A state appeals court has upheld a California jury’s verdict requiring a man who struck a neighbor’s miniature Pinscher with a baseball bat to pay the dog’s owners $50,000 for emotional distress.
In what’s being described as the first ruling of its kind in California, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana said someone who deliberately injures or kills another person’s pet must — even though dogs are considered property — compensate the owner for emotional distress.
The ruling quoted an 1889 California Supreme Court ruling in which the justices observed that “there are no other domestic animals to which the owner or his family can become more keenly attached” than dogs.
The ruling upheld $52,800 in damages — $2,800 of it for medical bills — against John Meihaus, who struck his neighbors’ 12-inch-tall, 15-pound miniature pinscher, Romeo, with a baseball bat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Meihaus’ next-door neighbor in Laguna Niguel, David Plotnik accidentally let Romeo enter Meihaus’ backyard, and later heard a squeal and saw Romeo stumble. He said Meihaus, who was holding a baseball bat, told him Romeo had been barking and growling at him, but denied striking the dog.
A jury ordered Meihaus to pay for a $2,600 operation to repair Romeo’s right rear leg and a $209 stroller the dog needed to get around while he recovered. It also awarded $50,000 to Plotnik and his wife, Joyce, for emotional distress.
Meihaus appealed the original verdict, but the appeals court upheld it. His lawyer said he may appeal the latest ruling to the state Supreme Court.
Donna Bader, the Plotniks’ lawyer, said the court recognized that people value their pets and suffer when they are harmed. “Every time your dog is in pain, I think it causes the homeowner pain,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, appeals, award, baseball bat, california, court, cruelty, dog, dogs, emotional distress, feud, jury, laguna niguel, min pin, miniature, miniature pinscher, neighbors, pets, pinscher, romeo, upheld, verdict
The New York Post described Ted Shuttleworth as “a 230-pound, washed-up TV screenwriter.”
Police said he hit his poodle, Lola, on May 29 because he was angry at the pup.
Later, he took the 5-year-old dog to a veterinarian, who, viewing the death as suspicious, notified the ASPCA.
A necropsy determined, “Lola sustained a traumatic brain injury secondary to the application of blunt force to the right side of her head at the hands of the suspect, her owner,” an ASPCA spokesman said.
Shuttleworth, 51, had a brief stint writing for “NYPD Blue” and has worked for Steven Spielberg. He’s now an administrative assistant at New York University.
His wife, Isadora Monk Shuttleworth, called Lola’s injuries ”a horrible accident, ” but didn’t elaborate.
Shuttleworth faces up to a year in prison.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, aspca, cruelty to animals, death, dog, dogs, fatal, investigation, killed, lola, miniature, necropsy, new york, nypd blue, pets, police, poodle, punched, queens, screenwriter, ted shuttleworth, writer
Nio Tavlos believes his 12-pound miniature poodle, Diego, should be permitted to live with him at a 36-story, no-pets-allowed condo development in Lakeview.
The 67-year-old artist says Diego helps him battle bouts of depression. Without the dog, he said, “I spend a lot of time in bed, I’m lethargic, I’m not creative.”
Six years after the dispute began, Tavlos took his case to the Illinois Department of Human Rights. On Tuesday, the agency filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tavlos accusing the condo association of violating anti-discrimination laws.
Tavlos first asked for special permission to keep a dog in 2007 after learning other residents had pets as service and therapy animals, and that others secretly kept pets in the building.
Twice, the request was denied — even after letters from two of Tavlos’ doctors.
Tavlos, who lost another dog last year, is a painter who travels between his home in Santa Fe, N.M., and his wife’s Lakeview condo.
” …I’ve never lived without a dog my entire adult life. I wouldn’t want to live without dogs, to be honest with you … They are like my children,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Department of Human Rights said his depression qualifies as a physical disability under Illinois state law, and that it found “substantial evidence” that the condo association discriminated against him by denying a reasonable accommodation for the dogs.
The suit asks that the condo association create a policy to deal with other requests from disabled residents and that it train employees in fair housing practices. It also asks for an unspecified amount in damages and court costs.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artist, association, chicago, condominium, depression, diego, disability, discrimination, dog, dogs, housing, lawsuit, miniature, nio tavlos, no dogs, no pets, pets, poodle, rights, rules, service, therapy
He licked her face. He nudged her hand. And when his master regained consciousness after a fall on the kitchen floor, a miniature schnauzer named Danny not only brought her the phone, but a list of phone numbers as well.
So says Bethe Bennett, of Glendale, Arizona, who’s now recuperating from her painful tumble.
Bennett fell on her tile floor Friday and broke her femur. Once she regained consciousness, with help from Danny, she hoped the dog remembered some of his old tricks, because she wasn’t expecting any visitors until Tuesday.
“I was scared. I really thought I was going to die,” Bennett told ABCNews.com. “I knew I was going into shock because I’m a nurse.”
But Danny, a trained service dog who used to care for Bennett’s now-deceased mother, was able to remember his training.
“I started asking Danny to get me the phone,” Bennett said. “He ran back and forth a couple of times barking and finally jumped up and knocked the phone over and pushed it with his nose toward me.”
She called for an ambulance, but then realized the paramedics might not be able to get into her locked house. She decided to call a neighbor, but didn’t remember the phone number.
“Paper!” she yelled, and Danny brought over five sheets, one of which had the phone numbers of Bennett’s neighbors. They arrived in time to let the paramedics in.
She is now recovering at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, with Danny by her side, ABC reported.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be the one he’d have to rescue,” she said. “He was my little hero.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, arizona, assistance, bethe bennett, danny, dog, dogs, emergency, fall, glendale, hero, kitchen, miniature, pets, rescue, schnauzer, service dog, video
The dog, who turns 3 on Tuesday, was inside Lorimer’s SUV when it was stolen at a gas station April 10, according to the East Valley Tribune.
After searching for the dog for a week, Lorimer received a call Monday from a construction worker who found Max in Mesa on his way to work.
The worker, Rolando Artalejo, took the dog home to his wife and daughter who had seen earlier reports about the missing dog and were able to get in touch with Lorimer.
“As soon as they called, I was there in about two minutes,” Lorimer said. “I didn’t know who was happier – him seeing me or me seeing him. He jumped up on me and knocked my glasses off. That little booger was so tickled to see me, he couldn’t stop licking me.”
Lorimer, 72, a U.S. Navy Veteran and retired plumber who has congestive heart failure, believes Max was trying to make his way back home when he was found, just a few blocks from where he lives.
Lorimer, a week earlier, had left his car running outside a gas station and stepped inside for coffee. When he came back out, his car and dog were gone.
When Lorimer recovered the vehicle later that day, Max was not inside. One of the car thieves called him and told him where he could find his car, which had run out of gas, but they said they had let the dog out of the car at an apartment complex.
“I told them I didn’t give a damn about my car. I just wanted my dog back,” Lorimer said. “I can replace my car, but not my dog. I was devastated.”
Once back home, Max went to his favorite resting spot, under the coffee table.
“I’ve had him since he was three and a half months old,” Lorimer said. “I didn’t think I was going to find him. He means more to me than my own life.”
(Photo by Tim Hacker / East Valley Tribune)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, bill lorimer, car, dog, dogs, found, lost, max, mesa, miniature, missing, pets, phoenix, recovered, reunited, rolando artalejo, schnauzer, stolen, suv, veteran
One dog came to the aid of another last week, leading rescuers to a drainage pipe where a 15-year-old miniature schnauzer named Casper had been stuck for up to three days.
The hero? A rat terrier named Rowdy, who belongs to a neighbor.
“He caught the scent and he just started barking, barking, barking,” said Rowdy’s owner, Patty Monk, whose dog led her to the 8-inch wide storm drain pipe in which Casper was stuck.
Seeing Casper inside, Monk, who is friends with Casper’s owners, ran a block to their home and notified them. They sought help from the Sacramento Metro Fire Department.
Firefighters, not wanting to injure the dog, wrapped a teddy bear around the end of a fire hose to push him out the end of the pipe.
Casper’s owners, who had searched for days and put up posters after Casper went missing, took him to a nearby animal hospital to have him checked out.
“We have one of these storm drains right in front of our house. He may have fallen in that one and crawled all the way here, we don’t know,” said Wayne Hernandez.
“We’ve been kind of taking him for granted, he’s been around for so long,” Hernandez told News 10 in Sacramento. “But we’re going to have to try and pamper him a little more. He deserves it after this.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, casper, department, dog, dogs, drainage, drainpipe, fire, firefighters, metro, miniature, patty monk, pets, pipe, rat, rescue, rescued, rowdy, sacramento, saved, schnauzer, stuck, terrier, wayne hernandez
A police officer in Danville, Virginia, shot and killed a miniature dachsund named Killer Monday night, an action the department says was justified.
The officer was returning to his car after trying to serve a warrant, when a dachsund living next door came “running throught the yard directly at him from the rear,” according to a police department press release.
Police say the 11-pound dog was growling and that the officer shot him when he “lunged” and “attacked him.”
The press release says the officer had only seconds to consider his options — “run for the safety of the police vehicle, attempt to distract the dog from its attack, try to use pepper spray or baton, or use his firearm.”
Police said an “investigation revealed that the dog was named ‘Killer’, was a Dachshund, had displayed aggressive tendencies before to others, and belonged at the house next door to where the officer was attempting to serve the warrant.”
The press release added, “Shooting a dog which is actively presenting a threat to an officer is within the department’s policy. An officer is not required to ‘take a bite’ from any dog, including small breeds, because any breaking of the skin can transmit rabies. If the attacking dog cannot be identified and captured and quarantined after the attack, the officer must take a series of rabies vaccine shots.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, attacked, dachsund, danville, dog, growl, killed, killer, kills, lunged, miniature, pets, police, police. officer, shot, virginia
A poodle in Vermont survived 19 days in a van at the Burlington International Airport parking garage.
The 12-year-old miniature poodle, Michou, apparently left in the van without food or water, lost half his body weight and endured freezing temperatures. He was discovered after a passerby alerted police to a stench coming from the vehicle. Since then, he has made an “amazing” recovery, veterinarians said.
Police cited the dog’s owner, Canadian citizen Pascal Bellon, 50, of Frelighsburg, Quebec, for cruelty to animals, which has a fine of $100. Bellon has agreed to give up custody of the dog and pay for veterinary bills related to the pet’s recovery, according to a report in the Burlington Free Press.
Police said the dog, locked in the car from Dec. 14 to Jan. 6, was not left at the airport intentionally, but the circumstances around his abandonment were not divulged.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, airport, animals, burlington, car, dogs, forgotten, miniature, parking garage, pets, poodle, survival, survives, van, vermont