ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York's top court will tackle the tale -- and the tail -- of a purebred dog and whether the pooch is being discriminated against by hidebound and cruel dog show standards.
Jon H. Hammer has been trying since 2001 to get the American Kennel Club and the American Brittany Club to stop taking points away from dogs like his, a Brittany named Ms. Dale's Spooner, because he doesn't have a docked, or clipped, tail.
Breed standards at dog shows state that any Brittany with a tail "substantially" longer than four inches shall be "severely penalized" by show judges.
Hammer, a Manhattan lawyer, says docking a dog's tail violates state laws prohibiting cruel treatment of animals. The American Kennel Club counters that Brittanies were bred to hunt and that docking the tails prevents injury while the dogs are in the field.
The six members of the state's Court of Appeals were to hear cases starting Tuesday.