The days are over when a party in a dispute over an animal could be resolved by merely producing the bill of sale for the pet.
As of October 25, 2021, New York State Courts may now decide pet custody cases based upon the best interest of the animal, as well as the needs of humans in the animal’s life.
Prior to that, all pets were treated merely as a possession. That means no matter how much you may love your pet, and how much your pet may love you, in the eyes of the law the animal was merely property, like a flat screen television, a sofa, or a car; and courts generally award property to the person who could produce the bill of sale.
The legislature finally realized that from the seeing guide dog to the parrot who calls out your name when you come home, pets have a special place in our hearts and in our lives.
As an avid pet owner myself, and an attorney with a subspecialty in pet custody cases, I am excited to be able to explain to the court the importance of my client having their pet in their life, and also why it would be in “best interest of the pet” to live with them.
This law dramatically changes the landscape for pet owners and the animals they love. All I can say is, “It’s About Time”.