Value of Man's Best Friend $20
Atlanta, GE - Harris recalls the day his 8-year-old chow was attacked by an American Bulldog at the dog park. The dog "snapped and he went into full attack mode," Harris said. "His canine teeth had ripped Digby from the top of his back all the way to his stomach. We were just pulling the dogs apart and the more we pulled, the more my dog was screaming."
Harris rushed Digby to the vet hospital where his wound was cleaned and stapled shut. But Harris said the next several days were agonizing for both he and his dog. "Every time he would exhale, he would cry,” said Harris. Twelve days later, Digby died from bacterial build up in his blood tracing back to the bulldog. All Jeff has left is a memorial for Digby in his home, which is now silent without his partner.
Harris wants to sue the bulldog’s owners because of the pain and suffering both he and Digby endured. But in Georgia and other states, animals are considered property and a court may only award a plaintiff the worth of that property. In this case, Harris rescued Digby and paid $20 for him. The video stated that Jeff might seek reimbursement for the veterinary bills and other nonpunative damages.
Jeff said, "I think there needs to be some kind of law or legislation, something so that the owner’s of the dog that was attacked have some type or recourse." There is a push in Georgia and other states to change the laws so that punitive damages, such as pain and suffering, would apply. As it is, there are a number of cases nationwide where courts have awarded pet owners punitive damages.
What to Do if Your Dog is Injured or Killed
Widely respected dog bite attorney Kenneth Phillips has a downloadable self-help book for Jeff's situation. The cost of the book is $9.95. Phillips writes on his website: "What To Do If Your Dog Is Injured Or Killed will enable you to get compensated for veterinarian bills, emotional distress, and anything else that you are legally entitled to receive." DogsBite.org has not reviewed this book.
Pictured: Jeff Harris, former dog owner.
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