Could it be that there are people who believe the value of a dog is as disposable as a toaster? You just get a new one when it doesn’t work anymore? They are ultimately disposable?
Such callous disregard for people’s pets and what they mean to families is being decided on by a case that just went before the Georgia Supreme Court. A lovely 8-year-old Dachshund named Lola died of kidney failure in 2013 and Lola’s family, Bob and Elizabeth Monyak were heartbroken. They believed that Lola had a lot of years left in her, and that there was foul play. They say that the Barking Hound Village Kennel located in Atlanta caused Lola’s death by giving her the wrong medication that made her kidneys fail. The kennel denies they did anything wrong, and they are saying that pets are ultimately simply property.
The kennel, charged and responsible for taking care of animals, has the nerve to actually say that “a dog is like a toaster, when you break it, you throw it away and get a new one.” That’s what Elizabeth Monyak said. They also say that the dog has no value because they saved it from a rescue.
The couple spent more than $70,000 in vet bills to treat Lola. When Lola became ill, she required test, medicine and dialysis. It became costly. They asked a jury in court to help them recover vet expenses and then, there was the value of their beloved dog.
According to an attorney for the Barking Hound Village, “The purchase price of the Dachshund was zero dollars, the rescue dog never generated revenue and nothing occurred during the Monyaks’ ownership of the dog that would have increased her market value,” according to court documents. “The mixed-breed Dachshund had no special training or unique characteristics other than that of ‘family dog.’ ”
When the couple picked up Lola from the kennel, they noticed she had lost her appetite, which is unusual for her (and unusual for Dachshunds in general). When she was diagnosed with kidney failure, the vet found out that she had overdosed on Rimadyl, a painkiller. The vet said the Barking Hound called to renew her prescription for that.
Lola had a series of treatments to try to save her. Ultimately, she died. Now the value of Lola is going to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said, “Everyone knows dogs are family and more than mere property. Courts across the nation are recognizing that beloved family members like Lola have intrinsic value — and when they are injured or killed by negligence, that value must be reflected in the damages their families are entitled to by law.”
“There are some kinds of property market value doesn’t work. It won’t restore,” Robert Monyak said. “The real value of family heirloom is not economic it’s something else. The law must recognize that.”
The court is expected to rule by the summer. The Channel 2 Action News team in Atlanta asked people on a poll “How much is your dog worth?” The answer came back: “More than one million dollars.”