Does My Dog Have Rights? Why Do Courts Value Pets As Property?


We love our pets. They greet us at home with hugs and kisses, and we consider them family. Americans are spending billions annually on them and specifically, $61 billion.

With all our love for our pets, Why haven’t our laws been kept in line with how we treat our pets in the event of something going wrong? It might surprise some to learn that dogs and cats are property of simple value according to the law and have no added worth, just like microwaves or couches.

Pets are now considered to be part of the household by the majority of people. Laws are beginning to reflect these changes. However, it is happening quite slowly.


In custody proceedings, there are signs that judges discuss the most practical needs of Fido or Fluffy and what home is the best for the pet. Certain states are also experimenting with the possibility of possibly accepting wrongful death claims that pet owners bring under certain situations.

With increasing numbers of people purchasing pet insurance to protect their pets from harm, cancer, or other diseases, the next step could be to let pet owners seek claims against vets who provided negligent treatment or carelessness, which is basically a medical malpractice claim.

Veterinarians have long benefited from the close relationships we share with our pets, And many think vets should be held accountable when their actions cause further harm or the death that their pets suffer.

The issue is that courts treat pets to be property. If we start giving legal status to our pets but where will we end up?

How Do We Mark The Line?

If our pets are treated as legal humans, will we lose our right to be pet owners? Are we forced to appear in court to decide if we can have our pets neutered or spayed?

The most important thing to remember is that the cat or dog is still an animal, indeed, one that deserves to be protected and loved. However, not a human with the ability to make choices on its own.

I think everyone should be able to get back through the court process and the emotional and sentimental value of any loss triggered through negligence or actions, even if it involves pets. Most people would agree with this principle, however, based on the statute of law, it is not likely that you will receive compensation for emotional damage and sentimental values.

Montgomery Law is a Dallas personal injury law firm that truly is concerned about its clients and is proud of getting them the justice they deserve.