Animal Welfare

Animal Law encompasses all traditional legal practice areas including torts, contracts, criminal law, trusts & estates, family, constitutional, and property law to name but a few. Although many disputes may involve an animal, a case will involve Animal Welfare specifically if the case is focused on the either the animal’s best interest or animals’ best interest, as a whole. Although the roots of Animal Welfare Law are ancient, this type of practice area is still a relatively new subject in today’s court houses. However, this developing area is growing at a rapid pace and becoming more widespread every day perhaps, in part, due to media coverage of animal cruelty incidents or generous gifts made to benefit animal causes. Increasingly, law schools offer Animal Law courses and legal practitioners are venturing into this field of practice possibly due to the exciting challenge it presents or out of sensitivity toward animals and their plight.

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Death or Injury to Companion Animal

If someone has injured or killed your animal companion, you may be entitled to damages—regardless of whether the animal was injured or killed purposefully or accidentally—so long as the conduct was at least negligent. When an animal is injured or killed, you are generally entitled to compensation for the “market value” of the animal, veterinary bills and possibly punitive damages, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. What compensation is available depends entirely on the facts and circumstances of each case, and differs significantly from state to state.

~ The information above was taken, in part, from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

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