Landmark Lawsuit Seeks Damages For Puppy’s Pain And Suffering

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Is a puppy “property” or more than that?

A new lawsuit seeks to redefine a dog’s legal status.

At issue is Umka, a female Brussels Griffon, born in December of 2010. Elena Zakharova bought Umka for $1,650 from Raising Rover, Ltd. in Manhattan.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports

A lawsuit filed by Zakharova’s attorney Susan Chana Lask alleges that just four months after purchasing the dog, Umka was in pain and developed a disorder in her hips and legs as a result of a congenital defect.

“I was crying non-stop and then I couldn’t sleep for another two days just trying to figure out the next steps,” Zakharova said.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The lawsuit seeks damages from Raising Rover not just for selling a defective product, but also for Umka’s pain and suffering.  Under the law, pets are considered property and can not sue for pain and suffering damages.

“She is in pain, and she deserves to collect like any other living person, or living soul,” Lask told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon. Chana Lask says if the lawsuit is successful, it may have consequences for puppy mills and pet stores.

“Maybe pet stores will be a little more careful where they’re getting their animals from,” Lask said.

umkathedog Landmark Lawsuit Seeks Damages For Puppys Pain And Suffering

Umka. (credit: Handout)

The surgeries alone cost thousands of dollars.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

“This suit says give us the value on Umka’s pain and suffering the same that you would as if I slipped and fell in front of that pet store through their negligence,” said Lask. “If it’s a felony to abuse an animal, than we already recognize that they feel pain.”

She is arguing that the puppy should be treated as a human being.

“Animals are living souls and they give love and they receive love but they also feel pain,”  Lask said.

Should you be able to sue and be compensated for an animal’s pain and suffering? Sound off in our comments section.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Melissa Bingaman Keon says:

    Pope John Paul II proclaimed that “the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.” He went on to say that all animals are “fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect” and that they are “as near to God as men are.”

    The Holy Father reminded people that all living beings, including animals, came into being because of the “breath” of God. Animals possess the divine spark of life—the living quality that is the soul—and they are not inferior beings, as factory farmers, fur farmers, and others who exploit animals for profit would have us believe.

  2. Longscout says:

    Remember the “A dog is a boy is a rat” assertion? Elena Zakarhova needs a lesson about such perverted logic because she has fallen into a belief in it.

    Let us educate such folks so that they may one day be able to realize that a dog is a dog is a dog ~ not a person.

    Another reason for citizens to be most careful and informed about who is running to become a justice in our courts across the local, state, federal, and Supreme Court levels. Only too often such cases as this are brought before a justice whose heart is touched by a similar tale of woe and whose brains are, thus, reduced to cottage cheese when making decisions that might impact only far too many of the rest of us — and heal the broken and bleeding hearts not one bit, only their pocketbooks.

  3. alex says:

    just look at her name IT IS RUSSIAN remember medicaid fraud staged accidents another trick to get money

  4. joey fom B'hurst says:

    People that raise un-natural breeds of dogs that can’t exist on their own, are sick. All this precision inbreeding just to create these deformed little dogs is crazy. These little dogs serve no purpose, except to line the pockets of the vet. It is like mating genetically deficient people together just to fill up mental hospitals.

    I already anticipate some rude comments from the uninformed “pet lovers.”

  5. Gone to the Dogs says:

    She’s claiming that the dog is both PROPERTY (“defective product”) and a PERSON (“pain and suffering”) at the same time.

    Which is it? Is the dog a person, or is it property? She has to pick one or the other because she can’t have it both ways.

  6. doc in NJ says:

    “She is in pain, and she deserves to collect like any other living person, or living soul,” Chana Lask told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.

    So, if the plaintiff is successful, the money will be held in trust and used SOLELY for the dog’s needs?

    “I was crying non-stop and then I couldn’t sleep for another two days just trying to figure out the next steps,” Zakharova said.

    Did you ever think of going to a veterinary physician and seeking care? Or was your mind only on the dollars you can make off his suffering? Did you ADOPT this living thing with the knowledge that you would need to expend money for his care? Doesn’t sound like it…

  7. TC says:

    AWW___ SO CUTE!!

  8. nydoglover says:

    And where were the rescue group dogs bred? Most pure bred puppies have some potential health problem prevent to the breed. When you buy a pure bred puppy, especially small breeds, you always have the chance of some health issue popping up around 6-9 months. And based on the way this lady is handling this, i wonder if she even gave the store a chance to help her?

  9. Leslie Roberts says:

    Raising Rover and Baby (RRB) are at it again. You can read what happened to my sick dog here AND as you will read I KNEW about puppy mills and was still duped/lied to about the origin of Zoey from RRB. I definitely learned my lesson and blog about it so other people don’t have to learn the hard way. http://www.zoeystory.com/from-the-beginning-the-abbreviated-version/

  10. Dee Williams says:

    I agree with Jean, this is just another way to squeeze money out of the store. What they can and should do it pay for the puppies surgery, that would make them more responsible. I love my dog very much, but pain and suffereing?? GET REAL!!!

  11. Bridget says:

    Unfortunately there are conditions that are congenital and don’t appear until the puppy is 6 or 7 months maybe a year. People who want to buy a pet should do their research on the pet store and the breed they are looking to buy.

  12. dollars and SENSE says:

    This rich lesbean by a t ch can afford it. Another crock lawsuit like when Bloomberg sued over $750k being stolen from him. Rich people should not be able to sue unless the amount is over a certain percentage of their net worth.

  13. Jean says:

    I THINK THE OWNER IS JUST USING THIS POOR ANIMAL TO SQUEEZE AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE OUT OF THAT STORE. NOT THAT THEY DON’T DESERVE IT, AS THEY ALL GET THEIR PUPPIES FROM PUPPY MILLS WHERE THEY ARE SUFFERING ANYWAY. AN ADOPTION CENTER OR VET WILL NEVER OFFER AN ANIMAL FOR ADOPTION UNLESS THEY ARE COMPLETELY HEALTHY AND IN THE CASE OF ADOPTION CENTERS, SPAYED OR NEUTERED. YOU WANT A HEALTHY ANIMAL? ADOPT. YOU AND THEY ARE BETTER OFF

  14. Jojo says:

    I purchased all of my dogs from a pet store and never had a problem. My sister bought a chihuahua from a pet store that had the same disorder as this dog 2 surgeries as a puppy at a cost of 5K total (The dog is 11 years old now and fine). Its the luck of the draw with pet stores.

  15. Dee Madison says:

    “Maybe pet stores will be a little more careful where they’re getting their animals from,” Chana Lask said.

    Helllooooo.. duh..all pet stores “buy” their puppies from puppy mills.. wake up America This is why you shouldn’t “Shop” at Pet stores… adopt don’t shop We got our beautiful Brussel Griffon thru a rescue group..and she’s totally healthy

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