Judge rules dogs are property, not children in custody dispute

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A judge has ruled that an estranged couple’s dog is property and not a child over whom the court should spend time disputing custody.

Court of Queen’s bench judge Justice Richard Danyliuk was sympathetic that dogs have earned themselves a place higher than most property but admonished the owners over their assertion that canines are equivalent to children, according to CBC.

"Many dogs are treated as members of the family with whom they live,” Danyliuk wrote in the August ruling. “But after all is said and done, a dog is a dog. At law it is property, a domesticated animal that is owned. At law it enjoys no familial rights."

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Danyliuk acknowledged that dogs are afforded treatment not given to other possessions, including laws that prevent cruelty and neglect.

However, Danyliuk said children are not purchased from breeders, they aren’t bred to ensure good bloodlines, and when children act out they are not muzzled or put to death.

Danyliuk said he hopes the matter can be resolved without any further court intervention:

"Both parties should bear in mind that if the court cannot reach a decision on where the dogs go, it is open to the court under the legislation to order them sold and the proceeds split — something I am sure neither party wants," the judge said.