This article first provides an overview of the philosophicla basis of the allocation (or non-allocation) of moral status to nonhuman animals considering historical and modern views of animals. Second, it analyzes the legal status of animals under the current system and discusses the idea of extending legal personhood to such animals. Next it considers the common law and statutory basis for the current valuation of companion animals. Finally, this article supports and promotes the idea that there is a rational basis for changing the way that companion animals should be valued by the legal system and recommends the adoption of statutory provisions to promote consistency and certainty in these cases.
Rebecca J. Huss, Valuing Man's and Woman's Best Friend: The Moral and Legal Status of Companion Animals, 86 Marq. L. Rev. 47 (2002).