A blog about dog behavior and training...and all other things dog!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Make Some More Dog Snacks at Home.

Lucy from the Honest Kitchen shows how to make some delicious, healthy dog snacks in this U-tube video series. Ingredients include Honest Kitchen formulated diets.

I found this on Dog Time Blog Network.

Woman gets jail time for trying to free her dog from the pound...

Found this story from the Associated Press. You can check it out by clicking the title of this post. I think it bears more looking into, so I'm going to do just that. If you see something else about this, please let me know where.
She says her dog (yes, a pit bull,) was unfairly classified as a vicious animal and she was afraid it would be killed. She attempted to break into the animal shelter to try and free him. Really, who wouldn't try to save their dog from being euthanized?

I would love to know the whole story.

HELP!! Calling all readers...
Please help me find more information about this story.
I'd love to know how the dog was "unfairly classified."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Court Rules: Vet Liability is Limited in Pet Loss Malpractic Suit.

Currently in the news, there's a story about an Irvine veterinarian who was sued for alleged negligence, causing the death of a dog after surgery in 2004. You can read the full story and judge for yourself whether or not you believe there was a case against this vet; I myself haven't actually drawn a final conclusion, due to the scantiness of the information contained in the San Fransisco Chronical. BUT, regardless of what the full details of this case are, a state appeals court has ruled to uphold the position that pets are considered to be property, and as such, does not allow an owner to seek compensation for the "sentimental or emotional value," associated with the loss of a pet.

The San Fransisco Chronical reports that the Fourth District Court of Appeal acknowledged that "the love and loyalty a dog provides creates a strong emotional bond between the owner and his or her dog."

But the court noted that a parent whose child is killed by medical negligence can't sue the doctor for emotional distress or loss of the child's companionship. By the same token, California law allows a pet owner, in some cases, to seek compensation for loss of the animal's "unique economic value" but not for its "sentimental or emotional value," the court said.

Should a veterinarian's liability be limited in court after their malpractice causes the death or injury of a beloved pet? Emotionally speaking, my first answer is NO! It's probably the same for most pet owners. Loosing a pet is devastating enough, but to loose one unnecessarily would probably cause most people to go looking for vengeance on the responsible party. I can understand this and would probably feel the same way if I were faced with such a situation.
PLUS, I can't help but feel offended by the court's view of pets in general...I'm thinking:

"The court considers my special, dearly loved and cherished pets to be nothing more than personal property?"

"What about the relationship?...the the unique and loving bond I share with my pets?!"

"This is an outrage! A TRAVESTY!!"



It's important that we understand the potential implications of unlimited malpractice liability as it relates to the cost of health care for our pets. We certainly know how much it's impacted our own health care system. It's become virtually impossible to live in the U.S. without health insurance...yet the cost of such insurance has sky rocketed to the point of being almost unreachable to many Americans. The reasons for this are varied and debatable, but what's not in question is how much the astronomically high payouts of some malpractice suits have impacted the cost of health care. This situation is largely limited to human health care only...for now. But take a moment to consider how that would change if there were to be very high payouts in malpractice suits brought against veterinarians.

I believe that you would see the cost of veterinary care increase significantly. As a result of this you would see more and more people being put into the position of having to limit the care that they were able to provide for their pets; quite possibly making it necessary for many more to opt for euthanasia as a way of dealing with pet illness. I'm not talking about catastrophic illness either. If the cost of vet care were to increase dramatically, dealing with common pet health issues would likely become out of reach for many people. Does this really seem like an improvement? I don't think so.

In my area, veterinary care has already become almost out of reach financially for many people. I don't want to find myself in the position where I'm forced to carry insurance for my pets, or else risk loosing them to what could end up being a problem too costly for me to manage. Especially if that insurance were to rise to an even higher price, due to the impact of ballooning malpractice suits. I would hate to see the rising cost of veterinary care reach a point where only wealthy people could afford to love, and properly take care of their pets.

Like it or not, the limit on liability in veterinary medicine is actually a blessing for most people and their pets. You can argue all you want based on how this makes you feel, but take a moment to think about the real impact that unlimited liability have in our pet's lives. Would seeking revenge against a vet that you believed wronged you be worth the sacrifice of so many others? It's temping to say yes in the heat of the moment, but for me the answer is no.

Perhaps it's enough that we know our pets are more than mere property. That we recognize the unique and loving bond that we share them. That we realize that money will never bring our pets back once they're gone and that what's truely important is our ability to give them the best possible care that we can, while they're with us.

Maybe, in this circumstance, the law just makes sense.

Do you have a different opinion? Maybe you agree? Or perhaps you've thought of other ways that this change might impact our pets. Please share your thoughts...
And please cast your vote in our opinion poll.
You can find it in the right side bar.

Check it out: An Article about Dog Agility

I've published a new article about dog agility on my sister blog site: Los Angeles Dog Doodles. This is the first of several articles about dog agility, it's pluses and minuses, and the "where's," "what's" and "how's" of it all. Over the ensuing weeks, many aspects of the sport will be covered, from introduction to agility, to tips for competing. Information will be geared towards both, agility just for fun as well as, competitive agility. I'll also provide information and links to valuable sources regarding equipment, and agility trainers.

Check it out if you've ever wondered about this cool dog sport.

Stop by frequently to take a look, and also feel free to leave comments about your own dog agility experiences.