Money is no measure of dog’s worth Appeals court rules in custody battle: Pets have ‘subjective value’

March 12, 2009

The Star-Ledger reported that a three-judge panel ruled money was inadequate compensation for a woman whose former fiancé kept their dog after the breakup of their relationship, despite an oral agreement the pet would be hers. The Appeals court concluded a pet, like a family heirloom, has “special subjective value” that cannot be compensated by money alone.

Who Gets Fido? Pet Custody Battles.

September 19, 2008

MSNBC reported that custody battles for pets have increasingly become a major part of divorce litigation. According to a divorce attorney, “There has been an explosion in the court systems of people who want to litigate time sharing and legal ownership of family pets.” Some judges are working out joint custody agreements for couples, “treating the pet as if it were a child.” This has led to some judges considering the emotional attachment of the parties to the pet. However, other judges are taking the more traditional approach and determining that a pet’s owner is the person who purchased it.

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