Posts Tagged ‘Animal Law’

Forget the cutlery! It’s pets making divorces bitter

April 26, 2008

Forget the family silver or the car. Increasing numbers of couples who split up have a greater bone of contention — who gets the family pet?

With pets being treated more as one of the family than just an animal, the fate of Fido or Cuddles is becoming a growing problem which lawyers are taking on board, drafting “petimony” contracts and sparking a new focus on animal law issues.

Michelle Brown, a family law expert from Sydney firm Watts McCray, said it’s becoming more common for couples, particularly childless or heterosexual pairs, to share access to pets after they split but the law in most nations is not equipped for this.

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Fido, Fluffy become more high profile part of law

March 30, 2008

Fido is getting a new name — several, in fact: “plaintiff,” “trustee,” “beneficiary” and even “defendant.”

Dogs, cats and creatures of all sorts are being redefined in an emerging area of legal practice known as animal law. Once considered mere property, animals are being invested with legal standing as they’re increasingly being named as partial beneficiaries of estates, subjects of lawsuits and victims of abuse.

As animals rise in the law, so does the profile of animal lawyers, or lawyers who practice animal law.

Ninety-two of the 196 law schools in the country approved by the American Bar Association now offer courses on animal law, up from the nine that offered classes in 2000, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

“You’re seeing this real snowball effect,” said Pamela Alexander, director of the defense fund’s animal law section.

Click here for the full article.