Quirk bill seeks to avoid screwing the pooch in divorce settlements

Assemblymember Bill Quirk and his dog Luna.

20TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
The halcyon days of a new relationship often extends to include the adoption of pets. But in instances where the partnership dissolves, the couple’s fur babies are often caught in the middle.

A bill introduced Tuesday by Hayward Assemblymember Bill Quirk seeks for the state to view pets as more than mere property to split among other possessions, but treated more like children during divorce proceedings.

“There is nothing in statute that states a pet must be treated any differently than any other type of property we own. However, as a proud parent of a rescued dog, I know that owners view their pets as more than just property. They become a part of our family, and their well-being should be a consideration during divorce proceedings,” said Quirk, who has a rescue dog named Luna.

Illinois and Alaska have similar laws that allow judges to make determinations based on the pet’s best interests, said Quirk’s office. One recent case in Canada included an admonition by a judge that if an amicable solution over the pets custody was not resolved, the animal could be ordered sold and the proceeds split among the soon-to-be divorced couple.

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