As the law currently stands, then, a dog is only valued at the replacement cost. But, a sentimental photograph of that same dog, if destroyed, could be worth a tremendous amount of money in a lawsuit.
There is no “market value” assigned to the companionship lost when a dog is wrongfully killed – and that’s what the Texas Supreme Court will be forced to determine this year.
Carla Strickland’s attorney, John Cayce, told ABC News, “This case really goes beyond the dispute between Strickland and the Medlens. It would have an adverse impact on just the average citizen in the state that might accidentally run over a dog on the way to work. With that kind of liability, the insurance rates would go up.”
Additionally, Cayce said, “They have proved that the emotional sentimental value of a pet could be as high as the national debt.”
However, the Medlens say they aren’t looking for a big payout. They simply want the courts to “recognize the value society places on animals, now.”
Should the Medlens win their case at the Supreme Court level, those entrusted with the care of companion animals throughout the state, and eventually the nation, will be forced to be more careful. Bottom line, fewer families, like the Medlens, will be powerless against those that accidentally kill their pets.
Both attorneys agree that a Supreme Court decision should be made before the end of this year.
What other changes would you expect to see if the Supreme Court rules that dogs have sentimental value?