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DC considers bill that would allow judges to grant joint custody of pets in divorce cases

Pet Shops Sales Ban
Posted at 12:47 PM, Dec 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-19 14:08:58-05

A judge in a Washington, D.C., divorce proceeding may soon be allowed to grant sole or joint custody of a pet.

In most states, judges consider animals as property when dividing assets between spouses. Under the proposed change in D.C., they would be treated more like children.

The bill would give judges the authority to consider the best interest of pets. It lays out exceptions for pets that were acquired before the marriage and prior agreements.

According to Axios, similar laws already exist in three other states: Alaska, California, and Illinois.

The bill being voted on is a broad piece of legislation that addresses animal welfare.

It would also ban pet stores from selling most animals, including dogs, cats and birds, unless they were obtained from shelters and rescue groups.

The bill also has a section that would crack down on animal fighting.

Councilors are scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday.