Fort Worth family loses suit over pet's sentimental value - Dallas News |

Fort Worth family loses suit over pet's sentimental value

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The Texas Supreme Court rejected a Fort Worth couple's lawsuit over the sentimental value of their dog, which was mistakenly euthanized.

In 2009, Jeremy and Kathryn Medlens Labrador, named Avery, was picked up by Fort Worth animal control. A shelter worker put the dog on the wrong list, and it was put down.

The Medlens sued the shelter worker for sentimental value of the dog. If they won the case, it would change current state law, which says pet owners can only sue for market value of their pets.

The couple won a brief victory in the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, but lost it in the Texas Supreme Court.

Their attorney, Randy Turner, still can't believe a jury could award his clients' monetary damages if a picture of their dog is destroyed, but not for the loss of the dog itself.

At least, he says, people are now talking about the issue.

"We've got a discussion going now about how do we value our animals, our pets - how should the law treat our pets," Turner said. "These things take time, and I view it as a process. We weren't successful this time but I think we will be in the future at some point."

They can't appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, but Turner hopes he, or another attorney, could ask to have the case reviewed.

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