Dog owner pushing to change Florida law

Posted at 11:01 PM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 23:01:45-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dawn Alba says her dog went to a West Palm beach vet for a teeth cleaning, and died months later.

Now she's trying to change Florida law.

Gary the Greyhound was walking fine before the teeth cleaning, Alba says.

But surveillance video she obtained through the discovery process in her lawsuit against the vet shows what happened behind closed doors.

She says it shows a vet tech sitting on the dog to keep it still.

After that, the dog limps and can't walk normally.

"He was funny and silly with a great sense of humor. Day after day I brought him back to the vet trying to figure out why he couldn't walk after a teeth cleaning," Alba said.

Alba is now suing the vet and she is also trying to get the law changed because as it stands now the dog is only viewed as property according to Florida law.

"I think a piece of property is something you dispose of when you are done with it like a toaster. It depreciated in value as the years go by. Unlike an animal...a dog or cat that loves you," Alba said.

Florida State Senator Jeremy Ring agrees and will sponsor a bill this legislative session that changes the law.

"In most cases, pets are more to an owner than just property and they are really truly companions. It is one of those things where we wanted to enhance the value for companionship which the law today doesn't allow for," Ring said.

The bill is in the early stages and will be brought up during the legislative session that starts in January.

The veterinarian involved did not want to comment on the story.