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Recovery for Harm to Your Pet

Question:  What kind of recoveries are available to someone whose pet has been seriously harmed? Answer:  If someone seriously harms a pet animal, the law has traditionally been interpreted to limit recovery to its market price.  This means if $200 was paid at a store for the animal, that is the maximum amount the court would award.  Recent changes to state law, however, acknowledge that the animal may be worth more than the purchase price.  It is best to consult with a lawyer who concentrates in animal law.     For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit