Tag Archives: pet abuse

Fighting Over Dogs and Cats

Nowadays, many of us pet parents, consider our fur babies our children. There is nothing wrong with that, in my humble opinion. Except that the law considers them property not kids. Still, issues like divorce bring up similar considerations between spouses, what to do about the fur kids. Who gets to “keep” the fur kids? Will custody be shared? Can one party “keep” the fur baby and how often can the other party visit? Below an attorney, guest blogger, Charla Bradshaw, flushes out the issues more fully.

I don’t wanna get divorced…

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/paws/sad-puppies-that-will-ruin-your-day#

more info:

http://www.womansdivorce.com/pet-custody.html

Consider making up a pre-pup arrangement (like a pre-nup) that spells out what happens to your pets if your marriage splits up.

True Love American Style

  “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”

                                -Immanuel Kant

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a poll of 1,500 members and nearly a quarter said they had noticed an increase in custody issues over pets. Courts have had to determine not only who gets the pet but whether one party has the right to see the pet after the marriage breaks up.  Identifying the best interests of the pet in a divorce case can safeguard that the pet is properly cared for after divorce.

Pets can provide unbelievable companionship and unconditional love for adults and children.  Animals such as dogs, cats and horses are considered personal property for divorce purposes and unfortunately can also be the subject of domestic violence.

In a divorce, pets must be awarded as part of the property division and therefore will usually go to one spouse or the other.  However, spouses can choose to co-own the pet going forward and create a visitation schedule for the pet.  We have done these orders and they actually work very well.  We also see pet schedules associated with a child’s visitation schedule where the pet goes with the child.  When spouses co-own a pet, going forward, we must provide provisions for the expenses related to the animal. This can be important when dealing with livestock, such as horses, or an animal that has health issues.

Since pets are considered personal property, there can be disputes over whether the pet is the separate property of one of the spouses or community property.  Separate property can be acquired by a gift, inheritance, or if the property was owned on the date of marriage.  Separate property cannot be divided by a court.  Spouses may argue over whether the pet was a “gift”, or whether the spouses bought the pet together, making the pet community property subject to being awarded to one spouse or the other.

Unfortunately, pets are often targets in family violence but Texas has come to the rescue.  Texas courts can now include pets in protective orders in domestic violence cases. Because pets have suffered abuse when family violence has occurred, in 2011 the Texas legislature amended the law to prohibit the removal of animals from the possession of a person named in the protective order.  In a protective order, the court may prohibit a party from removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002 of the Human Resources Code, from the possession or actual or constructive care of a person named in the protective order.  The “actual or constructive care” verbiage was added in 2013.  In turn, in 2013, the Texas Penal Code was amended to specify what the possession of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal by a person actually means.

So what do these protective order laws actually mean for pets?  They mean that a person subject to a protective order that violates a pet provision in the protective order can go to jail, plain and simple.  An abuser will often turn on a pet to cause pain and suffering not only to the pet, but to the perpetrator’s victim(s).  An abuser may also threaten a pet’s life in order to keep their victim(s) close.  As a result, a victim may stay in an abusive situation to keep the companionship of the pet, not realizing the court can make orders with regard to the pet.

One of the problems is that most facilities and shelters for those running from family violence are not equipped to take animals and therefore the animals are left behind. There is a growing need in this regard not only for the safety of the pet but because the unconditional love a pet can give may be lost at the time it is needed the most.

Divorce or abuse can actually take a toll on a pet.  The Humane Society of the United States sets forth the following signs of pet stress:

•    They become depressed

•    They sleep a lot

•    Their appetite lessens

•    They’re not interested in their walks or other daily activities

•    They start to cry or whimper

•    They groom, lick and/or bite themselves excessively

•    They have accidents in the home

The bottom line is that pets are often the subject of divorce and family violence and the laws are improving to protect them.  It is important for everyone to be aware of these laws especially so that abuse victims may realize the court can include a pet in a protective order.  Abuse is bad enough for the lives of those who suffer it, but losing or leaving behind a pet can only make the suffering worse.

Victims asking a court for a protective order should ask the court to make orders regarding their pet(s).  Additionally, spouses in a divorce should be aware that pet(s) are property.  Sadly, a pet may become the subject of a very expensive fight when the real issue is to cause pain to the other spouse.

Charla Bradshaw is an accomplished family law attorney and Denton Managing Shareholder known for successfully summarizing some of the most difficult cases. She was listed among the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas (2014) and rated one of the Best Women Lawyers in North Texas by D Magazine. While she employs an aggressive approach to litigating family law cases, Charla Bradshaw is also a certified mediator and handles collaborative law cases.

This is a blog hop post… click on link here

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Filed under adoption, animal abuse, blog hop, cats, dogs, Humane Society, keep pets safe, moms, pet blog hop, pet care, Uncategorized

Patrick: a million dollar dog

Dogs should not be considered property. It is 2011 not the Dark Ages. Women were once considered property and so were slaves.  Dogs are living beings not commodities to be bought and sold.  As long as our society/culture thinks that animals are property, lesser than us, inferior and/or somehow unworthy of the rights of all beings (but then Wall Street thinks the poor and middle class are not worthy of homes, jobs, health care, their Constitutional rights including the right to vote, food and so on) then animals will be treated badly and not taken seriously.

 

Thankfully some of us do believe that dogs (and other animals) should be treated humanely and are HAPPY that Patrick who was horribly neglected, abandoned and abused, has found LOVE, a forever home, safety and happiness with his family and deserves to continue to thrive in their loving care.

 

 

That is why it is hard to believe that AHS is still waging their war against Patrick and the good people at GSVS, all in the name of GREED.

 
But apparently the fight for Patrick continues as the Associated Humane Societies has filed another lawsuit against the city of Newark and the veterinarians caring for Patrick. In their complaint, AHS makes it very clear how they view Patrick. AHS argues that he is “trademark registration number 23699” which will make them a lot of money. When they look at Patrick, all they see are dollar signs.  They do not take proper care of the animals already in their (has anyone considered shutting them down permanently, firing the people in charge and/or taking the animals already in their care away from them???? if not why not????) Disgusting …this literally made me sick to my stomach… so beware if you are queasy.
 
http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=6919
 
https://www.facebook.com/nathanwinograd
 
 
http://www.nathanwinograd.com/linked/AHScivilsuit.pdf 
  
 

To All:  Have reviewed the papers filed by AHS. Nothing new, nothing that has not been said in the past. To answer the question of where we stand on this here is the simple answer… same as since March 16th 100% behind Patrick and yes I think he is where he belongs and should stay and yes I will testify in Court if needed. Yes testify against AHS administration. CLEAR ??? Just sayin……………. Capt

 
 

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Filed under animal abuse, dogs, Patrick, pet adoption, pet care, pit bull, Uncategorized