It was the most expensive animal rescue in Berlin’s history, and it took 40 firefighters and animal relief technicians to rescue Skipper, a white Parson Russell Terrier. Shortly after 6 p.m. last Friday, Skipper broke free from his leash while on an evening walk and got caught in a badger’s burrow. Skipper’s distraught guardian called the Fire Department after her efforts to rescue him were unsuccessful.

The rescuers had to excavate an area of approximately 50 square meters and dig to a depth of 12 feet. Skipper was finally rescued shortly after 1:00 a.m. This unfortunate mishap will cost Skipper’s guardian 10 000 Euro ($13,000).

In the USA, when a child is rescued from an unfortunate situation, the taxpayer, and not the parents, usually foots the bill. But what happens if a pet’s endangered. Who pays the costs then? Are costs assigned differently if it’s an animal that needs help? Both the child and the pet have responsible caregivers, shouldn’t liability be assigned equally?