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dog destroyed air conditioning. Have you used small claims court to recover replacement cost?

For over 2 years my former tenant's dog peed on the a/c compressor in the patio, causing an unreparable total freon leak.  Zero freon left.  Found it when tenant moved out.  Cost to replace was $5800.  Has anyone tried to collect for a/c dog damage in small claims court?  How did it turn out?  Did the judge pro-rate the cost over the expected life of the system, or did the judge say tenant must pay to restore premises to the condition at move-in, which would mean paying the entire repair cost?
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I have not had experience with this exact situation but did have extreme damage to carpet, padding and believe it or not the wood underlayment under the padding due to ..... cat urine. It cost me thousands. I did sue and did win a judgement for costs BUT have never actually recovered the money. But when and if this tenant goes to buy a home or get credit, you never know.
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