Jakarta vet sued for IDR1.5 billion for death of ‘rare’ albino Siberian husky pup

Mother of the albino Siberian husky puppy. Photo: Komunitas Pecinta Hewan Cinere via Tempo
Mother of the albino Siberian husky puppy. Photo: Komunitas Pecinta Hewan Cinere via Tempo

Losing a pet may be one of the hardest things animal lovers have to go through, but a huge civil lawsuit over the death of a puppy in Jakarta has raised one question: how much is a beloved pet worth?

In May 2018, plaintiff Nadila Utama brought her 2-week-old Siberian husky puppy — born to Nadila’s adult albino Siberian husky — to the clinic of veterinarian Dr Indhira Kusumawardhani, located in Cinere, South Jakarta, after she noticed that the pup looked lethargic.

According to Nadila’s lawyer, Hamonangan Syahdan Hutabarat, his client first asked Dr Indhira for inpatient care for the puppy, which the latter refused because her clinic hadn’t been sterilized after another animal’s viral infection treatment. Nadila and Dr Indhira agreed to have the puppy checked out the next day, but the vet failed to show up. Nadila then brought the puppy to another vet that day, who diagnosed the puppy with worms. Sadly, the puppy passed away in the afternoon.

Nadila recently filed a civil lawsuit against Dr Indhira for negligence at the Tangerang District Court seeking IDR1.574 billion (US$106,295) in compensation, a figure comprised of IDR1.3 billion for immaterial damages and IDR274 million for material damages — the latter derived from the costs of the puppy’s treatment, food, vitamins and more.

Aside from the personal grievance the puppy’s death caused Nadila, Hamonangan said the puppy was also a rare breed of Siberian husky.

“The puppy that was treated at [Dr Indhira’s] clinic had the lineage of its mother, the type and breed was the same, an albino Siberian husky,” Hamonangan told Tempo yesterday.

Dr Indhira has not commented about the lawsuit to the media, but the Indonesian Veterinarian Association (PDHI) is standing by her despite finding out that she missed her appointment to see Nadila’s puppy because she overslept after taking cold medicine.

“Doctors are humans too, they need bed rest [when sick],” PDHI Spokesperson M Wahyudin told Tempo.

The plaintiff and the defendant are awaiting court dates for mediation before the case goes to trial.

Tempo checked out pet stores around Jakarta and found that while albino husky puppies are relatively rare, there is indeed quite a demand for them in Jakarta and they only cost around IDR2 million-IDR7 million depending on their age.

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