Thursday, May 25, 2006



Dogs get run over by cars. But it's not often that a dog gets run over several times by the same car. Back and forth, back and forth.

Which is one of the reasons why a family in Portland, Oregon, is now suing their dog-slaying neighbour for more than $2 million.

From the Associated Press : In addition to economic and punitive damages, Mark Greenup and his family in Estacada, Oregon, are asking a jury to award them compensation for the loss of companionship of their pet...

Loss of companionship is a claim typically reserved for human relationships, and legal experts are watching the case closely....

And probably trying not to snigger.

They say if the family wins the lawsuit and subsequent appeals, that could help break the longstanding tradition of defining pets as property.

That's what some lawyers have claimed when their clients have been busted for starving their poor mutts to death or beating them so severely they have to be put down.

"Your honour, this dog was not a human. It was a possession, like a lounge chair. Would you allow someone to be convicted of beating their lounge chair to death?"

And so forth.

Grizz, a cocker spaniel and Labrador retriever mix, was run over by Raymond Weaver in 2004 and had to be put down.

Weaver's lawyer, Larry Dawson, said it was an accident. But Mr Greenup and his family say Weaver drove over Grizz several times and did not stop when they called out to him or when they tried to drag the dog out from under his truck.

Weaver was committed to his task. The story doesn't mention whether or not Grizz had shat all over Weaver's lawn, or menaced his children or barked incessantly at 4am for no apparent reason.

It's going to be a jury trail for Weaver. The lawyer will be praying that Grizz wasn't too cute and that there isn't any video of Grizz saving drowning children or rescuing old people from burning houses.

If the animal concerned was a cat, and the jury was compromised of people who don't own cats, and never want to own cats and cannot understand why anyone would even want to let a cat inside their house, Weaver and his lawyer wouldn't stand a chance.

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