Contact Us
Make My Homepage

NJ Supreme Court Rules – Pets Are Not Family – Agree or Disagree [POLL]

Flikr user tsmithucalgary – a fur baby maltipoo
Flikr user tsmithucalgary – a fur baby maltipoo

This has to be tough for anyone who thinks of their dog as a “fur baby.”

In a ruling pertaining to a case that dates back to 2007, the NJ Supreme Court ruled against a woman who’s was suing for emotional distress when her maltipoo was mauled by a neighbor’s dog in Morris Plains.

According to this:

The case stems from the experience of Joyce McDougall, who witnessed her maltipoo, Angel, being mauled to death on Mountain Way in Morris Plains on June 7, 2007.

A large, mixed-breed dog ran out from a garage of the home of Charlot Lamm on Mountain Way as McDougall — a visitor to the area from Virginia — was walking Angel.

The large dog grabbed Angel by the neck, shook her several times and dropped her to the ground dead.

Lamm conceded liability and a bench trial was held in Morris County on damages. The judge, who heard testimony from McDougall on her close relationship with her pet, awarded her $5,000 for the value of the dog but found that case law did not support a recovery for emotional distress because animals are considered property. The appellate division, and now the Supreme Court, upheld the trial judge.

I can safely say that were I to see little “Soaph-a-loaf” (my daughter’s beagle/daschaund mix) undergo a similar fate; I too…yes, even I, would be traumatized by the sight of such an unthinkable event.

But still, a dog is a dog…not a person!

The ruling went on to say:

“Although we recognize that many people form close bonds with their pets, we conclude that those bonds do not rise to the level of a close familial relationship or intimate, marital-like bond,” the court said in a 36-page opinion.

“The bond shared between humans and animals is often an emotional and enduring one,” the court said. “Permitting it to support a recovery for emotional distress, however, would require either that we vastly expand the classes of human relationships that would qualify for (damages) or that we elevate relationships with animals above those we share with other human beings.”

You may want to grab your “fur baby” now, hold it, and whisper into its ear, “…bad bad Supreme Court. How dare they say you’re not my family!”

Do you agree with the NJ Supreme Court’s ruling that pets are not family?


Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!