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Dogs ruled to have "special value" in Texas court

Dogs were recently given special protection for their sentimental value to their owners by an appeals court in Texas, PetMD.com reports.

The court ruling came after Jeremy and Katherine Medlen lost their 8-year-old Labrador retriever when it escaped from their backyard and was accidentally euthanized at the shelter it was brought to due to a miscommunication among shelter employees.

The Medlens sued for "sentimental or intrinsic" damages, the news source reports. Now, all dogs in Texas will be worth more than their fair market value.

"Dogs are unconditionally devoted to their owners. We interpret timeworn Supreme Court law in light of subsequent [Texas] Supreme Court law to acknowledge that the special value of 'man's best friend' should be protected," Justice Lee Gabriel wrote in the ruling, UPI reports.

The ruling marked the first time in history that an appeals court has allowed a dog owner to recover sentimental value damages for the death of a dog, and is a "huge deal for pet owners," according to Randy Turner, the Medlen's attorney.  
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