Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Divorce battle over dog custody

A reader sent this NY Post story, saying it reminded her of me:
A pair of divorcing women are about to fight it out in court over a miniature dachshund named Joey in what will be New York’s first matrimonial pet-custody case.

“People who love their dogs almost always love them forever,” Manhattan Justice Matthew Cooper opines in his ruling granting the women oral arguments. “But with divorce rates at record highs, the same cannot always be said for those who marry.” ...

The only bone of contention in their divorce is who will get sole custody of their 2-year-old pet.

Travis bought Joey as a 10-week-old puppy from a pet store and gave him to her then-girlfriend as a gift and “a consolation for her having to give away her cat at Travis’ insistence,” according to court papers.

Murray is fighting to keep her best friend, who always slept on her side of the bed.

“I consider this puppy, my little angel Joey, the love of my life,” Murray told The Post.

“He is my little soul mate, and there was no way in this lifetime I could ever live without him.” ...

While some state courts like those in Kansas declined to stick their noses in a custody cases, others have leaped at the chance to treat canines like humans in legal proceedings.

An Alabama judge awarded a dog named Preston to one spouse over the other by taking into consideration the pet’s “best interests,” a gauge typically used in child custody cases.
Instead of regarding Joey like a piece of property, the judge — who gives the full disclosure that he owns a 12-year-old rescued pit bull mix named Peaches — will schedule a hearing to determine his fate.

“This is a cutting-edge case for animal rights,” said Murray’s attorney Sherri Donovan. “It recognizes the special place of pets in our families.” ...

He will ask the pup’s mothers to answer questions similar to those posed during child custody trials such as: “Who spent more time with Joey on a regular basis?”
Our family courts have gone mad, when they consider the best interests of a dog.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The solution is obvious: split the baby -- I mean, dog. The judge needs to tell the parties to settle this issue between themselves or else he'll grant custody of the little "soul mate"/homewrecker to the SPCA. May its new owners train it to sleep on the floor.

lisa said...


The most disgusting part of this is it is not family court.

NY has a 2 tier divorce system. One avenue is family court, the other avenue is NY State Supreme Court aka the state civil court. If you have money or want to wreck your family financially, you file in state court and get a different level of justice.

And of course, its all because of the strong lawyer lobby in NY. NY didnt even allow no fault divorce until this century, which allowed for more arguments (whose fault is the divorce) and more legal bills.