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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Divorce Cases Involving Pets, Dangerous animals, or Who Should Get the Pets and Kids?

Animals have long been favored as household pets and as utility workers for those who need farm work. But what happens when BOTH parents or former spouses, BOTH want the same pet or animal? Apparently, the CA courts have decided that divorcing people can have the same type of hearing for who gets the pet-animals as would be done during a CHILD custody case??!! To do this properly, it would be best to have an attorney that knows animal law and cases, and to have an expert testify as to the bond between the human and animal or animals. People may think this is silly, but the entire animal code in CA was patterned after the CHILD welfare code? Most people have likely not thought of this but it's true. Then entire welfare code for children is basically how activists got the animal-pet codes done?

Let's pretend the couple now getting divorced own a stable of great horses and they both want to keep the same animals. If the disagreement is bad enough, and neither party will give in, it is possible that one could try and prove that one party has a higher bond to an animal than the other party. Let's say a race horse was mostly bonded to the wife but the husband wanted the horse, even though he had little to do with the horse. According to the law set forth for custody of the pets/animals, the code tends to lean to the animal welfare/child welfare code? Therefore, what is in the animal's best interest? It may sound dumb, but that's the law right now. And if that animal or animals just happened to be a high end champion dog line, you better bet that there would be a lot of fighting?

This could happen with any community property--but if an animal was only registered to one party, I would think that the registered party, without more, might have the edge as against the non registered party. Some show dogs are so expensive and are only registered to one party--others may be registered to more than one party. Attorney has worked with show dog people for quite some time, and we all know show dog people treat the animals like kids? Or, possibly the couple owned an entire kennel dedicated to breeding, raising and selling dogs nationwide. Assuming it was community property the judge would likely either split the kennel, or allow the parties to divide it as they chose themselves.

Show dogs are very expensive so there could be disagreement on which dogs would go to whom? (Attorney has worked with show dog people, it's really different once you see how they do everything!) Attorney has also done trials involving dogs and owners, where one party claimed the other party had a dog that should be kicked out of the registration due to alleged biting? One would be surprised to see how much litigation is done with animal law cases!

Police will shoot dogs, sometimes kill them; attempt to get the pound to capture them, or because maybe the police has no familiarty with dogs, will shoot an innocent dog which is not doing anything except standing there? There is a well known published case on that where the police shot a dog or dogs owned by Hells angels in the Bay area, and the dog was not menacing anyone?