The vet lost our dog's ashes after the cremation process and did not return the blanket we used when we put our dog down, which we used every day. They also didn't refund the money. I would appreciate some other opinions on this.
I am very sorry for your loss. Worth noting is a court’s decision in New York from many years ago, Corso v. Crawford Animal Hospital. The dog’s “parent” planned a funeral for her dog. The dog’s body was supposed to be delivered to the cemetery for burial. At the funeral, the dog’s “parent” found the body of a dead cat in the casket. In awarding the dog’s “parent” $700, the court stated: “In ruling that a pet such as a dog is not just a thing I believe the plaintiff is entitled to damages beyond the market value of the dog. A pet is not an inanimate thing that just receives affection; it also returns it. I find the plaintiff Ms. Corso did suffer shock, mental anguish and despondency due to the wrongful destruction and loss of the dog’s body. She had an elaborate funeral scheduled and planned to visit the grave in the years to come. She was deprived of this right… To say it (referring to the dog) is a piece of personal property and no more is a repudiation of our humaneness. This I cannot accept.” There was another case in California, Levy v. Only Cremations For Pets, Inc., where the crematorium allegedly provided a dog’s “parent” with the wrong ashes. The court in that case said that the plaintiff could rightfully seek damages for emotional distress against the crematorium. However, the court stated, in part: “Our holding is limited to cases in which a crematory has offered private cremation services for the solace of grieving pet owners.” Courts are continuing to recognize the special relationship between people and their companion animals so it is difficult to predict how courts throughout the country will decide these cases. Complaints against veterinarians may also be made to the Missouri Veterinary Licensing Board.
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