Argument for an Animals’ Intrinsic Value
Martinez v. Robledo; Workman v. Klause
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed amicus briefs in two consolidated California cases, in which the issue at stake was whether a plaintiff could recover veterinary expenses if those expenses exceeded the market value of the animal.
In 2012, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed amicus briefs in two consolidated California cases, in which the issue at stake was whether a plaintiff could recover veterinary expenses if those expenses exceeded the market value of the animal.
Martinez v. Robledo involved a dog who was shot and wounded by the defendant, leading to the plaintiff seeking to recover $20,789.81 in veterinarian bills along with punitive damages. In Workman v. Klause, a veterinarian was sued for the $37,766.06 it cost to repair a dog’s botched surgery.
The trial courts in both cases limited damages to the dogs’ “market value.” On appeal, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed amicus briefs arguing that the plaintiffs should be able to recover the costs spent to nurse the animals back to health where their injuries were caused by the defendant, even if the plaintiff spent more on vet care than the animal was “worth” on the open market.
The briefs contended that capping veterinary expenses at the animal’s market value fails to recognize animals’ true value to their companions.
California’s 2nd Appellate District Court of Appeal agreed, ruling in 2012 that recovery is not limited to their animals’ market value, but rather that the plaintiffs may recover the “reasonable and necessary costs incurred for the treatment and care of the pet attributable to the injury.”
In doing so, the court recognized that “animals are special, sentient beings, because unlike other forms of property, animals feel pain, suffer and die… Animals are a distinct and specially protected form of property.”
Kentucky has amended its law prohibiting veterinarians from reporting suspected animal cruelty. Advocates worked for years to change this law, which had good intentions regarding personal privacy but unintended consequences for animal victims of abuse.July 9, 2020 Animal Law Update
Today the Animal Legal Defense Fund announced a settlement agreement with the West Virginia State Police, State Trooper Seth Cook, and Colonel C.R. “Jay” Smithers, in a lawsuit filed after Tiffanie Hupp intervened when Officer Cook drew his gun and aimed it at the family dog, Buddy.July 8, 2020 Press Release
The Animal Legal Defense Fund announced that a settlement agreement has been reached with the Animal Kingdom pet store in a high-profile lawsuit over a puppy laundering scheme to unlawfully circumvent the California "retail pet sale ban" — a law that bans the sale of dogs from commercial breeders, commonly called puppy mills.June 17, 2020 Press Release
Barking Hound Village v Monyak
Sherman v. Kissinger; Sexton v. Brown; Brinton v. Codoni
Jessica Loy et. al. v. Trina Kenney et. al.