Dogs and cats end up in animal rescue
shelters for a number of reasons - sometimes the family can no longer afford a pet, other times they are moving to a building that doesn't allow them. Still other times married couples who divorce end up sending their mutual pets to a shelter when they can't figure out custody. Now, more estranged couples are considering their pets in the divorce courts.
According to The Associated Press
, pet custody cases in divorces have increased notably since 2001, according to a 2006 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
"There is a shifting consciousness," Santa Monica attorney David Pisarra told the news source. "Pets are being given greater consideration under the law."
Now, many couples are arranging for joint custody of pets, working out travel arrangements and who will have them on the weekends. This is an improvement from the alternative - that is, bringing Fluffy or Fido to an animal rescue shelter
According to the Humane Society of the United States
, between 6 and 8 million pets enter shelters every year, with about 50 percent euthanized because of a lack of resources to care for them.