- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Court of Appeals has waded into a legal tussle over the wrongful death of a Jack Russell terrier named Laci.

Nancy and Herbert Shera of Wilmington sued North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine after their dog died in 2007 following a botched tube feeding while receiving cancer treatment.

The university agreed to wave $2,755 in medical bills and pay $350, the estimated cost for a new dog. Laci’s owners demanded more than $28,000, initiating a four-year legal fight over whether beloved pets have intrinsic worth.

In a 20-page ruling issued Tuesday, the appeals court affirmed that state law does not entitle Laci’s owners to more than the breed’s replacement cost.

The couple’s lawyer said they are now considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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