Browsing articles in law & politics
News: Karen B. London
Grieving Guardians Can’t Sue
Emotional damages not allowed
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that guardians cannot sue for emotional damages when a pet’s death is the fault of someone else. The case concerned a challenge to the law by a family whose dog Avery had been euthanized in error by a shelter. A worker had tagged the dog with instructions not to euthanize her because the family was coming back with the money necessary to release her, but somehow...
News: Karen B. London
Driving With a Dog on Your Lap
New law would ban this
If a new bill in Rhode Island becomes law, it will be illegal to drive with a dog on your lap. The purpose is to protect both people and dogs from being injured or killed in accidents. Distracted drivers are a danger while driving, and it’s hard to argue that a dog on your lap isn’t ever distracting. Representative Peter Palumbo proposed this legislation last year, but it never came up for a...
News: Karen B. London
Dog Bite Leads to DNA Match
Evidence used to solve crime
A man unintentionally left evidence at the scene of his crime that led the police to link him with a home robbery. DNA in the mouth of the family dog matched that of David Stoddard. The dog had bitten him in the arm and in the leg after a human member of the dog’s family had been assaulted during the break in. Stoddard or one of his accomplices then shot the dog. Sadly, the dog died from the...
News: Karen B. London
Supreme Court to Hear Dog Cases
Legal issues involve drug-sniffing dogs
Later this month, the United States Supreme Court will hear two cases that involve working dogs. Both cases concern drug-sniffing dogs. The issue in Joelis Jardines versus Florida concerns whether police violated the defendant’s fourth amendment rights, which protect him from illegal search and seizure, by having a dog sniff his door without a warrant. In other words, does the sniffing by a...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Should you buy pet insurance?
Risk Management
Photograph: Steph Fitzsimmons
A year ago, one of patty Glynn’s three dogs, a five-year-old Chinese Crested named Merry, became ill and very nearly died. It turned out that she had inflammatory bowel disease and required transfusions, among other care. Blood work, emergency vet-hospital treatment and after-care expenses brought the total close to $5,000; luckily for Merry, Glynn and her husband, Stew Tolnay, were able to...
News: Guest Posts
It’s the Dog, Stupid
Seamus shows up in a video game and political ad
Every presidential campaign season there is one issue that carries the day. Famously, it was the economy at the heart of Bill Clinton’s 1992 win over George Bush. And really, the economy is the central issue again this year, but that’s not for lack of effort on the part of folks like Scott Crider of Dogs Against Romney and New York Times columnist Gail Collins to keep Seamus in the spotlight. If...
News: Karen B. London
Whose Dog Is It?
A conflict that’s hard to resolve
If you’ve taken in a lost dog, you’re not alone. Many of us have done so, and then made all attempts to contact the guardian so that the dog could be returned. Sometimes the reunion takes place within hours or days, but other times it can take weeks or months. At some point, many people have abandoned hope of finding the original family and simply accept the dog into their own. That’s what...
News: Guest Posts
Helping Farm Dogs or a Loophole for Cruelty?
The story behind Arizona’s HB 2780
Early this month, legislation exempting ranch dogs from animal cruelty laws passed easily through the Arizona legislature. Despite opposition from the Arizona Defense League for Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, county officials, media, animal shelters across the state and a large number of citizens, Gov. Jan Brewer signed it into law almost as soon as it crossed her desk. The...
News: Guest Posts
Damages for Negligent Death of Pet in Colorado
Key decision but not a precedent
We all share this nightmare: somehow, our beloved dog gets out of the house, runs into the street…and is tragically hit by a car. Now imagine that awful scenario being the result of someone else’s negligence. That’s what happened to a Colorado family. Last summer, Robin Lohre’s dog Ruthie was killed after being hit by a car. Ruthie escaped the family’s home while a cleaning service was working in...
News: Guest Posts
The Search for Bridgett
Confusing rules about signage make finding a lost dog more difficult
How long would you look for your dog if he went missing? A week? A month? Pat Panek of Littleton, Mass., has been searching for Bridgett, her lost Husky, for nearly four months. Thanks to tips from the public, she is not giving up—but her “lost dog” posters are causing conflict. Panek says some of the signs have been torn down almost as soon as they go up, and town laws are confusing regarding...