While we love our pets unconditionally and we cannot put a price on what they mean to us and what it would mean to us if someone hurt them or was negligent in caring for them and it lead to their death, the law considers an animal as a piece of personal property -- like a couch or a car and when you are suing another party for harm to them, you can only sue for the price of the dog -- what the dog cost you or the value that it would cost you to purchase a purebred Airedale from a breeder or in a pet store (honestly -- I know it is not right, but it is the state of the law at this time). In addition to this, you can sue for the kennel costs and any monies that you put out of pocket to care for the animal before he died. In DC, you can sue in small claims court for up to $5,000 and you do not need an attorney -- here is a link to the DC court website where you can get information and forms: http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/superior/civil/small_claims.jsp
Again, I really wish that I could tell you otherwise because I know what it is to love a pet -- I had 3 dogs (I recently had to put down an elderly golden retriever and I was devastated) and I also have a cat. I absolutely love my animals and would want to do damage to anyone that had a hand in harming them -- but the law has not progressed to the point where we can recover monies for the love and affection we felt for the animal and them for us.
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My intention is not to get money from the Kannel but to prevent other animals going through the same suffering. I owe this to my doggie. I am not sure whether there i an institution who can help or have a closer look on what has happened.
Please note that I do accept your answer, but would appreciate your advise in that respect as well.
Hello Rajna --
Perhaps a report should be made to your local chapter of the society for prevention of cruelty to animals. Here is the link to the DC animal rescue league:
and there are probably several other animal rights / animal welfare organizations in the DC area that might be interested in your complaint. Check the yellow pages in your local phone book and further internet review. These agencies are pretty serious when it comes to animal abuse and neglect and at the very least you should be able to get one or more of them to investigate.
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