Does Connecticut Have Pet Custody Laws?

Your pet is a member of your family. You treat him as you treat everyone else in your household. What happens if pet custody becomes an issue for your family. Would a court look at you and decide that you and your pet are inseparable? In a pet custody decision, would a judge favor you? Does Connecticut even have pet custody laws?

Connecticut does not have pet custody laws

Of course, no family wants to think about family separations or pet custody laws, but sometimes you must. Everyone in your household loves your pet. Unfortunately, your pet becomes one more thing for the courts to manage when your family relationship changes. 

Connecticut does not have pet custody laws because the law considers your pet personal property. No matter how much you love your cat or dog, the Connecticut legal system views them in the same way as your home, your car, or your furniture. Unless you negotiate a shared property arrangement, the court includes your pet when considering the state’s equitable division property statutes.

Connecticut pet custody laws and your pet’s property status

Connecticut General Statutes provide a brief definition that gives your pet property status. You’ll find it in Chapter 435, Dogs and Other Companion Animals…, under §22-350. Dogs as personal property. Of course, it’s a blow to every pet owner who considers their dog a valued family member. Still, it’s essential to know and understand the laws and the concept before it becomes an unavoidable issue. 

Things are changing

Sweeden, France, Tanzania, and other countries now have laws that view animals differently than in most of the United States. They classify animals as sentient beings, which elevates them above property status. Most states in America don’t have pet custody laws, but parts of the country are moving toward similar enlightenment. 

The Animal Welfare Act, U.S.C. §2143, has long acknowledged an animal’s ability to feel pain and distress. The law currently regulates how researchers, exhibitioners, transporters, and others treat the animals in their care. Some American states have passed laws that recognize pets as more than just property. 

California is ahead of other states. In 2018, the state legislature passed a law that acknowledges a family pet’s special status. When a family legally separates, they either work out a shared arrangement or allow a judge to make a decision based on the state’s pet custody laws. The court considers several factors before placing a family pet in the living situation that’s best for him. 

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital

At Hebron Veterinary Hospital, we love pets the way you do. Let us help you keep your pet healthy and strong. Give us a call at (860) 228-4324 or visit our contact page. We’ll perform a wellness checkup or provide loving medical care if your pet doesn’t feel well.