GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — How much is a 7-year-old beagle worth?
That's a question to be answered in a lawsuit filed against a southern Delaware hospital where a female beagle named Lacey underwent surgery last year to remove her anal glands.
The dog's owners say the surgery was botched, leading to more surgeries and roughly $10,000 in additional medical bills.
The defendants argued that because dogs are considered personal property in Delaware, the damages Lacey's owners might recover cannot exceed her fair market value before the surgery, far less than their medical bills.
In denying summary judgment to the hospital Tuesday, the judge said the pre-surgery fair market value of the dog remains an open question. But he also indicated that companionship and the owners' sentimental attachment to Lacey cannot enter into the equation.