According to a news source, a pet owner has been awarded $65,000 for the emotional distress she experienced over the death of her 18-month-old dog. Owner Robin Lohre reportedly left the dog at home after being assured by housekeepers cleaning her home that the dog would not be a problem and they would not allow the dog to go outdoors. In Lohre’s absence, the dog apparently escaped the house and was struck by a car. The housekeepers said they left the dog “whimpering a little” under the dining room table, where Lohre found it dead on her return. Lohre sued the cleaning service for negligence, alleging that they failed to contact her or seek emergency veterinary care after the accident. Her attorneys with The Animal Law Center contend that the award is the highest on record in the state for the loss of a pet, claiming, “The ruling sets a damages precedent that animals are worth more than their replacement value.” See The National Law Journal, April 20, 2012.

“The ruling sets a damages precedent that animals are worth more than their replacement value.”

Courts hearing products cases stemming from injuries allegedly caused by pet food contaminated with adulterated wheat gluten from China in 2007 were also asked to award non-economic damages to pet owners, but such requests were routinely denied.