Animal cruelty — we abhor it. We can’t even stand the sight of animal death scenes in movies. However, we rein in our adoration for fur babies when we’re handling personal injury lawsuits involving dog bites for our clients in Renton.
The state of Washington is a “strict liability state,” which means owners are liable for their dogs’ bites whether or not they know that their dogs are dangerous prior to the biting incident. This is opposed to the rules governing “one bite states.”
That legal trivia aside, dogs also suffer a cruel fate in the hands of even those who are supposed to keep them in tip-top shape. Here are some such cases.
A mutt’s misdiagnosis
Deciding to put your pup to sleep is one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make as a dog owner. If the vet gives your pooch a deadly diagnosis, it could be the right thing to do...except when it isn’t, and the vet was just having an off day at the clinic.
Luckily for Jared Genser and his wife Lisa’s family dog Finnegan, a second opinion proved to be a wise decision in saving the life of the five-year-old pooch. When the Gensers took Finn to a vet in the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, they were told that their pet was suffering from osteosarcoma, a debilitating bone cancer.
After having a good cry, the couple scheduled euthanasia as advised by the U Penn doctor. Before sealing Finn’s fate, however, they decided to get a second opinion from Ohio State University, where they obtained a fantastic piece of news: Finn did not have osteosarcoma but was merely recovering from an injury.
Finnegan remained healthy — and cancer-free — in the next three years. The Gensers didn’t file a lawsuit, and in an ideal world, dogs themselves can sue for medical malpractice.
The botched corrective surgery
There are a few things worse than a botched surgery performed on animals. One of those things is performing a corrective surgery and botching that one as well.
What seven-year-old Ted, a corgi-blue heeler mix, suffered at the hands of a Utah veterinarian is not something you would wish on even the most rabid dog. His owner Jenn Diedrich brought him to the clinic of Eric Bonder, who mistakenly operated on Ted’s left leg, the healthy one — thrice. Realizing his mistake, Dr. Bonder went right back to the operating table to fix his mistake but ended up fracturing the leg that was fine to begin with.
Among the things Dr. Bonder allegedly said to justify his mistake was “By law, your dog is worth only $100, anyway.” But the erring doctor denied saying it. Ms. Diedrich took action by filing a complaint in the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Unfortunately for her and Ted, the office hasn’t taken any action.
Later, a mishap involving a feline patient caused Dr. Bonder’s veterinary license to be temporarily put on probation. We believe this is what’s called poetic justice.
The vet technician-turned-foster parent
Have you ever had a pet so adorable that a vet was compelled to adopt it? If not, consider yourself lucky, unlike one family in New Jersey whose miniature pinscher Caesar was scheduled to be euthanized due to a long-term illness.
Instead of being euthanized, Caesar was taken in by a Briarwood Veterinary Hospital technician who kept poor old Caesar “out of compassion for the dog and a desire to rehabilitate his health.” Never mind the fact that a dog is a living, breathing property, of which unauthorized ownership counts as theft.
When taking your pets to the vet, checking the pet doc’s background isn’t paranoia; it’s a matter of life and death. Perform a background check of his or her credentials online or check your state’s veterinary license board to see if the vet’s license is legitimate.
Recovering damages from the emotional loss due to the cruelty inflicted on your pet is not the easiest thing to settle. Always see to it that you’re not taking little Rufus to a petnapper or an unlicensed quack. In fact, it’s just as important as checking the credentials of your personal injury attorneys — if you live in Renton, Seattle, that would be us, Buckingham, LaGrandeur & Williams.