Dog-Sharing Lawsuit: Returning Wet Pet to Ex-Partner Is Not Negligent Behavior | My Rights | Economy


Animals are sentient beings in the eyes of the law. This means that they cannot be seized, mortgaged, abandoned, abused or separated from one of their owners in the event of separation or divorce. This new legal condition, which came into force in January, has ensured that pets are no longer considered mere things and their happiness be a factor to assess when resolving family friction.

A trail of judicial decisions already timidly applies this new perspective. A recent order from a court in Vigo, without going any further, has resolved the conflict over the enjoyment of a pet in turns between a separated marriage. The resolution (which can check this link) remarks that the welfare of the animal and its protection must be valued when it comes to resolving those disputes between humans that may affect them.

With these wickers, the judge has ruled that the ex-partner cannot be deprived of the enjoyment of the animal, alleging that he became ill because of him, without presenting evidence or reports that support that there has been mistreatment. Get the pet treated It cannot be an excuse to refuse to comply with the judicial agreement that defined the turns of enjoyment of the pet. The dog can receive care in both homes without major problems, so there is no threat to her protection or her well-being, the car highlights.

As the facts show, the marriage was obliged to comply with a regime similar to that which may exist for a child with joint custody when the parents separate. The animal must be with the husband from Monday to Fridaywhile the weekends he stayed with the woman, who picked up the dog on Friday at 5:00 p.m. and dropped him off on Sunday, at 10:00 p.m. During these days, she also enjoyed the company of the son they had in common.

The conflict broke out when, after a year, she returned the wet pet, because it was raining that afternoon. The ex-husband took the opportunity to accuse her of not taking care of the animal properly and refused to leave it to her anymore. To make matters worse, the dog caught gastroenteritis with diarrhea and vomiting for which she had to receive treatment at the veterinarian, expenses that the ex-husband claimed. The ex-wife refused to accept it and denounced the situation in court.

there is no negligence

He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.


The judge agrees with the ex-wife and points out that, if the pet gets sick, it is not a reason to revoke an agreement that has been signed by a judge, and therefore is mandatory. The head of the court sees no reason to think that the happiness of the animal is in danger with the established shift system.

And it is that, although the events occurred prior to the legal reform, the head of the court brings up the new law and concludes that "there has been no situation of negligence or lack of care on the part of the wife towards the dog that harm the welfare and protection of the animal.

The sentence continues. The fact of returning her wet one day because it was raining "does not imply negligent behavior nor is there evidence that it was the cause of the gastrointestinal discomfort that the dog presented and that motivated the visits to the veterinarian." These dates also coincided with "strong storms".

The judge rather suspects that the refusal to share the dog is not based so much on "seeking the well-being of the animal" but on the "economic conflict" around the veterinary bills. Analyzing the matter in this way, he forces the man to allow the dog to enjoy turns as they had agreed. If he does not allow it, he will face a monthly fine that will be repeated over time, until he corrects the situation.

The judge also condemns him to pay the costs of the process.


Since January 5 of this year, animals are considered "sentient beings" in Spain. It is a state that has been achieved after a ambitious three-way legislative reformwhich touches on three extremely important legislative texts: the Civil Code, the Mortgage Law and the Civil Procedure Law.

The reform includes for the first time the shared custody of pets in case of separation. The Government's intention is to shield the protection of animals in a single text, which will be the Animal Protection Law. The standard will introduce advances such as the prohibition of slaughtering animals without just cause, the veto on the use of wild fauna in circuses and the end of the sale of pets in stores. At the moment, the project is still only a draft.

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