guardians, and then asking for more donations. Or if that’s too much work, then hiring 5,000 newbie volunteer AR attorneys to do it for free, and then make the owners all donate to HSUS and leave money to them in their wills?




…[W]e acknowledge there is a split of authority on whether damages for emotional distress may be collected for the negligent provision of veterinary services. See Jay M. Zitter, Annotation, Recovery of Damages for Emotional Distress Due to Treatment of Pets, 91 A.L.R. 5th 545, §§ 3 and 4. We find ourselves in agreement, however, with the New York courts which recognize that while pet owners may consider pets as part of the family, allowing recovery for these types of cases would place an unnecessary burden on the ever burgeoning caseload of courts in resolving serious tort claims for individuals. Johnson v. Douglas, 187 Misc. 2d 509, 723 N.Y.S. 2d 627 (N.Y. Supp. Ct.), aff’d, 289 A.D. 2d 202, 734 N.Y.S. 2d 847 (N.Y. App. Div. 2001). We decline to carve out an exception to the impact rule for cases involving veterinary malpractice.83

PD note: Essentially what would happen if anyone could sue for any amount on dead animals/pets, and make huge recoveries,  is that all of the racket AR national groups would immediately have a huge wagon train of lawsuits up the yang, that would not only rival cases involving loss of life for family (son, daughter, etc) BUT WOULD THEN PUT EACH ANIMAL out there– in place of the son or daughter.  You think that the 14yr lawsuit v the Barnum Bailey circus, where HSUS et al paid out millions to “settle” RICO claims was far-fetched?

Opening up tort lawsuits for animal loss damages would be exactly, exactly, exactly what ARs want. They would clog the courts to a complete standstill.  Fraud, fraud, fraud everywhere.

We can see it now.  Court TV animal shows, Facebook contests, law schools amping up the new animal recovery attorneys, new legal data aimed solely at recovering millions for that damn cat you lost that replaced your daughter on drugs (that you didn’t like anyway) or that darn dog that just showed up one day after your husband left you;  or that bird that just so happened to talk to you and you paid $3,000 to adopt it from a non profit…or that very cute llama that was simply funnier than anything, and you started sleeping outside to be in constant contact with it; or maybe it was just that group of insects that piled up on day on your table, and hell–they were not pets or even animals, but you were smitten and just had to treat them like family, giving them whatever you feed ants, and then pretty soon you had to bring them on vacation with you, they were so indispensible and your pals for life?

We can visualize the commercials– HSUS, ASPCA, Best Friends, the whole non profit yard!!  You would not be able to watch public TV without seeing their crap a million times… And the loss of a “shelter” animal? OMG Heaven Help us— that biting dog was everything to me, service dog or no service dog!!

Don’t think that this is wayyyy past AR thinking–because AR thinking is exactly that. It’s off the chart and based only on emotion. Then they just try and drag some law in there to somehow prop it up, like claiming those Orca whales are really SLAVES– and the San Diego Federal Court entertained the case. Really.  No wonder the people there went to the Mother ship.

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