Bill Rankin's Legal Brief

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Vets praise court's 'value of a dog' decision

A Georgia Supreme Court decision on Monday that establishes the value of pets should help protect the health and well-being of our most cherished animals, a national veterinary association said.

The state high court ruled that an Atlanta couple could collect no more in damages

Lola, a mixed-breed dachshund who died of kidney failure in 2013 FAMILY PHOTO

than the fair market value of their mixed-breed dachshund Lola and medical bills they paid to try and keep the dog alive. Lola died of renal failure about nine months after being boarded at Barking Hound Village, and the family alleges in a lawsuit that the kennel negligently gave Lola a prescription she didn’t need. The kennel denies wrongdoing.

In a statement, the American Veterinary Medical Association said it was pleased with the ruling.

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“(T)he proper measure of damages recoverable in such cases includes the pet's fair market value plus reasonable medical costs and other expenses the owners incurred in treating the animal for its injuries,” Michael San Filippo, the vet group’s spokesman, said in a statement. “ … Any extension of compensation beyond these economic damages would be inappropriate and ultimately harm animals by reducing the availability of affordable veterinary services.”

To read The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s full coverage of the decision, please go to myajc.com.

About the Author

Bill Rankin covers criminal justice, the death penalty and legal affairs. He also hosts the AJC’s “Breakdown” podcast.

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