Washington D.C. May Require Divorce Proceedings To Consider Well-Being Of Pets

  • Post category:News / US News


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Washington, D.C. is considering sweeping animal rights legislation which would have judges in divorce proceedings consider a pet’s well-being in determining pet custody rather than treating animals as property.

The Animal Care and Control Omnibus Amendment Act, introduced in December 2021, would prompt judges to consider the interests of animals when determining pet custody rather than assigning custody based on who purchased the pet. The legislation would also ban practices including cat declawing, bestiality and the retail sale of non-rescue animals.

“Family pets are currently treated as property when a couple separates,” the bill’s cosponsors wrote. “The party who purchased the pet remains the determining factor for ownership … in contentious separations, the ownership of a family pet can be used as a tool to hurt the other party. The final provision of this bill modifies the pure property disposition of a pet in a divorce so that the court may assign sole or joint ownership of a pet based upon the care and best interest of the animal.”

The bill’s cosponsors wrote that D.C. is a national leader in animal rights and needed to push ahead into new frontiers in animal rights and protections.

The legislation would criminalize the ownership of dogfighting equipment, allow the Washington Humane Society to recover costs for sheltering animals and would allow animal rescue vehicles to use emergency lights and sirens.

Mary Cheh, the bill’s sponsor, did not  respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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