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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Court battle between estranged unmarried couple for custody of pet dog

    A real dog-fight this!

    Though the couple had already undergone break-up, now it is the judges who have to break their heads and split their hairs in deciding the matter finally. Literally, it is an unprecedented case.
    It happens that many times the courts would not have any precedent on a matter that comes for adjudication. Then, the judgement, in that case, sets the precedent and may end up a new law. Many new laws have come in and many old laws deleted as a result of some unique unprecedented cases.

    The latest to cite in this regard is about an unmarried woman seeking custody of a pet dog she shared with her ex-boyfriend. The Associated Press news is datelined May 14th, Augusta, Maine in the USA.

    The uniqueness in this matter is that while pets are considered property in all the 50 states in USA and three among them have specific laws about pet custody when a marriage dissolves, "none has a statute dealing with pets when an unmarried couple breaks up." Which is actually the crux issue present case has to deal and settle.
    ("Maine law allows a judge to order married couples to share custody of animals, but not to unmarried couples who split up.")
    The woman was appealing to the supreme court of the state against an order by a lower court.

    This pin-prick me, that we were all not considering this issue when we discussed many a divorce and settlement. Now I wonder how the pets would have managed the separation of their erstwhile united masters?!

    It is more than an academic wait for the final verdict and I hope we will get that also in due course. In the meantime, I welcome serious and/or humorous and creative response from members on this.

    ( Source: Yahoo news. Also sourced from the internet from Fox news,, NewyorkTimes etc)
  • #665207
    Now if somehow it is decided that the pet dog will make its own choice, how that can be done? In that case, the pet has to stay for a particular period in the custody of each of its claimants, i.e. the woman and the man. The pet can make certain noises in each case to let others know its approval or disapproval. Now, who will understand the actual meaning of the noise the pet dog is making? Maybe, a vet can come to the rescue of the pet. The vet has the perfect idea about the noises the dog is making. Based on it the judges will pronounce the judgement. I am trying to imagine the situation where a dog is in the courtroom and barking out loud to let the jury know its preference.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #665210
    Very interesting case cited by the author. Generally, when it is a child or a baby the woman gets the preference to keep it. In case of a pet it is a bit complicated as pet might be common and affectionate to both the partners and each one of them can keep it with him. These are the things which are really a challenge for the jury as how to divide this live stock between the estranged partners.

    Each party may give arguments and counterarguments in its favour but they will be mostly in abstract forms rather then solid proofs based on the documents and witnesses. What the judges require is legally acceptable things favouring a particular partner. I think if one of them can prove the occasional cruelty or bad behaviour done by the other person with the pet then it may make the case stronger for that person.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #665211
    Quite interesting post. Who should own the dog? No problem at all. The court should not waste time in settling this pet dog issue. If I were a judge, I would have given the judgement within no time. I would take all the three( Woman Boy Dog) to a football ground and ask the police to hold the dog in the central position, and would ask the women and her ex boy friend to remain at the goal posts either side. (If the goal posts are on the East and West, the dog would face the North or south) At the blow of a whistle, the police should release the dog. The dog would run towards its master of its choice. Whoever the dog chooses will be the owner of the pet forever. This event can be witnessed by the public from the gallery.

    Will the unmarried woman and her ex boy friend accept my decision?

    No life without Sun

  • #665216
    This is a very interesting case. And judging it is going to be very very difficult. If the pet is somehow given a choice, it is possible that it might choose both of its former owners. Pets don't understand the idea of separation. So what can be done is an observation where the dog is sent for 15 days to the boyfriend and 15 days to the girlfriend. Their behavior towards this pet is observed through surveillance and the case is judged accordingly.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #665219
    A unique in its nature. The judgement in this case will set the guidelines for the future cases. It will be a tough task for the judge. In my opinion the choice should be given to the pet. Both of them should be asked to sit separately and leave the dog outside. Then the dog may approach first any one of the two. The pet should be given to the person whom it approaches first.

    The pet may be able to unite them again. We don't know anything is possible. Any one of them may compromise for having the pet with him/her, The legality is not known to us. The judge will mix legality with his common sense and may come out with a good judgement.

    I hope the judgement will also be posted as thread on this site by any one of the members.

    always confident

  • #665223
    It's a very unusual case. People don't fight in court for the custody of a pet usually they do for a child. It is difficult for the court to decide the custodian of the pet. It would be wise if the court decides the equal time span for both parties to keep this pet.

    The pet should be happy and should think itself lucky to have such good owners who are fighting to have it, unlike India where people try to avoid to have responsibilities. I appreciate both of them too who have such affection towards the pet which is like someone has with his or her own kid. This case is very unique and it's not easy to take a decision. As being an animal pet cannot show its wish that who should be the custodian.

    In India, it would be ridiculous if such cases come in the court as already lacs of cases are pending which are more important than such cases.


    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

  • #665229
    It is very true & sorry to say "We are going to Dogs". Now a days everything else except Humans are given more importance. One need to understand that Humans were made above others but now its getting reverse. Its often said that we need to learn from animals...about Love, Care & affection. We live in a world where Dogs are taken more care than their own children. Last, we blame that children when grow up, dont care for their parents. " Jaisi karni - Waise barni".
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #665261
    It is a bit unusual post but very interesting and challenging as how to find out a solution of this problem. In case the pet is equally loveable to the owners then the judges will not be able to decide the verdict. They may in such cases ask them to keep it for 3 months each in turn.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

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