[UPDATE] Post-Breakup Pet Visitation Could Become Law in Maine
5/31/19 According to the Portland Press Herald, this case went to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday, May, 28th. Sole custody was granted to Kelvin Liriano as it was his name on the adoption papers. Jessica Sardina filed for an appeal but the court ultimately affirmed the decision.
**********Original story published 5/13/19**********
Many of us have been there. We meet someone wonderful, decide to move in together, then start to build a family by adopting a pet. Then it happens. We fall out of love with the guy or gal, but the little furball you helped raise still holds a big place in your heart.
What now? Who gets to keep Fluffy or Fido post-breakup?
One Bangor woman is taking this issue to the State. Jessica Sardina wants custody of her and her ex's dog, Honey, according to WGME.
She initially took the fight to a district court judge who awarded sole custody to her ex, Kelvin Liriano as his name was the one on the adoption papers.
According to The Bangor Daily News, Sardina's attorney argued that pets should not be treated like inanimate objects that are subject to traditional property rights as a pet is a living creature capable of play and love and that they're more like family. He argues in favor of rights similar to that of a biological parent.
Currently, married couples who file for divorce may be subject to shared custody or visitation rights over shared pets but nothing on the books addresses unwed couples.
An oral argument is scheduled at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta regarding this issue for Tuesday, May 14th at 3:30 pm.