Ohio Court Says Pets Are More than Property

There is another addition to the growing body of case law acknowledging that companion animals are not mere property. As reported by the Toledo Blade late last year, Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals “has taken a stand by placing a higher value on companion animals.” The case in Toledo involved an attack on a pit bull puppy by another dog. The appeals court sent the case back to the municipal court for another hearing after determining that “substantial justice was not done” by the trial court, which awarded the owner only $400—the puppy’s market value—rather than the thousands of dollars in medical expenses sought by the plaintiff to treat the puppy’s severe injuries. The three-judge panel wrote, “’We agree with and acknowledge that pets do not have the same characteristics as other forms of personal property, such as a table or sofa which is disposable and replaceable at our convenience.’”

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