Boo: World’s Richest Dog

Eliza Boggia

Boo

Meet Boo, the world’s cutest dog. This is not a judgment call, but actually a trademark. Not only is Boo (actually, his owner) an intellectual property rights holder, but the little dog is quite popular. This 6-year-old Pomeranian has product endorsements and his own line of toys.  His stuffed animal, modeled after him, goes for about $20.  He has 5.5 million fans on his facebook page, about half as many as international icon Madonna. His page says, “My name is Boo. I am a dog. Life is good.” His favorite foods include chicken, cheese, flowers, grass and dirt. Continue reading

Recent Texas Court of Appeals Decision: Using Pets as Property to Gain Ground

Jillian Bittner
In an opinion delivered by Justice Gabriel on November 3, 2011 inthe case of Medlen v. Strickland, the Second Court of Appeals of Texas, Fort Worth, reversed the trial court’s dismissal of Kathryn and Jeremy Medlen’s suit against Carla Strickland for the death of their dog. In what can only be considered a landmark decision, the Second Court of Appeals remanded the Medlens’ case, thereby granting the Medlens the right to sue for the “sentimental or intrinsic value of their wrongfully euthanized dog, Avery.

Kathryn and Jeremy Medlen’s history with their dog Avery began when Kathryn adopted Avery from a homeless man. The facts of this specific case, however, begin when Avery escaped from the Medlens’ backyard during a thunderstorm on or around June 2, 2009. Avery was soon thereafter picked up by animal control. Jeremy Medlen went to the animal shelter, Fort Worth Animal Care and Control, to recover Avery but did not have enough money with him to cover the fee in its entirety. Jeremy was informed that he could return to retrieve Avery on June 10th, and a “hold for owner” tag was placed on Avery’s cage, which was intended to protect Avery from being euthanized. On June 6th, Carla Strickland, an employee at the shelter placed Avery on a “to be euthanized” list for the following day, despite the label on Avery’s designated cage. On June 7th Avery was euthanized. When the Medlen family returned a few days later to get Avery, they were told he was put down. Continue reading

Come Fly with Me

Seth Victor

Dogs are property, so it makes sense that they are shipped as cargo by most major airlines. As aggravating as it is for the airline to misplace your luggage, it must be soul-wrenching to find that your companion has died during her trip. Yet since May of 2005, 122 dogs have died in transit on airlines, according to reports by the Department of Transportation, with 144 pet deaths overall , along with 55 injuries and 33 lost pets. Purebreds with short muzzles bear the highest risk of death or injury from overheating, since they are unable to cool themselves. Go ahead and add this to the number of health problems these dogs face. Continue reading

Friedman and Norman on Maryland DV Protective Orders

Bridget Crawford

Joshua L. Friedman (Attorney Advisor, U.S. Social Security Administration) and Gary C. Norman (Staff Attorney, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) have published their article, “Protecting the Family Pet: The New Face of Maryland Domestic Violence Protective Orders,” 40 U. Balt. L.F. 81 (2009).  Here is the abstract:

Domestic violence is on the rise, and pets are increasingly becoming the victims of marital disputes. There is a demonstrated link between acts and offenses of domestic violence and animal abuse. Domestic abusers often do not think twice about beating or otherwise harming pets that have bonded with the other spouse in order to control, coerce, intimidate, or cause emotional harm to that spouse. Continue reading

Pets Sitting On High?

Sarah Murphy

Many people seem to be spending more and more on their cats and dogs.  High quality animal food (i.e. actually edible) can now be found in ordinary super markets, “gourmet” treats abound with some classified as USDA-certified organic, cat grass can be purchased alongside heirloom tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market and pet beds come swathed in faux-leopard print material complete with removable heaters.  Some people can even be seen venturing outside with their pets in strollers.  Using pet strollers seems to make a lot of sense for old or infirm animals who would otherwise have difficulty getting out and about, but beyond this, is such a practice ridiculous and ultimately detrimental to achieving greater respect and rights for animals?

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