Judge Judy Celebrated for Dog Ownership Verdict, Plus 7 More Times She Was a Pet Advocate

Audiences loved the TV judge's recent ruling, but it's not the first time Sheindlin dished out justice for a pet

Judge Judy kicks off the North Shore Animal League America Tour for Life Adoptathon
Photo: Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic

Tough as nails with a soft spot for furry pets, TV’s Judge Judy Sheindlin won the hearts of viewers all over again when a 2012 episode about a dog named Baby Boy and a dispute over ownership of the animal went viral this week.

While the episode’s second life on the Internet has reignited an interest in courtroom pets, it’s not the first time Judge Judy has weighed the scales of justice in favor of a pet or pet owner’s rights. Here are seven more cases of TV’s favorite sharp-tongued judge ruling on canine (and one cat!) cases.

The Case of the “Emotionally” Damaged Puppy

In this episode, which seems to be from 2007 but was posted to YouTube in February of 2017, a woman sues a couple to return the money she paid for a female Yorkshire Terrier Poodle mix. The plaintiff claims the dog was “emotionally damaged” and after 24 hours, she returned it to its original owners. The defendants claim they paid a breeder ($200) who had 31 dogs; Judge Judy posits that the dog was probably from a puppy mill. The Yorkie-Poo was nervous and shaky for the first month the defendants had her, but claim she was a normal lap dog otherwise (although not playful). Because the defendants wanted a playful dog for their child, they put an ad out to try to sell the dog, recoup some money and buy a new dog. Judge Judy states the defendants lied about the age of the dog and they asked for double the amount of money ($400) they paid for it, knowing it had problems. The plaintiff also claims the dog was not housebroken, and the defendants mislead her on that point. After taking the dog to a vet for an exam, the vet gives a statement that the dog is “special needs” and exhibits abnormal fear and anxiety. No surprise, Judge Judy ends up ruling in favor of the plaintiff.

The Case of the Pit Bull Who Allegedly Attacked Its Neighbor and His Dog

In this case, the plaintiff sues his neighbor for veterinary bills, lost wages and pain and suffering due to an alleged dog attack. The plaintiff claims his neighbor had two dogs that attacked, but she says she only owns one. On the day of the supposed attack, the plaintiff was walking his Labrador, which the the defendant claims was off-leash. She opened her door to let her pit bull (and her father’s dog, who she was dog-sitting) outside, when one dog crossed the street and bit the plaintiff’s dog and the man. When Judge Judy reads the official documents from the day of the incident, she determines the defendant has lied to her twice — about the number of dogs in her care that day, and about the plaintiff’s dog being off-leash — and refuses to hear her further testimony, ruling in favor of the plaintiff and his dog.

The Case of the Exes Fighting for Custody of Their Beloved Pet

This is the rare Judge Judy case where she not only treats both the defendant and the plaintiff kindly, she actually smiles! Apparently, the plaintiff had bought the dog for the defendant, his ex-girlfriend, to keep her company while he was away traveling on business trips. The young duo seem to be friendly otherwise, and agree that they’ve learned their lesson about co-habitation and pet ownership. In the end, Judge Judy just gives them some advice and dismisses the case.

The Case of the Dog Park Attack

After an alleged attack at a dog park in 2016, the plaintiff claims the defendants’ German Shepherd caused serious injury to her Chihuahua and she is suing over the cost of the associated vet bills. The defendants say they’re sorry about the attack, but it was not their dog. After hearing the plaintiff’s testimony that the defendants neglected to call them back, and then later denied responsibility and claimed the off-leash park was about two football fields in size, Judge Judy decides the defendants’ witness is lying about their dog being with them the whole time. She declines to hear anything further from the defendants and rules in favor of the Chihuahua’s mom.

The Case of the Man Who Adopts Dogs Under False Pretenses, Then Tries to Sell Them on Craigslist

In this disturbing case, the plaintiffs needed to sell their home and move to a new place where they could not bring their dogs. The couple put an ad on Craigslist to give away her two dogs, but explicitly stated she wanted them to be re-homed together. The plaintiff claims that she and the defendant had an understanding about this requirement and he agreed when taking the dogs. A few days later, the plaintiff says she saw an ad from this man on Craigslist now selling the dogs. The defendant claims he never made a verbal agreement with the woman on this stipulation. Judge Judy, however, is not having it. She says that common sense tells her the plaintiff would have sold the dogs herself if this fact didn’t matter to her. When the couple tried to get the dogs back from the defendant, he then turned around and tried to charge them $500. The couple then filed a complaint with the police that the man had stolen their dogs. He, in turn, counter-sued them for defamation of character and filing a “false police report.” She rules in favor of the plaintiffs and calls the defendant a “charlatan,” and he then threatens to sue Judge Judy to which she says “Goodbye!”

The Case Where a Woman Claims the Neighbor’s Dogs Killed Her Chihuahua

Sadly, the plaintiff in this case claims her small dog, Rusty, was killed by her neighbor’s dogs. She says that his two large dogs (three when including his roommate’s dog) had dug holes under the fence that separates their homes, and somehow her small dog got into his yard through the holes and he was then mauled by the defendant’s dogs. Rusty the Chihuahua was so badly injured, he needed to be put to sleep. The plaintiff is suing for “the vet bills and then some.” She says the holes were on his side of the brand-new fence, and she had noticed the issue about a month prior. She claims she threw dirt over the holes to try to protect her dog from going into the holes, but her dog was eventually dragged under the fence by the defendant’s dogs. Judge Judy determines that both dog owner’s were at fault for not properly attending to the digging and holes situation earlier, but rules in favor of the plaintiff — ordering the defendant to pay for half the vet bills.

The (Fake) Case of a Killed Cat

Finally, a cat case! Ah, not so fast. As it turns out, both the plaintiff and the defendant in this dead cat hoax had concocted the story. They essentially got a free trip to Los Angeles and were paid to appear, plus arbitration fees ($1,000). However, the scheme was eventually uncovered by Judy, whose B.S. meter is strong. She supposedly even made the “plaintiff” cry. Verdict: Don’t try to pull a fast one against Judge Judy!

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