The Pets Have Value Act
Changing the law to reflect that pets are family
The pet product and service industry, including shelters, pounds, pet food companies, veterinarians, boarding facilities, and others, are not shy about exploiting what they call “the deep bond humans develop with their pets” when people write checks to them. As one of their industry organizations recently acknowledged:
A majority of pet owners share their beds with furry friends. People take their dogs to work, create Instagram accounts for them and help them complete bucket lists. People, it’s clear, increasingly think of pets as family — or fellow people.
Americans spent $100 billion on their companion animals last year, the seventh largest sector of the retail economy, growing at a pace 50% greater than the economy overall. By 2030, Americans will spend more than $275 billion to feed, harness, groom and play with their animal companions.
And yet when they harm or kill animals, the industries that benefit most from the public’s love and concern for their four-legged family members turn around and fight efforts to fairly compensate victims and their families when it is their turn to put their money where their mouths are. Instead, they encourage courts to rely on 19th-century case law that held animals were worthless property, “analogous, in law, to a… table or lamp.”
As long as courts shield these companies, they have little incentive to provide better care or safer products. And given the deep and profound relationships between people and their companion animals, our legal system should recognize their importance. When others entrusted to care for our animal companions fail to do so, courts should compensate people in a manner that adequately reflects the depth of their suffering or loss.
We owe it to the animals and the people who love them to do so.
Introducing the Pets Have Value Act — model legislation from The No Kill Advocacy Center to compensate families for harm to their animals and to incentivize reform at shelters, veterinarian offices, pet food companies, and other pet-related businesses.
To download it, click below:
To download our other model legislation, click below:
The No Kill Advocacy Center also has a free guide on how to get it introduced. Download it below:
Need more assistance? Our attorneys stand ready to help.
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