The well known gossip columnist Cindy Adams has a tag line that reads “only in New York kids, only in New York.” Few thoughts seem more on point in light of this new lawsuit filed in New York’s Civil Court — a court which, for lawyers, would be one of the lower circles of Hell if Dante were writing today. In the case of Elena Zakharova on behalf of her dog Umka v. Ranging Rover, Zakharova seeks pain and suffering damages for Umka, a Brussels Griffon, who was bred in a puppy mill. The lawsuit seeks pain and suffering damages for Umka, which would be a novel result since as a matter of New York law dogs (regretabble as it might seem) are merely property and not persons. Will the civil court entertain this lawsuit? Or will it be dismissed as more bark than bite? Stay tuned to see what happens next!
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