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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.

Comment on this Story

  • petey

    April 6th…….this is the day the vet school in Raleigh, NC took Laci’s life. The vet school admitted their negligence, it is a documented fact. She has been gone from her family for 6 long years.
    Laci makes a difference to so many pets every day. Very soon we will see a change in the law, in a most positive way for our wonderful pets, ( family members ) and that is as it should be. Not stay stuck in the OLD ways of this state ( sadly and other states ) about our pets being “just property.” We all as pet owners know our pets are valued “family members.” We will keep fighting to change the law, and it will happen.

  • Grand Ole Party

    Calm down. Everything is going to work out. It was all about the money, no doubt about it. I am very glad the vet school stepped up and admitted fault. It was a mistake. HEY FOLKS…….this is ALL about the MONEY!!!

  • Guest Petey

    MONEY….. BULL….. Oh my how much of a “know it all” are YOU? Do you know the whole story? Did you LIVE it? Do you know that the Vet School admitted they KILLED Laci? Or do you NOT understand what you have heard and read about this horrific situation. Some people in this world value LIFE and LOVED ones ( yes, and their pets ) over MONEY!!!!! It is almost amusing that people ( like you ) spit out comments, and they have NO CLUE about these people, and what they ENDURED because of the negligence of the Vet School. And REMEMBER now, the Vet School admitted their GUILT.
    HEY FOLKS……..this is NOT about MONEY.

  • JezebelJean

    “You can’t replace Laci…” except with money?

    I’ve read that you can get dental work cheaper by having the work done at a school of dentistry, but I’ve never been tempted to try that. Students are students.

  • Guest9743

    Regardless of what these people are saying, if you believe it….it’s all about the money folks, it’s all about the money!!!

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