Court: Rules are Different for Dogs, Cats

Court: Rules are Different for Dogs, Cats

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- The Utah Supreme Court has ruled: Cat owners may not be held to the same standard of liability as dog owners.

Yesterday's ruling came in a suit against Rob and Kris Mateus, owner of an eleven-year-old cat, named Tiger. Their former neighbor, Judith Campbell Jackson, said the cat bit her hand in 1996.

Melinda Morgan, who represented the Salt Lake County couple, says not every cat owner can be expected to strap a muzzle onto their feline's face.

Jackson's attorney, Roger Bullock, said the bite became infected and required two operations.

According to Tuesday's opinion, Jackson mistook a tabby for one of her own four pets, opened a sliding glass door and called to him. She petted the cat and realized he was not hers just before he bit her hand.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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