Vet Student Whose Dog Got Her Expelled Loses Lawsuit

She wanted $500K from Cornell after her dog bit another student
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2015 5:53 PM CDT
Vet Student Whose Dog Got Her Expelled Loses Lawsuit
A Cornell veterinary student was expelled when her German shepherd, like the one pictured here, bit a fellow student.   (Shutterstock)

Veterinary student Karen Habitzreuther was expelled from Cornell after her rescue dog bit a fellow student in 2006. Nine years later, a judge has dismissed her $500,000 lawsuit against the university, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports. According to the New York Times, Habitzreuther, now 60, enrolled at Cornell in 2005 but was suspended the following year when her German shepherd Shandor bit another student during an exam for an ear infection. In its decision to suspend her, a faculty board said Habitzreuther failed to disclose Shandor's behavioral issues, including previous attacks, and recommended the dog be put down. In the words of the Times, Cornell wanted Habitzreuther to "put aside her affections in the name of medicine and safety."

The Post-Standard reports Habitzreuther was suspended for two years before finally being expelled in 2009. In justifying her expulsion, the board chided Habitzreuther for refusing to take responsibility for what happened and worried it was an "early sign of professional recklessness," according to the Times. In her lawsuit, Habitzreuther claimed she was misled by Cornell, costing her hundreds of thousands of dollars while she waited to rejoin the university. But last week, a judge found Cornell was within its rights to expel her. During the years-long legal proceedings, Habitzreuther got her veterinary degree elsewhere and settled with the student who was bit for an undisclosed sum. At some point, Shandor, whom Habitzreuther had always described as a "playful puppy," was euthanized. (Read more veterinarian stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.