On Friday, October 14, 2022, Governor John Carney signed Senate Substitute 1 to Senate Bill 258 (known as Izzy the Cat’s Act). It provides for the awarding of compensatory damages for injury or death of a companion animal as a result of a tortious act.
As signed by the Governor, when these acts are committed, the following compensation may be awarded:
“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.” Or “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.
The legislation is effective immediately and includes a “Sunset Provision” that calls for the Act to expire in three years, unless another act is passed by the General Assembly.
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.
AKC Government Relations continuously monitors and communicates with the Delaware General Assembly on any legislation that impacts dogs, responsible breeders, and owners. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.