dog

No one wants to think about their animal companion being killed or hurt. But if this happens, you may be able to recover “damages,” or monetary redress.

This is a broad overview intended to be useful to caregivers of animals who have been injured or killed. It is not a substitute for an attorney.

The amount you can receive will vary depending on a number of factors. The particular facts and circumstances of your case are important. Additionally, the law regarding compensation for a companion animal’s death or injury varies from state to state, and is in flux.

Here are some basics:

  • By and large animals are considered “property” under the law. This means that in many cases, you are limited to compensation for your animal’s “market value,” along with associated “economic damages” like veterinary bills.
  • In recognition of animals’ elevated places in our homes and lives, a growing number of states now also allow greater awards than economic damages. In these states — including Tennessee, Illinois and New York — you may also be able to receive noneconomic and punitive damages in some cases, such as if the person who harmed your animal did so on purpose.
  • Damages relating to emotional distress are sometimes available as well.

Your lawyer can best advise you as to the law in your state, regarding compensation for an injured or killed companion animal.

Related

  • There are no “bad dogs”

    As the Animal Legal Defense Fund combats dogfighting by working with state officials to create stronger laws and more effective penalties for those who engage in this crime, we’re also hard at work to ensure the best possible outcomes for dogfighting victims.
    August 5, 2020 News
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund and Humane Rescue Alliance Offer $10,000 Reward in Case of Dog Stabbing

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, and Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the abandonment and stabbing of a senior-aged dog named Ladybell on July 12, 2020.
    August 4, 2020 Press Release
  • The Animal Agriculture Industry: Liability Proof?

    Earlier this summer, the driver of a pig transport truck struck and killed longtime animal advocate Regan Russell. The circumstances regarding her death are not fully known to the public, but top to bottom, the animal agriculture industry is rarely held accountable.
    August 4, 2020 News

You Can Protect Animals

Since 1979, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has led the charge to win animals the legal protection they so desperately need—and deserve. Your generous gift will assure that we can continue to take on cases that advance the interests of animals.

Donate