The value of a dog’s life will be determined by the Georgia Supreme Court.
Bob and Elizabeth Monyak’s 8-year-old Dachshund, Lola, died of kidney failure in 2013, according to Fox News. The couple allege that Barking Hound Village kennel in Atlanta gave their dog the wrong medicine, which ultimately caused her tragic death.
Kennel officials deny any wrongdoing in the canine’s death and are arguing that pets are property. They say that since the Monyaks paid nothing for Lola when they rescued her from an animal shelter, she had no value.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Monyaks paid $70k worth of vet bills to treat Lola following after she became ill. The dog’s worth is being determined after Lola’s owners spent tens of thousands of dollars in dialysis, tests, and other costly treatments. The Monyaks are hoping to somehow recover what they paid over getting their beloved pet well. Aside from asking a Fulton County jury to help them recover veterinarian expenses, they hope they’ll consider the value Lola had to her family.
Supreme Court must decide the value of a dog: https://t.co/LUZkL2562M pic.twitter.com/OwiLeMskNC
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) January 20, 2016
Elizabeth Monyak told AJC that the kennel was trying to argue that “a dog is like a toaster… when you break it, you throw it away and get a new one.” She went on to say, “A dog is indeed property under the law, but it’s a different kind of property.”
Joel McKie, an attorney for Barking Hound Village, said his client is “certainly sympathetic to the [Monyaks] for the loss of their beloved dog, Lola.”
Court documents reveals a more “business” approach to looking at the worth of this dog’s life.
“The purchase price of the dachshund was zero dollars, the rescue dog never generated revenue and nothing occurred during the Monyaks’ ownership of the dog that would have increased her market value,” the company’s filing said. “The mixed-breed dachshund had no special training or unique characteristics other than that of ‘family dog.’ ”
The Monyaks picked Lola up from the kennel in June, 2012. They noticed shortly thereafter that the Dachshund lost her appetite, which they say was unusual for her. Within a few days, a vet diagnosed her with kidney failure and said she overdosed on Rimadyl, a painkiller that he hadn’t prescribed the animal. The vet said he’d only prescribed Lola heart-worm medication in the past. So, when he received a call from Barking Hound claiming they ran out of her prescription pills, it was strange.
Lola died after a series of treatments that were unsuccessful to help her heal.
The Monyaks accuse Barking Hound of destroying any evidence they had of giving their dog any medicine — charges that the kennel firmly denies.
If the Georgia Supreme Court order the kennel to pay Lola’s owners, the amount will likely be up for debate.
Supreme Court must decide the value of a dog https://t.co/Q1cf2BJlbR
— AJC (@ajc) January 19, 2016
“Everyone knows dogs are family and more than mere property,” Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in a statement. “Courts across the nation are recognizing that beloved family members like Lola have intrinsic value — and when they are injured or killed by negligence, that value must be reflected in the damages their families are entitled to by law.”
The supreme court is expected to issue a ruling by this summer in what they see the value of this dog was.
A case like this is quite unusual and one that is very emotional. Will the Monyaks be awarded the money they’re hoping to get as part of the pain and suffering they’ve endured over losing their dog?
[Image via Shutterstock]