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In an unusual lawsuit, dog owner Elena Zakharova is suing Upper East Side pet store Raising Rover on behalf of Umka, her Brussels Griffon. New York law considers pets property, but Zakhova's suit argues that Raising Rover should be held responsible for Umka's health problems as if she were a person.
Zakharova bought Umka last February for $1,600. Within a few months, the puppy began limping and was diagnosed with problem hips and knees. Zakharova has paid $4,000 in medical care so far, including major surgery, and expects to pay at least another $4,000 for treatments. Even with intervention, vets say Umka will never be able to walk properly.
In her suit, Zahkarova asks for compensation for her medical bills, based on the premise that Raising Rover got Umka from an irresponsible breeder who sired her from dogs with genetic disorders. The pet store switched management recently, and the new owners say they don't know anything about Umka's lineage. According to the Daily News, though, in 2011 the Humane Society listed the shop as one of 11 high-end boutiques sourcing from puppy mills with records of cruelty.
· Lawsuit looks to prove dogs have souls [NYDN]
· Pained pooch sues E. Side pet shop [NYP]