Thursday, May 23, 2013

Feger v. Warwick Animal Shelter case brief

Feger v. Warwick Animal Shelter case brief
814 N.Y.S.2d 700

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff owner appealed an order by the Orange County Supreme Court (New York) that dismissed the owner's action to recover possession of a cat and for damages from defendants, an animal shelter and its employee.

FACTS: The owner alleged that a white Persian cat surrendered to the shelter by an unidentified person and adopted by an unidentified family was actually her champion pure-bred Persian cat that was stolen from her home. The trial court found that the shelter and its employee were entitled to statutory immunity pursuant to N.Y. Agric. & Mkts. Law § 374(3). The appellate court held that in light of the owner's allegation that the shelter and its employee knowingly accepted a stolen cat for adoption, the trial court erred in granting their motion for summary judgment. However, the shelter and its employee were correct in stating that the owner could not recover damages for the emotional harm she allegedly suffered from the loss of her cat.

CONCLUSION: The order was modified by deleting the grant of summary judgment based on statutory immunity, and by substituting therefor a provision denying the motion; as so modified, the order was affirmed, and the causes of action were reinstated.

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