Should Pets Be Legally Treated as Property, or Living Souls?

By WebVet.com

A Manhattan pet owner is going to court, claiming that her dog is more like a child than property.

After paying $1,600 for her Brussels Griffon Umka, Elena Zakharova discovered that the pooch needed thousands of dollars worth of surgery. She is now suing the pet store, alleging that they failed to provide information about the puppy's breeder -- or mention that the dog likely came from a puppy mill.

The lawsuit contends that Umka should be recognized as a living being instead of property, as she is currently considered under state law. Zakharova is requesting "humanity for Umka in that she be considered a living soul that feels pain, and that her pain and suffering is recognized by this state and considered as damages to her."

Animal-rights lawyer Susan Chana Lask reasoned, "How can we value her pain and suffering? So let's compare it to a 7-year-old child that slipped and fell."

WebVet: The Poop on Puppy Mills

What do you think: Is this Zakharova fighting the good fight, or does she just want money? And the biggest problem in this situation really the puppy mills?