A case is reported from Seattle USA, where Yofi, a 12 year old cat was mauled to death in her owner’s back yard by the neighbour’s Chow dog.
The dog had a reputation for escaping. Yofi’s owner was awarded $15,000 for emotional distress as she was so traumatised she suffered sleep disturbances and panic attacks and became depressed.
A further $30,000 was awarded as the personal value of Yofi. This was apparently a record value for a pet.
The award could have the result of scaring away pet carers who may be held responsible for untimely animal deaths.
Could this happen in New Zealand? It is possible although one would expect any award to be substantially less.
Is your dog adequately restrained?
And incidentally, do you pet owners have pet insurance, to cover veterinary costs? This is being increasingly used in New Zealand.
Are your other assets adequately covered by insurance?