From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
A Texas court has ruled that the owners of a wrongfully killed pet can recover “sentimental” or “intrinsic” damages.
The case stems from a lawsuit brought by Kathryn and Jeremy Medlen against Carla Strickland. Around June 2, 2009, the Medlen’s dog Avery escaped from their backyard and was picked up by animal control. Jeremy went to the animal shelter to retrieve Avery but didn’t have enough money with him to pay the fees. He was told he could return for the dog June 10, and a “hold for owner” tag was placed on Avery’s cage.
On June 6, Strickland, a shelter employee, made a list of animals that would be euthanized the following day. She put Avery on the list, despite the “hold for owner” tag, and the dog was euthanized the next day. When the Medlens returned to claim Avery, they learned what had happened.
I have no sympathy for the veterinary organizations that are opposing this ruling, claiming it will raise costs. From what I can gather, they face no risk if they simply do their job properly. In the case above, the dog was wrongfully killed, and thus the shelter should pay for that error.
A side note: If this precedent gets accepted, it will act as a deterrent to police departments who presently think the only way to handle a homeowner’s dog is to shoot it on sight. If you are a cop and you wrongfully kill a dog, this ruling will make you liable for a lot more than the dog’s mere market worth.
Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
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