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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May 2005, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Dead cat wins woman $45,000 award
A US court has awarded $45,000 (23,900) to a woman whose pet cat was mauled to death by a neighbour's dog.

Paula Roemer's cat, Yofi, died in February 2004 when Wallace Gray's dog broke through a fence and attacked it.

Mr Gray admitted negligence and animal control charges, and was told to pay $30,000 for the value of the cat and $15,000 in emotional compensation.

Ms Roemer's lawyer said the award was the highest payout for a domestic pet in US legal history.

The lawyer, Adam Karp, alleged that Mr Gray's dog had repeatedly escaped in the past and was a known danger.

The court heard that Ms Roemer had suffered disturbed sleep, panic attacks and depression after the death of Yofi, a 12-year-old black and white cat.

Mr Gray, who has served three weeks in jail and three months under house arrest for animal control violations, insisted his dog was being looked after by a neighbour at the time.

"This is absolutely crazy," Mr Gray said. "I'm sorry she lost her cat, but I had no control over it."

Ms Roemer has said she plans to donate her compensation to animal welfare charities.

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