AHI agrees with a recent ruling by the Maryland Supreme Court: pet owners should be justly compensated when they suffer financial losses when a pet is harmed, but allowing plaintiffs to get large, emotion-based awards would create barriers for many responsible, loving pet owners to remain so.
Laws that seek to change the legal status of animals by allowing owners to collect noneconomic damages for things like emotional distress would add to the cost of pet ownership. While these proposed laws claim to protect pets, they would, in fact, do the opposite: by driving up the cost of pet ownership, these laws would reduce pet care and make pet ownership too expensive for many. Essentially, they would invite a few humans to get rich at the expense of animal welfare.
Read a Letter to the Editor from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association to the Capital Gazette here.