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Pet death grief 'does not count' - court

The Local · 17 Apr 2012, 13:54

Published: 17 Apr 2012 13:54 GMT+02:00

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The Federal Court of Justice based in the south western city of Karlsruhe rejected the complaint of a woman whose female Labrador-Retriever was run over by a tractor while out on a walk in October 2008.

In addition to compensation for the cost of a new dog, along with lawyer and medical fees, the plaintiff had sued because the dog's death had led to "a severe adjustment disorder and depressive episode" over several months.

The judges rejected the claim, saying current legislation only covered compensation for suffering incurred with the death of a human companion or relative.

It also ordered the woman to pay half the medical and legal costs - because the 14-month-old dog had not been on a leash.

"The tightly-restricted guidelines on recovery of damages due to shock stipulate that they do not apply in cases entailing impairment of psychological health when animals are hurt or killed," the tribunal said in a ruling dated March 20 but published on Tuesday, upholding the decision of a lower


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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:43 April 17, 2012 by becks41
I disagree with their statement that pet owners are not entitled to compensation upon their death.

Granted this dog should have been on a leash, especially if there were tractors in the area! But, had the dog been on a leash and on a footpath and the tractor suddenly ran over him, then I would say this person should be entitled to compensation. Again, this was not the case, and this person should not be entitled to any compensation as they appear to be an irresponsible pet owner, however this issue will come up again when the pet owner is not at fault.

Loosing a pet can be extremely devastating, to infer otherwise is ridiculous. If current legislation doesn't provide for this, then it's time to act and make some legislation that is!
17:13 April 17, 2012 by derExDeutsche
'Loosing a pet can be extremely devastating, to infer otherwise is ridiculous. If current legislation doesn't provide for this, then it's time to act and make some legislation that is! '

Then how long before Slaughterhouses are sued?
18:04 April 17, 2012 by Reader75
I mourn the loss of this dog. He was probably a wonderful dog and a great companion. That said, there are leash laws in Germany for a reason: to protect the animal and to protect people. Whether you are walking alone in a field with your dog out in the middle of nowhere, or walking in a residential neighborhood, your dog must be leashed at all times. It is inconceivable that so many people do not understand this law - keep your dog(s) leashed! Many people think their dog won't get hurt or won't hurt anyone, but given the right set of circumstances anything can happen. In this case, a woman was walking her unleashed dog in what she thought was an unoccupied field and tragically the dog paid for the owner's ignoring the leash law with its life. And the farmer now has to live the rest of his life knowing that he accidentally killed a dog due to this woman's negligence when the whole thing could have been easily prevented if the woman had kept her dog leashed. It is just that simple. People just don't understand that breaking laws can have consequences to bystanders. Just think, if the woman had kept her dog leashed that day, she would have enjoyed a nice walk with her dog, the farmer would have plowed his field, the two would have never interacted with each other, and this entire scenerio would have been averted. Simply following the law would have turned this into a happy ending.
19:51 April 17, 2012 by Struwel
Only as in information: It's wrong that the dog has to be leashed at all times - We have a "Federal Law on Forests" here. According to this law in forests dogs don't have to be leashed as long as they walk on the ways (in general, people and dogs have to use the ways) and, of course, they should not be too far away and they have to listen to their owners.

I never will forget the one time my dog was bitten by another dog. The noise, especially the cries, and it was not even that bad. As far as I can imagine it must have been terrible for the woman to lose her dog in this way. I don't know how it happened, so in this case it may be right that they share the costs. If it happened because of carelessness of this one who drove the tractor - the article does not tell if it was a farmer or if it happened on a field - I hope the woman has a good lawyer. Tractors are also used in the forests where you go for a walk with your kids.

In general we finally should see pets and other animals, and change the law, as that what they are - living beings and not as things. I too think that "Loosing a pet can be extremely devastating"
21:48 April 17, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Tell that to Virgil and his pet fly!
00:13 April 18, 2012 by wood artist

I think you're possibly mistaking what the court said. According to the article, the court ruled that "...current legislation only covered compensation for suffering incurred with the death of a human companion or relative." That is much different than saying "pets shouldn't be included."

We trust the courts to apply the laws...good or bad. I agree with your general premise, but I would struggle if the court said "it isn't what the law says, but it's what we think is fair." While that might be an honest statement, it's not a proper judgement.

It may well be that the law should be changed, and as a pet owner, I would agree. However, I'd be more concerned if the courts were "making up laws" to suit their own desires. I think Roland Freisler did quite enough of that in Germany.

04:40 April 18, 2012 by DOZ
Time for banning all pets. It's animal abuse.
10:52 April 18, 2012 by MattyB
If this pet was not on a leash, how does this women have any legal claim to compensation at all?
14:45 April 18, 2012 by raandy
How ridiculous could it get if pet grief was given compensation.

Lets assume my hamster dies or maybe my gold fish,gerbil, rabbit ,or rat they are pets also, where would you draw the line, you couldn't .
15:30 April 18, 2012 by mos101392
Since the "pet" in the photo is of a dog I will respond by saying,

A dog is completely loyal to it's owner, however our human emotions don't count when we lose that pet that showed likewise loyalty and gratitude!

I've been saddened at the loss of a pet more so than some ex wives.
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