Attorney Pushes to Raise the Value of Pets in the Eyes of the Law

Pets
If someone asked you to put a price on your pet, what would you say? Odds are good you consider your furry friend to be priceless. But what happens if your pet is lost in some sort of tragedy or accident? When you’re working with an insurance company or individual, how much do you think that entity will value your relationship with your pet? In the past, the answer would be “not much at all.” But now, thanks to the work of one dedicated pet attorney, the answer is changing. Here’s a case study: Seattle resident Charles Corle loved his 11-year-old Labrador retriever and was devastated when the dog was killed by his neighbor’s aggressive and unrestrained dogs. When the neighbor didn’t seem to care, Corle hired leading pet attorney Adam Karp. The end result? An $11,000 settlement. According to Corle, it wasn’t so much about the money as making a point: This animal was valuable in his life and worth more than simply what he paid the breeder for the puppy over a decade ago. Karp has won judgments in similar cases, earning $25,000 for a woman whose cat was killed by her husband and $50,000 for a family whose dog was shot by city police for simply being in the wrong yard. Karp also challenges legal ordinances to make the world safer for pets, works for stays of executions against dogs that have been deemed dangerous, and works to resolve custody battles between now-split pet owners. His goal? To make the world more responsive to the value we see in our pets rather than assigning them a value as “property.”

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