Court could rule on pet visitation after owners’ break-up
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine woman is calling for the state’s highest court to give domestic partners custody rights to pets after a relationship fizzles.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case Tuesday. Twenty-five-year-old Jessica Sardina of Bangor wants shared custody of Honey, a lab-shepherd mix.
The Bangor Daily News reports Sardina is appealing a finding by a district court judge last year that 25-year-old Kelvin Liriano of Old Town was the dog’s sole owner because only his signature was on Honey’s adoption papers. The judge said he was “stuck with the laws of property.”
Sardina and Liriano’s relationship ended in 2018. Maine law states a judge may order married couples to share custody of animals, but that standard doesn’t apply to unmarried couples splitting up.