It’s bad enough that Barking Hound Village — an upscale day care and boarding facility with locations around Atlanta — is defending itself in Georgia’s Supreme Court by arguing, in part, that a dog that died after being in its care was “worthless.”
What’s even scarier, and more hypocritical, are the organizations that are agreeing with that.
When the case went before the state’s highest court yesterday among the documentation the judges had to consider was a friend of the court brief, filed by the American Kennel Club, the Cat Fanciers’ Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association — all agreeing pets are mere “property” and that courts should award no more than “market value” in cases involving their deaths.
Yes, Barking Hound Village, at least on its website, professes to love your dog — and clearly has no problem charging you $60 a night for said dog to stay in its “presidential suite.”
And yes, veterinarians have no problem with you spending tens of thousands of dollars on your sick dog.
And, for sure, the American Kennel Club is only too happy to see the price of dogs go up, up, up — at least the provably purebred ones whose owners have registered them with the organization.
But your average, paperless pet, in the view of all those “pet-loving” organizations, is worth nothing — at least according to the friend of the court brief.
Lola’s owners allege Lola was given medication she wasn’t supposed to receive, and it ultimately led to her death.
Barking Hound Village denies that it is responsible for Lola’s death. And even if it were, its lawyer argue, Lola’s owners should not recover anything more than the dog’s market value — in Lola’s case, since she was adopted from a rescue, exactly zero dollars.
“Their position is that a dog is like a toaster — when you break it, you throw it away and get a new one,” Elizabeth Monyak told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A dog is indeed property under the law, but it’s a different kind of property.”
She and husband Bob Monyak spent $67,000 on veterinary expenses, including regular dialysis treatments for Lola.
Neither are strangers to the courtroom. She works for the state attorney general’s office. He’s also a lawyer, specializing in defending medical malpractice and product liability lawsuits. He argued Lola’s case before the justices on Tuesday.
Both sides have their supporters.
In the brief filed by the AVMA and AKC, the groups argued that considering a pet’s emotional value will lead to exorbitant amounts being awarded to pet owners in wrongful death lawsuits. And that, they all but threaten, would lead to bad things.
“Concerns over expanded liability may cause some services, such as free clinics for spaying and neutering, to close,” the groups said. “Shelters, rescues and other services may no longer afford to take in dogs and other pets … Fewer people will get pets, leaving more pets abandoned in shelters to die.”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a brief in support of the Monyaks. It cited industry studies showing U.S. pet owners spent $58 billion on their animals in 2014, including $4.8 billion on pet grooming and boarding.
“It is hypocritical for these businesses, including (Barking Hound Village), to exploit the value of the human-companion bond, while simultaneously arguing that the same should be unrecoverable when that bond is wrongfully — and even intentionally — severed,” the ALDF said.
The Monyaks boarded Lola and their other dog, Callie, at Barking Hound Village in 2012. At that time, Callie had been prescribed Rimadyl, an anti-inflammatory for arthritis. The Monyaks contend the kennel incorrectly gave the Rimadyl to Lola.
They further allege that Barking Hound Village knew that a medication error had occurred during Lola’s stay, and the kennel covered it up by destroying evidence and withholding critical information.
They seek to recover expenses for Lola’s veterinary treatment as well as for the value Lola had to their family.
Barking Hound Village denies any wrongdoing. It says both dogs were fine when they left the kennel. And attorneys for the kennel said this in court filings:
“The purchase price of the dachshund was zero dollars, the rescue dog never generated revenue and nothing occurred during the Monyaks’ ownership of the dog that would have increased her market value. The mixed-breed dachshund had no special training or unique characteristics other than that of ‘family dog.'”
We hope the Georgia Supreme Court uses the case of Lola to send a message to those who see dogs as mere “property.”
And we’d love to see an answer to this question, from the kennel, from the AVMA and from the AKC:
If our dogs are so “worthless,” how do you explain the fact that you are getting so rich off of them?
(Photos: Top photo by Branden Camp, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; photo of Lola provided by Monyak family)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 20th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, american veterinary medical association, animals, arguments, avma, bob monyak, brief, case, cat fanciers, dachshund, dog, dogs, elizabeth monyak, georgia, hypocrisy, law, legal, lola, pets, property, supreme court, value, worth, worthless
Remember that viral photo of two “death row” dogs hugging in a Georgia animal shelter?
ABC News reports that the duo, photographed just hours before they were to be put down, have found a happy home — together.
The dogs were then taken in by Angels Among Us, an Atlanta area rescue group that reposted the image on its Facebook page. It went on to be shared and viewed by millions.
Now, the dogs have been adopted by two Georgia residents, identified as Wendy and Pam, two longtime friends and roommates who wanted to make sure the dogs would stay together forever.
Wendy had recently lost her two elderly dogs when she saw a photo of the dogs in “People” magazine. She’d been following their story and, seeing that they were both still available for adoption, called the rescue group.
“It just fell together,” Wendy explained. “We turned our tears into smiles with these two young, playful dogs.”
According to Angels Among Us, Wendy and Pam are considering putting together a Facebook Page for the “hugging dogs” that will allow people to follow their progress and, they hope, raise money for the organization to help save other dogs in Georgia’s high kill shelters.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 27th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, angels among us, animals, death row, dog, dogs, etowah valley, euthanasia, forever home, georgia, hug, hugging, humane society, kala, kayla, keira, kiera, pets, put down, rescue
To make matters worse, the officer claimed the dog had been been hit by a car and was dead when he found him.
The atrocious behavior and blatant lie likely would have never come to light if not for a family’s persistent efforts to find out the truth about their dog, who they named after the movie star.
Brad Pitt ran away from his home in Kennesaw in July, and the family launched an extensive search, driving around the area, posting flyers and reporting the dog missing to Cobb County Animal Control.
Animal Control employees told them repeatedly that no dog matching Brad Pitt’s description had been there.
Then a neighbor called the family and told them he had seen Brad Pitt being loaded into a Cobb County Animal Control van.
Brad Pitt’s owner, Holly Roth, called Animal Control again, and learned the dog had been found dead — at least according to the officer who picked him up, Matthew Cory Dodson. Dodson had told his supervisors the dog had been hit by a car and was dead when he found him.
Roth, doubtful of the account, continued looking for the truth.
Police investigators questioned Dodson, and he confessed to what happened, according to his arrest warrant.
Dodson told police he put the dog in a compartment of his county truck around 9:40 a.m. July 18 after picking him up in the Kennesaw area. He finished his work day without bringing the dog back to the shelter.
“Failing to do so in a timely manner resulted in said dog’s death, likely from a heat related illness,” the arrest warrant states.
Dodson was charged with cruelty to animals and obstruction, both misdemeanors.
He was arrested Thursday afternoon, but released from jail on his own recognizance about an hour later. A Cobb County police spokesman said Dodson has resigned from his position.
Holly Roth said the 17-month-old basset hound and English bulldog mix had been a gift for her daughter after her elementary school graduation.
“I’m still so sick to my stomach about it,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He would’ve gotten away with it if I hadn’t been prying.”
Posted by John Woestendiek August 26th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, arrest, basset hound, brad pitt, bulldog, Cobb County, employe, employee, false, georgia, heat, holly roth, kennesaw, lied, matthew cory dodson, matthew dodson, mix, obstruction, officer, truck
Authorities have dropped the charges filed against a veteran who was arrested after breaking a window to save a dog left inside a hot car in a shopping center parking lot.
Michael Hammons, 46, an Iraq War veteran who lives in Athens, Ga., used a leg support from his wife’s wheelchair to smash out the window of a Mustang.
At the insistence of the angry dog’s owner, who said she’d only let the dog alone for five minutes, Hammons was arrested and charged with criminal trespass.
Thousands subsequently came to his defense online and called Hammons a hero, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which announced last week it will be awarding Hammons its Compassionate Action Award.
PETA officials noted that temperatures inside a parked car can jump quickly to 100 to 120 degrees — even on a mild, 78-degree day like Saturday, May 9, when the incident took place.
A local Ford dealer in Athens offered to replace the broken window for free, WXIA in Atlanta reported.
Current Georgia law allows someone to break a window to save a person, but not an animal. Hammons arrest led to a call to change that law, as a handful of other states have.
“The laws need to be changed to protect the animals, not necessarily the people,” said Mark Martin, a pet store owner who rallied around Hammons’ cause. “We are the voices for the animals; they can’t speak for themselves.”
Ken Mauldin, district attorney for the Superior Court of Athens-Clarke and Oconee counties, said the car’s owner agreed with his decision to drop the charges.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 19th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrested, Athens, broke, car, charged, charges dropped, criminal trespass, district attorney, dog, dogs, dropped, georgia, hot, inside, leg support, michael hammons, parked, parking lot, pets, rescue, safety, wheelchair, window
A Georgia man used a leg support from his wife’s wheelchair to smash the window of car containing a panting dog — and promptly got arrested.
Michael Hammons, a veteran of Desert Storm, said he saw a group of people standing around a Mustang in a shopping center parking lot in Athens, worrying about the safety of a small dog locked inside, without water.
“I just did what had to be done,” Hammons told 11 Alive in Atlanta.
Shortly after he broke the window, the dog’s owner came back to the car.
“She said you broke my window, and I said I did. She says why would you do that? I said to save your dog,” Hammons recounted.
Oconee County authorities said they arrested Hammons at the insistence of the car’s owner.
Georgia state law, while it allows rescuers to break a car window to save a child, doesn’t make that same allowance for those who do it to save dogs.
Chief Deputy Lee Weems said officers had no choice but to charge Hammons: “We didn’t want to charge him, but he told us he broke the windows and when you have a victim there saying she wants him charged, we had no other choice.”
Hammons wife, Saundra, said her husband suffers from PTSD and that he’s prone to coming to the rescue of those he perceives to be in danger.
“He has seen so much, and been through so much, his thing is he’s got to save him. Michael says I have to save lives because I couldn’t save everyone else over there,” she told Fox News in Atlanta.
The car’s owner said she had only been in the store for five minutes, but deputies issued her a citation as well.
“It wasn’t just five minutes like the lady stated, it was a lot longer,” Hammons said. “I personally felt the heat in the car; I saw the dog panting. This dog was in distress.”
“I’ve got PTSD, and I’ve seen enough death and destruction,” Hammons added. “And I didn’t want anything else to happen if I could prevent it.”
Hammons said he’d do the same thing again.
“I knew there’d be consequences, but it didn’t matter. Glass? They make new glass every day. But they could never replace that dog.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 12th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, Athens, broke, car, dog, dogs, georgia, heat, hot, parking lot, pets, ptsd, rescue, smashed, veteran, window
A pit bull being shown at an adoption event at a PetSmart outside Atlanta on Sunday got loose from her handler, attacked a smaller dog and was repeatedly stabbed by the smaller dog’s owner.
Clara, a pit bull who was being fostered and who was taken to the event in hopes of finding an adoptive home, was euthanized due to the severity of her injuries, the local humane society said.
The smaller dog, a West Highland terrier, spent a night in an emergency vet’s office and was released to her owner Monday.
As reported in the Times-Herald, Clara, who has been living in a foster home, had been brought to the event by the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society in hopes of finding her a permanent home. The Westie belonged to a customer in the store — one who, according to witnesses, had a low opinion of pit bulls.
Witnesses say the smaller dog growled at the larger one when they walked past each other inside the store. Shortly after that, Clara pulled free from her handler and ran at the smaller dog.
The Westie’s owner tried to pull the pit bull off his dog, kicked her and stabbed her several times with a pocket knife. While doing so, some witnesses said, he was repeatedly screaming, “F—ing pit bulls!”
Clara was holding the smaller dog by the scruff of her neck or ear, and both dogs were still, Reeves said. “Clara wasn’t clamped down on the dog. Mike was able to put his hands in her mouth,” she said. “…They were just standing there. It could have easily been broken up.”
After the man started stabbing the pit bull, his son screamed for him to stop. Clara is believed to have been stabbed up to six times.
PetSmart staff also attempted to break the dogs up using air horns and spray bottles.
Sandy Hiser, with the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society, said that once the dogs were separated, Clara’s wounds turned out to be worse than originally thought. She sat back and was wagging her tail when it was noticed she was bleeding, and making a gurgling noise when she breathed.
Hiser said Clara’s injuries were “so extensive that if she did pull through, it would have impacted her quality of life.”
Police responded but no charges have been filed. Hiser said an officer told her that the man “had a right to defend his dog.”
The case is still being investigated by Newnan’s animal warden.
One witness said she heard the Westie’s owner complaining about pit bulls even before the attack.
Clara was being returned to the store from a trip outside when the man said, “If you bring that f***ing pit bull near me I’m going to stab it,” said Erin Burr, who was attending the adoption event.
According to a Facebook page set up in hopes of getting Clara adopted, she’d lived over half her life in a boarding kennel. It also notes she had problems being “dog tolerant.” Posts note that the page was started after she was banned from an earlier adoption event.
(Photos from the “Clicks for Clara” Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 3rd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, clara, coweta, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, foster, georgia, humane society, newnan, pets, petsmart, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rescue, shelter, west highland terrier, westie
A dog that was shot three times by a deputy in Georgia, and then left to die under a mobile home, has surfaced — alive.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy shot a dog that charged at him Saturday.
The dog ran under a trailer, the deputy presumed it dead, and the task of retrieving its body was referred to animal control.
Later that evening, the female pointer mix, named Bama Junior, was found alive by her owner at the Skyview Mobile Home Park. She was taken to a veterinarian by a local animal rescue group and is expected to recover.
Nikkie Brooks, with Furever After Rescue, drove the dog to Southwood Animal Hospital in Warner Robins where she had surgery to remove a bullet and received sutures for four wounds.
Brooks, who was contacted by the dog’s owner after she found the injured dog, said staff at the veterinary hospital — not knowing the dog’s real name — had dubbed her Lucky.
The sheriff’s deputy who shot the dog was responding to a call of three “aggressive” dogs barking and chasing children at the mobile home park.
“I found myself cornered,” the deputy wrote in his report. “The dogs stayed aggressive, then one of the dogs charged as he got within a couple of feet from me.”
The deputy said he fired a first shot that struck the dog in the back. He said he fired a second round into the dog’s side, and then a third round when “the dog stood up and started towards me .”
According to the report, deputies were unable to retrieve the dog after it ran under a trailer, and Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare was called to remove the three dogs — the believed-to-be dead one and the other two.
Animal control staff couldn’t confirm which dogs they picked up, dead or alive, according to The Telegraph in Macon.
The sheriff’s office is looking into the case.
“Like any other use of force situation, if you’re being threatened with injury or someone else is being threatened with injury, you have to do whatever you can to neutralize the threat, and that’s what happened,” Sheriff David Davis said. “My concern is the follow-up as far as making sure that the dog was not suffering.”
(Photo: Macon Telegraph)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 13th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, alive, aniimal control, animals, bama junior, bibb, bibb county, bibb county sheriff, deputy, dogs, furever after rescue, georgia, law enforcement, left to die, lucky, macon, mix, mobile home, pets, pointer, recovering, shot, southwood animal hospital, surgery, three times