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What is a pet worth?


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I've been following this case for a little while: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/04/12/how-much-is-a-pet-dog-worth-a-court-will-soon-decide/

 

This might end up being one of those turning point cases. Right now the law does not place any value on the lives of pets beyond their replacement cost or actual monetary value in the case of service animals. Obviously the public at large generally values pets as family members. Maybe not to the level of children, but certainly in the ballpark. The plaintiffs in the case went to great lengths to save their dog. Personally I think the total of $67k sounds suspicious. The most I've ever heard of or spent was a little over $11k over two years treating one of my dogs for cancer. But accept for the moment it's on the level and that is their actual damages due to the kennel's negligence. That the kennel WAS negligent is not in dispute. The dispute is if the plaintiff deserves to receive actual damages rather than replacement costs. In other words was Lola a "thing" of was she a family member? You see why this one is interesting? It could mean a change in the law.

 

The law is slow to change, and it should be. It usually trails the mores of society by a generation or so. This might be where it catches up to the role pets play in our lives today. Now I am not saying animals have rights. They do not. The prerequisite to having a right is the ability to assert it. And I also son't think it would be appropriate to award punitive damages for pain & suffering or loss of future income etc. But if the plaintiff spent $67k to try to right a wrong done by another party, it only makes sense they should be "made whole".

 

I do appreciate the irony of the kennel's legal argument though. They run a business that depends upon the value people place on the care and comfort of their pets and they are in court arguing those pet have no value. Very ironic.

 

I am curious how this is handled in other countries. What do you guys think?

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men"

- St. Francis of Assisi

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Pets are definitely worth more than their "replacement" cost. They aren't a TV or a toaster. I think reimbursement for reasonable veteranary costs is sensible, and the $5000 cap in some states for lost companionship etc. sounds like a reasonable award for that, but I've been in rental places for the last 20 years so I don't know how much is reasonable for vet costs as I haven't been allowed pets (I want a cat).

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Regarding the law, it's a State matter within the U.S..  It's not something that's like to change soon, given the amount of dogs government goons kill with impunity every year.

 

As for how much one spends on a dog? I could see $67k. I personally have a dog (a dachshund even) that has about $4k (at bargain pricing) into his hind legs, and have friends who spent over $12k within a few weeks, and drove 3 hours to get the best care (a university veterinarians hospital), trying to save their dog that suddenly had massive liver failure (they never did find out exactly what caused it despite oodles of tests and a lot of doctors on the case). Much like a human, what one spends depends on both the ailment and the ability to pay (there is even doggie health insurance, which like human health insurance, has limitations).

As for how I feel about my dogs? Definitely part of the family. Wo is any person who intentionally or through stupid negligence hurts them. I've had dogs loyal enough and smart enough that they'd lay their lives on the line for me, and frankly, I'd do the same for them.

Also, unless I was facing some kind of emergency and had no other option (something that so far has fortunately never occurred), I would never put any dog in any kennel anywhere. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is I personally know two different people who dropped off young healthy dogs at the kennel and picked up very sick dogs that ultimately soon died (two different kennels in two different states).  Neither sued, as neither are plush with resources to afford a lawyer for such a thing, but both wanted to.

Edited by Valsuelm
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I can see animals being given personhood over the next 20 years, and veterinary care costing the same as medical care, to the point of having to put pets on your medical insurance. Of course no one will be able to afford medical insurance by then anyway.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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If there's incompetence or lack of reasonable care involved then there should definitely be more than a 'replacement cost' award, if only to make sure that there's proper motivation to actually take the required care. Having said that, 67k is far too much to have spent and I suspect not done in the (3rd party perspective) best interests of the dog either- understandable, but I don't think I'd consider trying to keep a dog with renal failure or similar alive for nine months to be in the dog's best interests, but done to make the owner feel better.

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Bull crap to all the "more than replacement costs" people. A pet is a possession. Anyone who damages a possession should only need to pay the cost to replace it with another of similar quality. If I break your $200 TV and you spent even one penny trying to fix it, that's your fault. Same goes for a pet. People shouldn't be given extra punishment for other people's emotional hang-ups regarding one of their possessions. When some one breaks something you own; they owe you the cost of a new one. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

 

I can see animals being given personhood over the next 20 years, and veterinary care costing the same as medical care, to the point of having to put pets on your medical insurance.

I seriously doubt it. Unless the concept of "person-hood" become a complete joke. That would mean no more meat, animal products (farm animals would be slavery), or even pets (also slavery).

 

 
Remember, if animals are, "people", then they'd be entitled to all the rights humans are. 

 

 

Pets are definitely worth more than their "replacement" cost. They aren't a TV or a toaster. 

If you can own them; then they are in terms of status. They're as much a possession as any other.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I dunno, there's been campaigns to grant personhood to at least Chimpanzees and Dolphins for a while now.

It won't happen.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I dunno, bills have been drafted and such. So far they've been getting voted down. Dolphins especially, considering their demonstrable self-awareness and cognitive complexity. They also go to war and rape each other, which seems like the clearest indicator of being human-like in intelligence.

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Bull crap to all the "more than replacement costs" people. A pet is a possession. Anyone who damages a possession should only need to pay the cost to replace it with another of similar quality. If I break your $200 TV and you spent even one penny trying to fix it, that's your fault. Same goes for a pet. People shouldn't be given extra punishment for other people's emotional hang-ups regarding one of their possessions. When some one breaks something you own; they owe you the cost of a new one. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

 

I can see animals being given personhood over the next 20 years, and veterinary care costing the same as medical care, to the point of having to put pets on your medical insurance.

I seriously doubt it. Unless the concept of "person-hood" become a complete joke. That would mean no more meat, animal products (farm animals would be slavery), or even pets (also slavery).

 

 
Remember, if animals are, "people", then they'd be entitled to all the rights humans are. 

 

 

Pets are definitely worth more than their "replacement" cost. They aren't a TV or a toaster. 

If you can own them; then they are in terms of status. They're as much a possession as any other.

 

Extremely similar arguments were made in regards to slaves at one point. I would wager a lot you'd have made them if you lived at that point.

 

You are a fool if you truly think a living being is ever only a possession, no matter what the feelings of the possessor are towards it.

 

Also, if you broke my $200 TV and didn't voluntarily fix or replace it yourself, you can bet that $200 plus some kind of compensation for taking up my time is coming out of your pocket or if need be hide in some manner.

 

Edited by Valsuelm
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The TV argument does not hold water IMO. A TV is fungible item. It cannot be taught anything, it has no history. A 32" Sony is the same as another 32" Sony. A pet is not a fungible item. A dog for example at eight years of age has learned things. It has developed friendships and relationships that need the dogs presence to continue. And that are damaged when the presence is taken away. Replacing an 8 year old dog with another 8 year old dog does not repair anything. You don't have a relationship with the TV.

 

As far as granting personhood to animals. that is a non-starter to me. It is certainly appropriate for the law to protect animals from abuse, neglect, inhumane or illegal harvesting, etc. But they are not people, cannot assert rights as people, cannot communicate information or desires as people. I figure the folks who want to give rights to animals see themselves as the executors to exercise those rights on behalf of the animals. In other words this is a cynical attempt to grab more power by those who favor a leftist ideology rather than a genuine attempt to do good for critters.

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"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men"

- St. Francis of Assisi

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Extremely similar arguments were made in regards to slaves at one point. I would wager a lot you'd have made them if you lived at that point.

 

 

Doubt it. Of the many different kinds of slavery that existed and the many different kinds of justifications of said slavery systems I've yet to find one that connects with my philosophy of classical liberalism in any meaningful way.

 

The arguments you mention are based on the idea that people can be property; as such they are treated as property. I do not believe that humans can qualify as property to begin with, and thus cannot be treated as a possession. That is where any argument for or against slavery starts. So no, you'll find that my arguments do not reflect pro-slavery arguments as I've already rejected the very foundation of slavery; that humans can legitimately be owned. My argument is that property should be treated as property. The only logically sound alternative to my logic is either that property itself is invalid, or that animals are not legitimate property.

 

 

You are a fool if you truly think a living being is ever only a possession, no matter what the feelings of the possessor are towards it.

 

 

Ah, but they are possessions regardless of whether they are anything more. So long as they are possessions my argument stands.

 

 

 

Also, if you broke my $200 TV and didn't voluntarily fix or replace it yourself, you can bet that $200 plus some kind of compensation for taking up my time is coming out of your pocket or if need be hide in some manner.

 

 

Well, yeah, that's fair enough.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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The TV argument does not hold water IMO. A TV is fungible item. It cannot be taught anything, it has no history. A 32" Sony is the same as another 32" Sony. A pet is not a fungible item. A dog for example at eight years of age has learned things. It has developed friendships and relationships that need the dogs presence to continue. And that are damaged when the presence is taken away. Replacing an 8 year old dog with another 8 year old dog does not repair anything. You don't have a relationship with the TV.

 

A) Some animal owners are in fact no more attached to their pet than some other standard object.

 

B) Some people have very close attachments to random object. Don't project your standards onto everyone else. To some one out there, a chewed up piece of gum is worth dying for. There are people who see trash as important as family.

 

C) An animal can qualify as an item.

 

It seems to me that it's the relationship you'd want to be compensated for rather than the dog itself. Sorry, but property obligations are for the corporeal only. Anytime anyone forms a bond with something, whether it be a dog, or a chair, or a tv, or whatever; they expose themselves to be vulnerable. Whether you "care" about something cannot be controlled by the offending party and thus they are not responsible for it. If you love something; that's all on you. It's not the offender's fault you care. Your position is made even worse for you once the fact that "love" cannot be quantified. This is why you guys were just haphazardly throwing numbers around; guessing the monetary value of the bond between owner and pet. It's absurd.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Nothing. A pet is only a pet because you say it is, let it slip from your care and it is simply meat for larger predators.

"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

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The TV argument does not hold water IMO. A TV is fungible item. It cannot be taught anything, it has no history. A 32" Sony is the same as another 32" Sony. A pet is not a fungible item. A dog for example at eight years of age has learned things. It has developed friendships and relationships that need the dogs presence to continue. And that are damaged when the presence is taken away. Replacing an 8 year old dog with another 8 year old dog does not repair anything. You don't have a relationship with the TV.

 

A) Some animal owners are in fact no more attached to their pet than some other standard object.

 

B) Some people have very close attachments to random object. Don't project your standards onto everyone else. To some one out there, a chewed up piece of gum is worth dying for. There are people who see trash as important as family.

 

C) An animal can qualify as an item.

 

It seems to me that it's the relationship you'd want to be compensated for rather than the dog itself. Sorry, but property obligations are for the corporeal only. Anytime anyone forms a bond with something, whether it be a dog, or a chair, or a tv, or whatever; they expose themselves to be vulnerable. Whether you "care" about something cannot be controlled by the offending party and thus they are not responsible for it. If you love something; that's all on you. It's not the offender's fault you care. Your position is made even worse for you once the fact that "love" cannot be quantified. This is why you guys were just haphazardly throwing numbers around; guessing the monetary value of the bond between owner and pet. It's absurd.

 

No we are not just throwing numbers. The damages are $67k. If it can be proven they really spent $67k to right a wrong done in negligence (again the negligence is not in dispute, only the value) and that the vet confirms the treatment was medically necessary and the dog had a reasonable chance of survival then the issue of damages become clear to me. Had they put the dog to sleep then the damages would be the cost of the euthanasia.  About $200 in my experience. Someone who did not love the dog would not have pursued a treatment and therefore would not be entitled to damages. The relationship is something that cannot be compensated for. It is priceless (or worthless depending on your point of view) and it is relevant only in that it's value was such that the plaintiff incurred $67k in actual damage to preserve it. 

 

You are correct in that the love cannot be bought or have a value attached to it. That is why I would never agree to grant punitive damages for "pain & suffering" of "loss of companionship", etc. But if the defendant committed a wrong on the plaintiff in negligence then the plaintiff is entitled to recompense in actual damages rather than replacement value because the thing that was damaged cannot BE replaced. 

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men"

- St. Francis of Assisi

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No we are not just throwing numbers. The damages are $67k. If it can be proven they really spent $67k to right a wrong done in negligence (again the negligence is not in dispute, only the value) and that the vet confirms the treatment was medically necessary and the dog had a reasonable chance of survival then the issue of damages become clear to me. Had they put the dog to sleep then the damages would be the cost of the euthanasia.  About $200 in my experience. Someone who did not love the dog would not have pursued a treatment and therefore would not be entitled to damages. The relationship is something that cannot be compensated for. It is priceless (or worthless depending on your point of view) and it is relevant only in that it's value was such that the plaintiff incurred $67k in actual damage to preserve it. 

 

 

 

You are correct in that the love cannot be bought or have a value attached to it. That is why I would never agree to grant punitive damages for "pain & suffering" of "loss of companionship", etc. But if the defendant committed a wrong on the plaintiff in negligence then the plaintiff is entitled to recompense in actual damages rather than replacement value because the thing that was damaged cannot BE replaced. 

 

The medical expenses should not count as damages since the offending party is not responsible for the owner's reaction to the dog's injury. If the owner wants to spend $1,000's to try to save the dog that is exclusively the owner's responsibility. The only thing that the offending party is responsible for is a dog. The offender owes you a dog of equal monetary value. (Your time too if you have to get the new one yourself). I'm not sure if putting the dog down is legally mandatory; if it is, then he owes you for that too since he put you in a situation where you were *FORCED* to pay for at least that medical procedure. If you have a choice to tell the vet you don't want to save the dog, then he owes you squat for what you decide to spend your money on.

 

By your logic; if I stepped on some guy's tin can, and he spent $1,000,000,000 trying to fix it I'd have to pay for it all. It's not my fault this guy really loves THIS tin can. I owe him a tin can; not whatever money he wastes trying to fix it. Maybe there is no other tin can he's so attached to, maybe losing this can will leave a hole in his heart for life; I dunno. His feelings are his responsibility as are the money he spends because of it.

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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How do you put a monetary value on a life?  Some people get more attached to their pets than others.  To some people, pets are little more than toys, to others they're legit members of the family.  I don't think it's possible to find a one size fits all value.

breen_tuna.gif.f209371d450243737d37ca9251849aff.gif

 

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How do you put a monetary value on a life?  Some people get more attached to their pets than others.  To some people, pets are little more than toys, to others they're legit members of the family.  I don't think it's possible to find a one size fits all value.

You don't. Only corporeal things can have legitimate value.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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No we are not just throwing numbers. The damages are $67k. If it can be proven they really spent $67k to right a wrong done in negligence (again the negligence is not in dispute, only the value) and that the vet confirms the treatment was medically necessary and the dog had a reasonable chance of survival then the issue of damages become clear to me. Had they put the dog to sleep then the damages would be the cost of the euthanasia.  About $200 in my experience. Someone who did not love the dog would not have pursued a treatment and therefore would not be entitled to damages. The relationship is something that cannot be compensated for. It is priceless (or worthless depending on your point of view) and it is relevant only in that it's value was such that the plaintiff incurred $67k in actual damage to preserve it. 

 

 

 

You are correct in that the love cannot be bought or have a value attached to it. That is why I would never agree to grant punitive damages for "pain & suffering" of "loss of companionship", etc. But if the defendant committed a wrong on the plaintiff in negligence then the plaintiff is entitled to recompense in actual damages rather than replacement value because the thing that was damaged cannot BE replaced. 

 

 

 

By your logic; if I stepped on some guy's tin can, and he spent $1,000,000,000 trying to fix it I'd have to pay for it all. It's not my fault this guy really loves THIS tin can. I owe him a tin can; not whatever money he wastes trying to fix it. Maybe there is no other tin can he's so attached to, maybe losing this can will leave a hole in his heart for life; I dunno. His feelings are his responsibility as are the money he spends because of it.

 

:lol:  No he would have to prove it cost $1M to fix the tin can then actually actually spend the $1M fixing it before he could sue for $1M. No one is entitled to damages on expenses not actually incurred. If you backed into my car and it cost me $500 to fix and I took you to court I'd have to prove that you did it and it cost $500 to fix. If my car was not worth $500 you would still have to pay the repair cost if I met the first two conditions.   

 

As I said had they put the dog to sleep they kennel would be on the hook for the cost of the euthanasia. That is the damage. The point I'm making is the dog is not a thing to which an arbitrary replacement cost can be assigned because there is no replacing them. Had the plaintiff not spent any money on the dogs care then I'd say they would not have had any case. 

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men"

- St. Francis of Assisi

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I'd be curious to see where our three lawyers weigh in on this.

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men"

- St. Francis of Assisi

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How do you put a monetary value on a life?  Some people get more attached to their pets than others.  To some people, pets are little more than toys, to others they're legit members of the family.  I don't think it's possible to find a one size fits all value.

You don't. Only corporeal things can have legitimate value.

 

 

That's a ridiculous and untrue statement, even if applied in purely a monetary sense, which is seemingly the way you mean it. Pets aside, there are all sorts of things intangible things in the world that have monetary value. One biggie is business reputation, which very much can calculate into the valuation of one.

 

Relationships have value. While it might be neigh impossible to put actual value on a priceless relationship, or things that are intangible such as reputation, attempts can be and are made all the time.

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How do you put a monetary value on a life?  Some people get more attached to their pets than others.  To some people, pets are little more than toys, to others they're legit members of the family.  I don't think it's possible to find a one size fits all value.

You don't. Only corporeal things can have legitimate value.

 

 

That's a ridiculous and untrue statement, even if applied in purely a monetary sense, which is seemingly the way you mean it. 

 

That is how I meant it.

 

 

 

 

 

Relationships have value. While it might be neigh impossible to put actual value on a priceless relationship, or things that are intangible such as reputation, attempts can be and are made all the time.

 

Yeah, and those attempts are stupid.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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How do you put a monetary value on a life?  Some people get more attached to their pets than others.  To some people, pets are little more than toys, to others they're legit members of the family.  I don't think it's possible to find a one size fits all value.

You don't. Only corporeal things can have legitimate value.

 

 

That's a ridiculous and untrue statement, even if applied in purely a monetary sense, which is seemingly the way you mean it. 

 

That is how I meant it.

 

 

 

 

 

Relationships have value. While it might be neigh impossible to put actual value on a priceless relationship, or things that are intangible such as reputation, attempts can be and are made all the time.

 

Yeah, and those attempts are stupid.

 

 

I pity you.

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How do you put a monetary value on a life?  Some people get more attached to their pets than others.  To some people, pets are little more than toys, to others they're legit members of the family.  I don't think it's possible to find a one size fits all value.

You don't. Only corporeal things can have legitimate value.

 

 

That's a ridiculous and untrue statement, even if applied in purely a monetary sense, which is seemingly the way you mean it. 

 

That is how I meant it.

 

 

 

 

 

Relationships have value. While it might be neigh impossible to put actual value on a priceless relationship, or things that are intangible such as reputation, attempts can be and are made all the time.

 

Yeah, and those attempts are stupid.

 

 

I pity you.

 

k

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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