Man's best friend: Texas court asked for dead dog 'damages'

Texas's high court is set to determine if man's best friend, deceased, is priceless. The Texas Supreme Court took up the case concerning a dog euthanized by mistake in 2009. The dog's family is seeking damages. 

Dale Gerhard, The Press of Atlantic City/AP
A Texas court is asked if man's best friend is priceless as a family seeks damages for their beloved late dog. Here, Rob Swenk, of Erma, and his dog, Monty, take a stroll on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, N.J., on a balmy afternoon Wednesday Jan. 9, 2013.

They say all dogs to heaven. But if they get there before their time, should someone pay up?

The Texas Supreme Court tackled the question Thursday in a case brought by a Fort Worth family. The family wants a jury to put a dollar amount on the emotional value of their beloved dog that an animal shelter mistakenly euthanized in 2009.

Jeremy and Kathryn Medlen say they're entitled to the same "sentimental damages" that someone could collect under Texas law for an irreplaceable family heirloom. Justices appeared skeptical at times, asking if a dead goldfish should be treated similarly.

Attorneys for the shelter worker being sued say siding with the family would create a standard beyond anywhere in the country.

The court isn't expected to rule for several weeks.

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