Canadian judge rules dogs should not be treated like kids
Roving Correspondent, Toronto, bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-12-19 00:41:40.0 BdST Updated: 2016-12-19 00:42:11.0 BdST
A Canadian judge has ruled ‘dogs should not be treated like kids’ dismissing a case brought before the court by a divorcing couple over the custody of their two dogs.
The Queen’s Bench judge at Saskatchewan province said that “when it comes to the law, dogs should not be treated as though they were children”.
The wife wanted the court to treat the case as ‘child custody dispute’ but the judge disagreed and dismissed the case as “wasteful and demeaning” use of court time.
The divorcing Saskatoon couple who disagreed about where their two dogs – Kenya and Willow should live, went to court for settlement, the CBC news reported.
"Dogs are wonderful creatures," wrote Justice Richard Danyliuk in the first sentence of his 15-page decision in August, the CBC report said adding “Many dogs are treated as members of the family with whom they live. 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."
Danyliuk warned if the couple continues to pursue this matter in court it may not end well.
"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."
Danyliuk decided the dogs should continue to stay with the wife at her parents' house for the time being, until the divorce was finally settled.
The judge ruled that dogs are property and should not be treated as children. He said that should be obvious to all based on a bit of logical, dispassionate thought:
· "In Canada, we tend not to purchase our children from breeders.
· "We tend not to breed our children with other humans to ensure good bloodlines, nor do we charge for such services.
· "When our children are seriously ill, we generally do not engage in an economic cost/benefit analysis to see whether the children are to receive medical treatment, receive nothing or even have their lives ended to prevent suffering.
· "When our children act improperly, even seriously and violently so, we generally do not muzzle them or even put them to death for repeated transgressions."
Danyliuk said given dogs are property and not family, it would be absurd for him to make a ruling about visitation rights.
"Am I to make an order that one party have interim possession of [for example] the family butter knives but, due to a deep attachment to both butter and those knives, order that the other party have limited access to those knives for 1.5 hours per week to butter his or her toast?"
Danyliuk acknowledged that dogs aren't quite like other possessions in that "statutory protection for pets exists to prevent them from being treated with cruelty or neglect."
The judge said this sort of case should not be chewing up precious court time "in a justice system that is incredibly busy, where delay has virtually become systemic."
"To consume scarce judicial resources with this matter is wasteful. In my view such applications should be discouraged," he added.
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