Treat dogs like children in divorce cases, says Italian lawyer

'It's about recognizing pets as important objects of affection and sentiment within the family'

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The Independent Online

Dogs are “important objects of affection” and should be treated like children in divorce cases, an Italian lawyer has said. 

Pets are often seen by courts as property, but a case in Vicenza, northern Italy, could end up being decided differently.

An amicable divorce between a middle-aged couple is seeking to include clauses on maintenance for the family Labradors. 

"It's about recognizing pets as important objects of affection and sentiment within the family, which need to be taken care of, even in the case of a separation," lawyer Paola Mari told Il Corriere di Veneto.

A request to the court has stipulated that while the dogs will remain with the wife and her daughter, the husband must contribute €75 each month towards food and vet’s bills for the animals.

The man would, in turn, be allowed to visit and walk the dogs. 

"We're making progress towards recognizing animal rights. Now we just need to await the decision of the judge," the lawyer added. 

The courts have not yet made a decision but other judges in Italy have ruled on giving owners shared custody in the past. 

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