A Brisbane couple distraught after their pet dog was fatally mauled at a kennel has decided to sue for pain and suffering.
Mark Allen and Elly Yarrow have filed a statement of claim in Brisbane Magistrates Court — becoming the first ever plaintiffs in Australia to sue for damages beyond an animal's replacement cost, the Courier-Mail reports.
The couple have even hired a high-profile barrister to take their case — Michael Byrne QC, whose clients include accused wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay, former Bundaberg doctor Jayant Patel and convicted killer Max Sica (who is currently appealing his convictions).
Grommet, a 10-year-old cross between a cavalier and a Maltese terrier, was treated like a child by the two empty-nesters.
Mr Allen and Ms Yarrow told the newspaper they have been inconsolable since its death and even attend counselling sessions to help them cope.
"She was like a family member. It's the unconditional love. We moved houses because she didn't like the old one,'' Ms Yarrow, 56, was quoted as saying.
The couple dropped Grommet at the kennel before taking off on a holiday to Hamilton Island.
The next day Grommet was bitten by another, larger dog and later died from internal injuries.
Mr Allen and Ms Yarrow returned from their holiday but when they went to pick up Grommet's body from a vet, it reportedly was given to them frozen, which they say caused them further distress.
The couple later learned that the attacking dog had been left unsupervised when Grommet was released nearby into an exercise yard.
Brisbane City Council euthanised the dog and issued the kennel manager with an infringement notice over the February 22 incident.
Mr Allen was quoted as saying: "We are both suffering severe grief symptoms. Elly is noticeably withdrawn (and) still cries herself to sleep."
The couple will ask for $25,000 in compensation from the kennel.
Source: Courier Mail
Author: Erin Tennant, Approving editor: Emma Chamberlain