When two people get a pet while sharing a life together then decide to split down the road, it can lead to some serious disagreements and heartbreak. When it comes to children and assets, people have the option to settle in court; but which category do pets fall under?
In most states (except for Alaska, due to a recent amendment), our four-legged companions are considered “property,” although we hardly view them as such. The situation can be even more muddled when the two people breaking up were never legally together, so they have to figure out all the details themselves.
Below is a reader question regarding canine custody that was submitted to the Bowling Green Daily News‘ “Dear Abby” section. See what advice “Abby” gives the confused dog owner.
Dear Abby: Exs still fight over dog
DEAR ABBY: My ex-boyfriend and I broke up two years ago. We were together for nearly three years. A year into our relationship, we rescued a puppy. We broke up when she was 2. Since then, we have shared her on and off. This arrangement worked fine because we have both been single.
I am now in a new relationship and feel that my ex and I should cut ties. We recently had a falling out, but he still wants to share the dog “until she is no longer in the picture.”
Abby, I don’t feel that it’s feasible for us to continue sharing our dog for the next 12 to 15 years. My ex has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I know she helps him. However, I feel like I can provide a better home for her and give her more attention. How do we decide who gets to keep the dog? – STILL IN THE PICTURE
DEAR STILL IN THE PICTURE: You have a new boyfriend. Your ex has PTSD and needs her more than you do. Unless the animal was somehow mistreated when she was with him, let him have her.
This wise woman is short and sweet, but she gets her point across. What do you think of this advice? Have you ever been faced with a situation like this before? Share your thoughts with us below!
Feature image: Noël Zia Lee via Flickr. Photo has been cropped.
(h/t: Bowling Green Daily News)