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Court: No Damages Due in Dog's Death

Posted on May 26, 2010 - 10:07 AM
Times Argus
Article published May 22, 2010
Court: No damages due in dog's death

MONTPELIER (AP) The owners of a dog that was shot to death have lost their bid to win financial damages for loss of companionship.

The Vermont Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a lower court ruling saying Vermont doesn't recognize noneconomic damages for the malicious destruction of personal property, even if it's a beloved pet.

Denis and Sarah Scheele, of Annapolis, Md., sued Lewis Dustin after their mixed-breed dog Shadow wandered onto Dustin's property and he shot it. That was in 2003.

Dustin, of Northfield, said he was aiming at the dog's rear end and trying to shoo it away, never intending to kill it. The Scheeles say the dog was part of their family, not mere property.

Dustin, 76, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty. He was given a year probation and was ordered to perform 100 hours of community serviceand pay $4,000 in restitution.

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