A Texas couple is suing the city of Denton, Texas for $206,000 for negligently euthanizing their dog. Shawn Snider and Beth Bayless-Snider are seeking recovery for loss of future breeding opportunities and emotional pain and suffering for the loss of their 3-year-old black Labrador, Amicus.
Animal control officers picked up Amicus after it escaped from their yard and left a notice for them to pick up the animal. They called the shelter and arranged to pick Amicus after payday so that they could afford the $109 recovery fee. While a notation was made, a worker did not see it and killed the dog.
Shawn Snider now insists that “They can’t bring my dog back, so the only thing they can do is give me money.”
The common law has always treated these animals as chattel so that they value is tied to the market price of a new animal. The true damages are found in pain and suffering, infliction of emotional distress, and breeding value — all costs associated with the owners rather than the inherent value of the dog.
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