When the Texas Supreme Court upheld an 1891 ruling that pets are property, it disagreed with an appeals court ruling that opened the door to allowing owners to seek sentimental damages in cases of unintended pet injury or death. When announcing its decision, the high court cited a brief from animal welfare organizations that warned of a host of ramifications for allowing sentiment-based damages in pet cases. Such a move would fuel a massive increase in litigation, and "the results would be fewer free clinics, fewer shelters, defensive veterinary medicine leading to higher prices," and families who can no longer afford essential preventive care for their animals, writes George Will.

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