Judge Denies Divorcing Couple’s Request To Treat Dogs Like Children

BOSTON (CBS) — Dogs can be viewed as pseudo-children, given the loving bond between owner and pet. When one married Canadian couple decided to split, they couldn’t settle on one thing: custody of their dogs, Quill, Kenya and Willow.

The woman asked Justice Richard Danyliuk to treat their beloved dogs like a child during the court proceedings, she is seeking full custody while the husband would be restrained to visitation rights for 90 minutes at a time. But the judge said no, and ruled that the dog will be viewed as property.

“I say without reservation that the prospect of treating pets as children would be treated holds absolutely no attraction for me,” wrote Danyliuk, via New York Daily News. “My present task is not to act with emotion or to validate the personal perspective of pet owners within the legal context. Rather, it is to interpret and then apply the law. And for legal purposes, there can be no doubt: Dogs are property.”

It should be noted that Danyliuk prefaced his decision by stating his love for dogs.

“Dogs are wonderful creatures,” Danyliuk wrote. “They are often highly intelligent, sensitive and active, and are our constant and faithful companions. Many dogs are treated as members of the family with whom they live.”

But he felt the need to disentangle feelings and court rulings. Danyliuk’s chief reasoning behind the decision is that we “tend not to purchase our children from breeders.”

“In turn, we tend not to breed our children with other humans to ensure good bloodlines, nor do we charge for such services,” Danyliuk said.

Danyliuk grew from slightly playful (as far as court documentations are concerned, at least) to slightly annoyed that he even needed to deal with this by the end.

“Simply put, I am not about to make what amounts to a custody order pertaining to dogs,” Danyliuk said. “This sort of application should not even be put before the court.”

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