Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
User avatar
Thoreau
Gadget Kokopelli
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 10 2008 12:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Thoreau » Dec 19 2009 8:11 pm

I had an 'interesting' experience today while hiking Thompson Peak that I think illustrates at least one reason why leash laws/rules exist.

Let me start out by saying that if something as simple as this got my heart racing the way it did, I can't even imagine what it would be like to be dealing with a human instead of a dog (and Harold Fish had to deal with BOTH)...

Anywho, I was out on the trail to Thompson Peak today. Great hike (holy s&&& it was steep towards the end!) and all went well. Until about a mile or two from the end on my way back out.

I was coming up a hill and looked up to see a pretty good sized dog at the top. I had enough time to notice that it had tags hanging from a collar, so was able to immediately rule out stray and wild animal, which almost set me at ease. Unfortunately, the dog (looked to be a doberman mix of some type) noticed me and began growling/barking. No owner in sight. A few seconds later the dog made some false charges in my direction at which point my hand went to my H&K. JUST as it was about to come out of the holster, the owner appeared at the top of the hill on a mountain bike and managed to get the dog back under voice control and to back off (took 2-3 tries to get the dogs obedience.)

Owner apologized immediately and all was well, but that's probably because he never noticed I was carrying.

In that short time, I was amazed at how something so minor could pump that much adrenaline into the bloodstream. I've never even been charged at by a dog before in my life, but even while armed it was an experience to remember.

Why the hell do some dog owners think it's okay for them to let their dogs off leash in public places? I mean, it's not like every hiking trail, preserve, forest, etc. doesn't have signs up reminding people that dogs must always be on a leash. That's as much for the protection of other people as the dog/owner. That poor dog, through NO fault of its own, was only about 1-2 seconds away from being introduced to a .40 (or 14). All because some owner can't follow simple, basic rules.

For added fun, all that dog's barking got the attention of a nearby pack of coyotes who were then singing away for the remainder of my hike out. As if native wildlife isn't reason enough for a caring dog owner to keep the dog under control at all times...

User avatar
Grasshopper
Detailapelli
Posts: 1614
Joined: Dec 28 2006 5:06 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 19 2009 8:29 pm

Hiking etiquette with dogs viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3917
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

User avatar
Jeffshadows
Dirty Pooch Harry
Posts: 2593
Joined: Jan 30 2008 8:46 am
City, State: Old Pueblo

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Jeffshadows » Dec 19 2009 8:52 pm

My HAZ title says it all... :D
AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA

User avatar
Thoreau
Gadget Kokopelli
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 10 2008 12:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Thoreau » Dec 19 2009 9:04 pm

Definitely a good thread which, interestingly, I had voted for the 2nd option... before my current encounter (and before I acquired my own dog recently.)

The whole subject certainly has a LOT of gray area. My hike yesterday on Camelback brought me into contact with at least three dogs. All of them were VERY well behaved, friendly, and went about their own business of slobbering and chasing after their owners =) Honestly, I can't say I had any issues with them, but I did still have the leash rule in the back of my mind nagging at me. Today I think I discovered why.

Of course, my experience today is only one of a HOST of reasons why it's often safer for everyone (the dog, owner, 2rd parties, wildlife, the actual land, etc.) to follow the rules for the area. I won't pretend to be perfect and claim to always follow every rule, but the entire McDowell Sonoran Preserve does specifically allow leashed dogs. Of course, they also prohibit firearms if you follow the main website 'rules' list (illegal to do so under AZ law, thankfully) so I suppose even that would be open to debate.

User avatar
Thoreau
Gadget Kokopelli
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 10 2008 12:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Thoreau » Dec 19 2009 9:07 pm

Jeff MacE wrote:My HAZ title says it all... :D
After seeing your responses to the thread Grasshopper linked to, I've gotta say I agree with you 100% =)

I'm actually very glad there are places where dogs are allowed (leashed or not.) It's good to have choices.

User avatar
nonot
Bon Fire Kokopelli
Posts: 1849
Joined: Nov 18 2005 11:52 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by nonot » Dec 19 2009 11:45 pm

If you're a grown man, worst that's gonna happen from a dog attack is a couple of lacerations and minor puncture wounds. Still, if you're afraid of dogs and want to shoot one that attacks you, go ahead. I'd recommend you do wait until the dog actually touches you though...like you did. Maybe the owner would be more careful to leash aggressive dogs with the next one, but I doubt it.

I'm reasonably sure you and most others could take it down without needing a gun, and a 40 is quite overkill for the job...would just take longer without a weapon. Only thing that would bother me is if there's kids around. Or very small women. That's when you need to change from passive (waiting to see if the dog attacks) to taking the initiative (kick the dog, get it's attention on you and not the kids.)
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

User avatar
SuperstitionGuy
Retired Reminiscer
Posts: 1534
Joined: Dec 25 2005 8:24 pm
City, State: Apache Junction, Arizona

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Dec 20 2009 6:35 am

nonot wrote:Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
And we might add, unleashed dogs that may eat whats left of you! :scared:
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

Current avatar courtesy of Snakemarks

User avatar
PaleoRob
Culture Kokopelli
Posts: 2341
Joined: Apr 03 2006 12:21 pm
City, State: Grand Junction, CO
Contact:

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by PaleoRob » Dec 20 2009 7:28 am

nonot wrote:If you're a grown man, worst that's gonna happen from a dog attack is a couple of lacerations and minor puncture wounds.
My father-in-law was bitten in his house by a small, domestic dog (Basenji) on his foot, and ended up losing his toe. This wasn't a full-fledged attack, just a bite from a small dog he saw every day. I think that something much worse could happen if you were attacked by a larger dog out "in the wild".
Of course, they also prohibit firearms if you follow the main website 'rules' list (illegal to do so under AZ law, thankfully) so I suppose even that would be open to debate.
This sentence confuses me. Which is the illegal part - being illegal to carry firearms in the preserve, or illegal for the preserve to ban firearms? Or something else?
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

User avatar
Azbackcountry
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 94
Joined: Sep 08 2008 9:18 pm
City, State: Az

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Azbackcountry » Dec 20 2009 7:54 am

nonot wrote:If you're a grown man, worst that's gonna happen from a dog attack is a couple of lacerations and minor puncture wounds.
That is a not a true statement sir. Now you are generalizing the entire male population. So every man has 2 arms and can successfully fend off a vicious dog who is set on attacking and biting someone and tearing into their flesh? I know for a fact that there are many physically handicapped people who still go out on the trails hiking and would not be able to defend themselves against a large dog. I am sure...wait no, I KNOW there are several breeds of dogs which grow to be very large and not every grown man could successfully defend himself against a great dane, or perhaps a large rabid rotty, or a large vicious doberman.

I have come across many unleashed dogs while out hiking and I'm not the type to keep quiet. I always mention to the owners that there is a leash law, even out on the trails, and they might want to put their dog on leash in order to keep from having their dog scare other hikers. Sometimes they thank me and put the dog back on leash, other times they scowl at me and tell me to mind my own freakin business, and I continue on with my hike.

I was hiking Tanque Verde falls once when I came upon 2 guys who had 2 large rotty's with them unleashed. The larger of the dogs started barking and charged towards me. I did a little boulder hopping in order to get above the dog and quickly grabbed my xd40 and was sighted in on the dog. The owner started yelling at me not to shoot and came running towards myself and the dog as fast as he could, yelling at the dog trying to get him to back off unsuccessfully. He was able to leash the dog but it did not deter the dog from trying to still get to me and sink his teeth into me. I sat perched on my boulder with my xd in my hand as I watched him literally drag his dog backwards away from me as it is still barking and staring and growling at me. I was pretty shook up from that encounter. Now when I hike I keep my xd where it is easily accessible and will not hesitate to draw down on a dog that so much as charges towards me. I would rather put a dog down and possibly have to wind up going to civil court than take the chance of being bitten by a dog, possibly having flesh torn from my body, have to go to the emergency room, get rabies shots, get staples and stitches, file a police report, and deal with the mental scars from a dog attack. Just my $.02!

User avatar
Thoreau
Gadget Kokopelli
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 10 2008 12:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Thoreau » Dec 20 2009 8:43 am

PageRob wrote:
nonot wrote:If you're a grown man, worst that's gonna happen from a dog attack is a couple of lacerations and minor puncture wounds.
My father-in-law was bitten in his house by a small, domestic dog (Basenji) on his foot, and ended up losing his toe. This wasn't a full-fledged attack, just a bite from a small dog he saw every day. I think that something much worse could happen if you were attacked by a larger dog out "in the wild".
Of course, they also prohibit firearms if you follow the main website 'rules' list (illegal to do so under AZ law, thankfully) so I suppose even that would be open to debate.
This sentence confuses me. Which is the illegal part - being illegal to carry firearms in the preserve, or illegal for the preserve to ban firearms? Or something else?
Aside from that instance of 'worst thats gonna happen' it simply isn't the responsibility of any hiker out there to take a hit of ANY level from an uncontrolled dog. Some dogs are quite well versed at doing damage to flesh, and we hikers are under no obligation to downgrade our defenses =) There's also the small matter of the fact that (admittedly, specifically trained) dogs are used by police andmilitary forces specifically for things such as attacking. If every 'grown man' was able to easily fend of a dog, that wouldn't be a very effective tool for them to use.

On the firearm portion, Arizona has a preemption law which prevents ANY local laws/rules on public lands (and specifically parks such as this) from enacting any laws/rules that are stricter than state firearm laws. In other words, state law says the city of Scottsdale, or in this case the McDowell Sonoran Preserve who manages and maintains the land/trails, can't prohibit firearms. (I've actually been in an email 'battle' of sorts to get them to straighten that rule out for a while, ever since that kid was arrested there carrying an airsoft rifle (which they actually CAN ban.))

Relevant statute:
http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/13/03108.htm

Sections that apply:
A
C.5

In short, state law can not be overruled by an overzealous city of Scottsdale. I've had emails bouncing back and forth with the MSP folks, Sgt. Clark of the Scottsdale PD, and the previous and current Preserve Division Director at the City of Scottsdale on the matter for months now without any resolution.

User avatar
rdavisiii
Kokopelliii
Posts: 90
Joined: Jul 25 2006 8:03 am
City, State: Linneus, Me
Contact:

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by rdavisiii » Dec 20 2009 10:11 am

Like anything that invades your space, it is subject to the defense of that space you prefer. I have had leashed dogs jump on me in the preserve and unleashed dogs just happily pass me by. Owners know how their dogs behave and acting surprised when their dog jump, charge, growl, etc... is complete BS. I used to hike with this guy and his dog was a complete dink. Yet he always let it run and was always "Oh, so sorry" when the dog did what it did over and over and over. I hope he and that dog got eaten by a Yeti. I say next time reveal the cold steal and let the owner know you mean business, he knows his dog is a dink, why should you be the only one with the adrenaline flowing, spread the joy.
Lower aircraft have the right of way!

User avatar
chumley
Norwegian Kokopelli
Posts: 6680
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by chumley » Dec 20 2009 10:53 am

Of course, they also prohibit firearms if you follow the main website 'rules' list (illegal to do so under AZ law, thankfully) so I suppose even that would be open to debate.
This sentence confuses me. Which is the illegal part - being illegal to carry firearms in the preserve, or illegal for the preserve to ban firearms? Or something else?
I don't know about the preserve's rules, but Tempe parks (including Papago, and Town Lake) revised their signs a few years back, because they used to prohibit firearms ... which isn't legal. Now all signs say that "dangerous activities (such as archery and discharging firearms) are prohibited".

That seems to be a nice way to comply with all state laws.

(I'll leave my dog-leash comments to Hank's thread ... though I have seen some very unfriendly-looking dogs before, and I totally disagree with the concept that because I'm a grown man I should somehow feel like getting my face disfigured by a rabid dog is ok and I shouldn't be able to shoot it because I weigh more, can stand on two legs, and have thumbs.)
Ja vi elsker dette landet

User avatar
Thoreau
Gadget Kokopelli
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 10 2008 12:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Thoreau » Dec 20 2009 11:51 am

chumley wrote:I don't know about the preserve's rules
...

A quick sidetrack for anyone interested in the details surrounding the preserve's policies and attempts to resolve them, here's the letter I shot (no pun intended) off to them months ago.

Code: Select all

To whom this may concern:
 
Recent events in the news combined with my own love of hiking and enjoying the outdoors have brought to my attention an issue regarding the firearm policies which relate to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
 
Signage posted at the preserve (please see attached) specifically prohibits the mere possession of a firearm (which, for the record, violates A.R.S. 13-3108.  The only restriction that can legally be made is to require possession of an AZ DPS-issues CCW permit.) 
 
Your website shows yet another version of the wording to also include further restrictions:  "As on all city property, fire arms - including paintball guns and all firing devices - are prohibited."
 
One step further, your 'Full Text' version of the rules located at http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/documents/preserve/ord3321.pdf specifies even one more version of the rules (this one appearing to be in compliance with A.R.S. 13-3108.)
 
Sec. 21-12. General rules for use.
(a) All persons using the preserve shall comply with all federal and state laws, and county and city ordinances, rules and regulations.
(b) All persons using the preserve shall comply with the following, except as may be specifically authorized by a permit or permits issued as provided in this section, or in sections 21-22 or 21-23 of this chapter:
  (1) No person shall possess a deadly weapon, or an air rifle, air pistol or slingshot in the preserve, or a firearm in any developed or improved area, as defined in A.R.S. § 13-3108, except as otherwise permitted by law.
 
Not being a lawyer myself, I am not aware of when each of these rules and A.R.S. statues were enacted, and their timed relation to each other, but I would like to know when the McDowell Sonoran Preserve intends to update the signage in order to reflect the actual laws in place (such as has already been done in places like Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak (Phoenix Mountain Preserve) and many others.
 
As a law-abiding Arizona resident and US citizen, I take my right to self-defense very seriously, and carry my sidearm at all times.  This should not change when I am out enjoying Arizona's beautiful lands in my free time.  Respectfully, I am requesting clarification on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve's stance on the laws in question, and additional clarification on the signage which is posted throughout the preserve.
 
Best Regards,
That was sent on August 20th of this year, a reply and CC to then-director Bob Cafarella the same day saying 'we will investigate.' Silence until I sent a follow up out on October 29th, another response on the 30th to the following effect (from the new director.)

Code: Select all

Ruthie, I am still working on this information. I am not that clear on the ordinance and will ask for our legal group to comment. I want to make sure our language is the same as we have in parks.

Bill Murphy
I sent yet another followup on December 3rd but received zero response. Around the time of the emails on the 30th, I also contacted Scottsdale PD and got:

Code: Select all

Thank you for your concern on this matter. The police department will enforce the laws that pertain to the park and any given situation where such laws are broken. We are not involved in the review or crafting of laws, that would fall under the duties of the legislative branch of the entity that has the laws on their books.
 
Sgt. Mark Clark
Just as vague as I would expect a non-lawyer to be (to cover their butts.) I have a feeling he was a little hesitant to answer with any affirmative data due to the kid who had been arrested there with an airsoft gun. This Sgt. was the same one who seemed to be issuing all related press-releases on that case at the time.

Even with all of the above, so long as state law permits me to carry, I couldn't care less what the preserve posts as they are already overruled. I'm simply pursuing this to make sure all signage is updated to reflect reality, and not being used to illegally disarm law-abiding citizens, lest they get to come across a legitimate need as I almost did.

Edit: I should note that this particular preserve entrance (and the trailhead attached to it through the residential development) are completely lacking of any incorrect signage relating to this. That is to say, nowhere are firearms even mentioned on any sign where you park, enter, pay the $1 fee, etc.

The way the Tempe parks handled it is certainly legal and covers all the bases, even if it is entirely redundant. Discharge of any firearm (short of justified cause, or at a proper shooting range) is always illegal within Phoenix city limits (and Tempe, and Scottsdale, and most of the major metro areas.) They might as well post a rule stating that murder is also 'prohibited.' :)

User avatar
nonot
Bon Fire Kokopelli
Posts: 1849
Joined: Nov 18 2005 11:52 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by nonot » Dec 20 2009 1:22 pm

The purpose of police dogs is to distract the criminal, not damage the criminal. The injuries incurred by police dogs are minor, but most people are pain adverse so they're effective. While you fend off the dog, the police can approach you more safely because you're busy fending off the dog and less apt to shoot the police.

This is also the reason a pack of dogs and wolves is more dangerous. You can fend one off, probably two, but the third (or tenth) is the one that gets you.
Thoreau wrote: Aside from that instance of 'worst thats gonna happen' it simply isn't the responsibility of any hiker out there to take a hit of ANY level from an uncontrolled dog. Some dogs are quite well versed at doing damage to flesh, and we hikers are under no obligation to downgrade our defenses =) There's also the small matter of the fact that (admittedly, specifically trained) dogs are used by police andmilitary forces specifically for things such as attacking. If every 'grown man' was able to easily fend of a dog, that wouldn't be a very effective tool for them to use.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

User avatar
BobP
Cairn Reaper
Posts: 1603
Joined: Feb 26 2008 3:43 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by BobP » Dec 20 2009 2:43 pm

rdavisiiis' last line is a good one.
http://www.blindmotivation.com
http://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP

User avatar
Jeffshadows
Dirty Pooch Harry
Posts: 2593
Joined: Jan 30 2008 8:46 am
City, State: Old Pueblo

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Jeffshadows » Dec 20 2009 2:56 pm

...I could probably fend it off, yes. I could even prove what a bad mofo I am to all around by dropping my pack and stripping down to my briefs and taking the mutt on with nothing but an alligator smile and my knife. That would be epic, I'm sure. Back here on planet Earth I think I would find it a lot easier to simply shoot the marauding beast and be done with it. The little flea-train would have to be getting ready to bite me for me to go to DEFCON 1, but it *would* happen.
AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA

User avatar
fricknaley
Yikesapelli
Posts: 432
Joined: Jun 20 2003 4:07 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by fricknaley » Dec 20 2009 6:23 pm

Jeff MacE wrote:stripping down to my briefs and taking the mutt on with nothing but an alligator smile
you've got more of a crocodile smile, IMHO. :D
hi

User avatar
Davis2001r6
Italian Kokopelli
Posts: 506
Joined: Dec 06 2003 3:27 am
City, State: Suffolk, UK
Contact:

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Davis2001r6 » Dec 21 2009 2:01 pm

I must say I love being in Europe. They may have leash laws, but 90% of the dogs are just walking next to their owner sans leash. Nobody complaining about it either. I'm not just talking out in the woods I mean through the streets of Venice, Vienna, Prague you name it. Just dogs being free and more well behaved as well. Maybe if we didn't chain them up and keep them constrained as much as it's mandated in the US they would act better as well.

User avatar
BobP
Cairn Reaper
Posts: 1603
Joined: Feb 26 2008 3:43 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by BobP » Dec 21 2009 2:19 pm

Article by Hannah Sentenac

The death of a family's beloved canine companion in Vermont has sparked a legal battle over pets' rights and the question of whether they should be recognized family members.

Denis and Sarah Scheele of Annapolis, Md., were moved to push for the courts to give legal recognition to the bond between humans and animals after they lost their "little boy," a mixed-breed adopted dog named Shadow on a family vacation in 2003. Legal recognition would allow people to sue for "loss of companionship" damages when their pets are the victims of animal cruelty.

"Pets give so much to us, unconditionally," Sarah Scheele said. "You can't put a price on that."

Losing Their 'Little Boy'

Unable to have children, the Scheeles treated their two adopted dogs, Shadow and Lucy, like family. They fed the canines people-food, brushed their teeth twice daily and took the dogs everywhere.

It was during a game of hide-and-seek on a family trip to Vermont in July 2003 that tragedy struck. Shadow was shot by a Northfield, Vt., resident with a pellet gun after he ran onto the man's private property. The shot severed an aorta; Shadow died on the way to the hospital.

"Shadow was in my lap in the car, and he always had such sparkly eyes, and all of a sudden I noticed that his eyes weren't sparkling anymore," Sarah Scheele said.

Larry Dustin, the elderly man who shot the dog, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, and was sentenced to pay almost $4,000 in damages to the Scheeles, as well as undergo counseling and complete community service.

But the Scheeles say the loss of Shadow caused them emotional damages far beyond $4,000.

Hoping to break new legal ground, the couple filed a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages based on loss of companionship and emotional distress.

But Vermont Superior Court Judge Matthew Katz shot down the case, ruling there was nothing in that state's law that would allow the Scheeles to seek damages based on those losses. The couple plans to appeal the ruling to the Vermont Supreme Court.

"Starting in Vermont, we are looking to create case law that will set precedent for similar cases," Sarah Scheele said.

New Legal Territory

The Humane Society of the United States is one of the organizations fighting for new laws that reflect society's current attitude towards animals.

"We favor a general provision to recognize that there is an emotional dimension to this issue, and there should be compensation for people whose pets are the victims of cruelty," said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society.

In the 1979 case of Corso v. Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital, Inc., a New York judge delivered a landmark ruling awarding a woman damages for the mistreatment of her dead dog's body by a pet hospital.

"To say it [the dog] is a piece of personal property and no more is a repudiation of our humaneness. This I cannot accept," the judge said in her ruling.

Since then, courts in states such as California, Tennessee and Kentucky have awarded some damages above the "market-value" of the animals to owners who have lost their pets to cruelty.

"Case precedent is a significant step in paving the way for legislation," said Dana Campbell, senior attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. "These cases can help show that loss of companionship should be a cause of action."

But other courts continue to reject the claims, and legislation is still lacking. So advocates are taking their cause one state at a time. If the Scheeles succeed in Vermont, they will next take their case to Maryland, their home state.

"History shows that cruelty issues are settled on the state level. State lawmakers will be considering public opinion as they introduce new legislation to reflect society's antipathy towards acts of animal cruelty," Pacelle said.

But one lawyer who has fought to stop these types of lawsuits says this issue has nothing to do with love for furry friends.

Victor Schwartz, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon and co-author of the Pepperdine law review article, "Non-Economic Damages in Pet Litigation: The Serious Need to Preserve a Rational Rule," is an animal lover.

But Schwartz says courts siding on the side of emotion are risking heading down a slippery slope, since veterinarians, pet boarders, and animal medicine manufacturers will be plagued with lawsuits and liability insurance will skyrocket.

"If everyone is able to sue for unspecified amounts based on emotional damages, the cost of veterinary medicine will become unaffordable for most people," he said.

Schwartz added that means for seeking damages in cases of animal cruelty already exist in the courts.

In most states, including Vermont, civil lawsuits allow people to sue for punitive damages in cases of "conscious reckless wrongdoing." That means if someone's animal is intentionally hurt or killed, pet owners already have the option to sue for damages and deter such behavior.

So, Schwartz said, the need to award damages based on emotional loss is unnecessary and would only hurt pet owners in the long run.

"We don't need to enlarge the scope of liability," he said. "Criminal law exists to punish individuals who perpetrate cruelty. If those laws aren't strong enough, we need to make them stronger."

The Scheeles say they simply want to honor Shadow's memory. Eventually, the couple hopes for "Shadow's Law" to become federal law, ensuring that animals have legal standing in all states.

"Animal cruelty goes on everyday everywhere," Sarah Scheele said. "But if there's a law that recognizes pets as beings that deserve respect, maybe people will think twice before they're cruel to an animal."

:scared: stuff
http://www.blindmotivation.com
http://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP

User avatar
Jeffshadows
Dirty Pooch Harry
Posts: 2593
Joined: Jan 30 2008 8:46 am
City, State: Old Pueblo

Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Jeffshadows » Dec 21 2009 3:23 pm

Only a person who has no human children of his or her own could ever feel that way about a pooch!!
AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA

Post Reply

Return to “Dogs”


cron