Thursday, June 26, 2008

In Re Estate of Fluffy

Interesting story about an animal rights case:

One day a dog jumped his fence and killed the neighbor's three-legged cat. The owner of the deceased cat filed suit against the owner of the dog on behalf of themselves AND on behalf of the deceased cat. (I can just see the case title: In re Estate of Fluffy v. Smith). Anyway, the case settled (duh, what kind of lawyer would let that go before a judge?) for a whopping $20,000.

True Story.

An associate at my firm told me this story- he represented the defendants in the case. I would love to take a look at the claims listed in the complaint. Do you have a claim for loss of consortium when a pet dies? I can see a claim for emotional distress but really, what other claims could be in there? And what about damages? Since they were represented by an animal rights lawyer, I doubt they claimed a property damages. An animal rights activists would NEVER admit to an animal being property, right? If a human death is called a homicide, what is an animal death called? We don't even have a special name for it in our local criminal code.

I'm all for the humane treatment of animals. I'm a huge sucker for those animal adoption displays at Pet Smart and the mall. Whenever I see little kittens, or even older cats for that matter, locked up in a cage, sticking their little paws through the bars in an attempt for human contact and love, I get all weepy and BEG my husband if we can take them ALL HOME NOW.

But something about giving animals legal rights and allowing them to bring a suit in court just seems ridiculous to me. Ok, it was funny in Bee Movie, but aside from the cinemas- nuh uh, no way. I mean, animals have their own set of laws, the law of nature. Of course people shouldn't be allowed to purposefully harm or torture their animals, but you know, such things should be left to animal control agencies. And when one animal attacks another animal on the inferior end of the food chain- who are we to jump in with our man-made laws?

Plus, I love my cat, but there is no way in hell he is worth $20,000.


LL said...

Wow - that's crazy. I can't believe it settled that high. It doesn't even sound like there weren't even vet expenses involved. I love my little psycho cat as well, but $20K? Um, no.

the dragonfly said...