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Our dog was put to sleep without contacting us even though they knew we were the owners and had called about her fee and release

Rockford, IL |
Filed under: Animal law

our dog was taken for a 10 day hold due to a bite investigation. her 10 days were up on 7/27/13. We called to pick her up on the 29th and were told she needed to have a chip put in. That's fine we would pay but we were not contacted when and if this was done. On Monday 8/5/13 my fiancé went into the pound to get her because no one called like the animal control officer told us and was told that they put her to sleep on the 2nd. No one attempted to contact us to pick her up, before her death or even let us know after, our number is on file. She was family and her death was unnecessary. I don't believe this can possibly be legal I don't know what to do in this case. I think someone should have to answer for their disregard of a life.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

This could potentially be a wrongful death suit. Your main hurdles will be the qualified immunity/privilege of the county and their counter-argument that they would have put the dog to sleep regardless.

This answer is intended as informational only, and does not constitute legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship between us.

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Asker

Posted

I was told by the animal control officer that dogs are allowed 3 offences, this being her first she needed to have a chip put in and be on the 10 day hold. I was also arguing with him that she didn't bite anyone. She jumped on the neighbor leaving a scratch but he said his boss said they had to take her for the hold even if it wasn't a bite because of the broken skin. I think a minor scratch is no where near what she would have done had she bit anyone. We have a 4 year old son, it was his dog and she was great with him just hyper like all young dogs.

Asker

Posted

I also have been unable to find a lawyer who takes animal death cases. I don't know who to call, everyone says they are unfamiliar with this area. Do you possibly have any referrals?

Chen Kasher

Chen Kasher

Posted

Legal principles never change. Facts do. Wrongful death needs to apply to dogs.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your help, Ill keep trying to find someone at least you've given me a little hope that it isn't for nothing.

Chen Kasher

Chen Kasher

Posted

You need someone young, hungry, and not afraid to lose. Established attorneys with daycare and mortgages are unlikely to take on an unorthodox case.

Posted

I am very sorry this happened to you. I am assuming this is a government owned facility. In addition to the answer already provided, I would suggest that you contact everyone from your alderman to the city manager and the mayor, and maybe a couple of newspapers and television stations. At the very least, maybe you can make sure this does not happen to someone else.

By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you we are trying to figure out exactly what happened. Apparently the shelter doesn't have much information for us about anything. And it seems someone was falsifying information that she is relaying. I wonder why...

Thomas O. Moens

Thomas O. Moens

Posted

I am guessing someone screwed up. All the more reason to keep going up the authority ladder. What a terrible and inexcusable situation.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.

Posted

I am very sorry for the loss of your companion, Contrary to what has been said, yours is not a wrongful death action as this cause of action applies only to human beings. As a dog person and rescuer, I hate it that dogs are considered chattel (property) and therefore have few rights but that is the state of the law. You need to do as suggested and contact local authorities as well as possibly local media so this mistake is never made again. It would probably not be worth your time and money to pursue legal action against animal control. No other dog can replace your lost one but hopefully you will find room in your heart and home to take in another furkid some day soon. Again, I am very sorry for your loss.

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Chen Kasher

Chen Kasher

Posted

Yes, I spent more time researching the issue and Attorney Goldstein is correct. You get FMV + the actual value to you (which can include sentimental value): http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ddus50statesurvey_companion_animals.htm

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