Domestic Violence and Pet Custody
If you are dealing with domestic violence and pet custody, here are some tips and information to keep in mind as you work through your plan to move you and your family beyond domestic violence.
Put together a file of all the information on your pets. You might need this information if you have to legally pursue pet custody.
Proof of who purchased the pet and receipts
Pet Adoption Papers
Pet Medical Records
Pictures of each pet
It would be easiest to keep this information with your
Pets are still recognized as personal property by courts in America. The documents above can either prove that you do, or do not own the pet.
If you didn't purchase, or adopt the pet, but the pet is emotionally attached to you, then you may be able to prove that you are the pet's main care giver during a pet custody hearing. Pets are starting to be recognized in court as an important part of the family.
Usually, when a family has children and pets, the pets stay with the children. This arrangement is for the sake of the children when a big part of their world is changing. I recommend to victims of domestic violence with children and/or pets, that you do your best to get custody of your children and pet custody for their safety.
The most important consideration regarding pet custody is the well-being of the pet. As a loving pet owner, you want to insure their safety without causing them unnecessary stress. Pay attention to their stress level and behavior. If they are suddenly acting out in unusual ways, it is directly related to what they are going through at this time. For instance, moving a dog weekly from one home to another can be a difficult adjustment on the dog.
While thinking about domestic violence and pet custody, it is important to have a safety plan set up for your pets. A pet can easily become a defenseless target for your abuser.
has a wonderful list of pet shelters across the United States that may be able to assist you. I recommend calling before you have any need of the services to make sure they are currently in operation. Take a few minutes to research the different shelters near you, or have a friend look into it for you.
As you move beyond domestic violence, I highly recommend getting a new dog that doesn't know your abuser. A new dog will alert you and your current pets when and if your abuser comes around.
Go to surviving-domestic-violence.com from domestic violence and pet custody