Recently, a substitute version of Senate Bill 258 (known as Izzy the Cat’s Act) passed both chambers of the General Assembly. It provides for the awarding of compensatory damages for injury or death of a companion animal as a result of a tortious act. The legislation now goes to the Governor John Carney for signature.
As passed by the General Assembly, Senate Bill 258, now allows for compensation as follows: “In the case of the death of a pet, the fair market value of the pet before death and the reasonable and necessary cost of veterinary care. In the case of an injury to a pet, the reasonable and necessary cost of veterinary care.” There is no monetary limit on the amount of compensation that may be collected.
Additionally, the passed version of the bill includes a “Sunset Provision” that calls for the Act to expire “three years after its enactment into law, unless otherwise provided by a subsequent act of the General Assembly.”
As noted in a previous alert, the original bill allowed for damages for mental distress or emotional harm caused by the injury or death of a companion animal as well as compensatory damages. The bill was subsequently amended to remove the non-economic damages language from the original bill as well as the $15,000 limit for compensatory (actual) damages.
AKC Government Relations would like to thank the numerous stakeholders, including the Animal Health Institute and the American Veterinary Medical Association, who worked successfully to convince sponsor Senator Ernesto Lopez to remove the non-economic damages language in the original bill.
What you can do:
Those wishing to make any comment on the bill prior to signing by the Governor may do so by using the link provided to contact Governor John Carney.
AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor and communicate with the General Assembly on any legislation that impacts dogs, responsible breeders, and owners. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.