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Maryland Couple Suing to Have Murdered Dog Shadow recognized as Family, Not Chattel

Here's pulling for the Barnett's! it's about time that our antiquated laws recognize that a family dog is just that -- part of the family!...

Joy  |  Jan 21st 2007


Shadow.jpg

Here’s pulling for the Barnett’s! it’s about time that our antiquated laws recognize that a family dog is just that — part of the family!

Thanks to WJZ.com for this news.

Annapolis Dog Shot In Vermont On Family Vacation

Gigi Barnett
Reporting

(WJZ) Annapolis, Md. A controversial court case in Vermont may have a big impact on pet owners in Maryland.

WJZ’s Gigi Barnett reports on an Annapolis couple that considers their pets their family members and they want courts to agree.

Sarah Scheele is a bone-a-fide dog lover and she says that was not always the case. Scheele was once terrified of dogs until she and her husband Denis adopted Shadow and Lucy. “They are like our children,” added the Scheeles.

The Scheeles are in the middle of a controversial court case, after their dog Shadow was killed on a family vacation to Vermont.

The couple were at a church waiting for a family event to begin when they heard a popping noise.

“All of a sudden there was a pop and a yelp and I looked at Sarah and she looked at me and she goes, I think Shadow just got shot,” says Denis Scheele.

Lewis Dustin was convicted for shooting Shadow with a pellet that pierced the dog’s heart.

Dustin was charged with a misdemeanor, he had to pay a fine and all of the expenses of Shadow’s death.

The Scheeles wanted more, they wanted compensation for emotional distress and loss of companionship. But the Vermont court said no and threw the case out because under their law pets are property, not people. The Scheeles believe otherwise.

Now the Scheeles are taking the case to the Vermont Supreme Court.

Follow this link to watch the video.