WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A five-year fight about a dog is over, for now. The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled in the wrongful death of a Jack Russell Terrier. The New Hanover County couple behind the lawsuit received word today that the court rejected their claim.
"I'm just so sorry," Nancy Shera say. "I had just hoped that we would win."
Nancy and her husband Herbert are still bitter over the death of their dog Laci. In 2007, vets at NC State's School of Veterinary Medicine killed Laci when they mistakenly inserted a feeding tube into her trachea.
"What they did, over this period of time, they drowned her. Slowly, they drowned her," Herbert said.
That led the Sheras into a lengthy legal fight over the value of their pet. The Sheras were asking for more than $28,000 arguing that beloved pets are worth more than simply the cost to buy them. The state Court of Appeals disagreed.
"I don't think they really understood what we were trying to convey," Nancy said. "Laci has intrinsic value, as far as I'm concerned. Laci... you can't replace Laci. Laci was Laci. She was unique."
The Appeals Court says the couple should be reimbursed the cost of the last vet visit that killed Laci plus the cost to replace her.
"I'm not sure how any judiciary outfit can say that something that's alive lived in your house, slept with you in your bed, was a comfort to you, was a family member… well, oh, that's just a piece of property," Herbert said.
For now, the sheras will take some time before they decide whether to take their case farther.
The sheras say it's never been about the money. In fact, their attorney says had they won, they still would not have broken even because of the legal fees they've racked up over the years.