From: Julia Marsh [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 10:40 AM To: Sloane, Neil; PhotoDesk Subject: DOG CUSTODY EXCLU Joey’s in Maine with grandma right now so we won’t be able to take a photo, two attached from one of the mothers A miniature dachshund named Joey is in a legal tug-of-war between his parents in a precedent-setting pet custody case. Manhattan matrimonial Justice Matthew F. Cooper ordered what he says will be the first-ever oral arguments in a NY state divorce proceeding over possession of a pet in a Nov. 29 decision. Washington Heights residents Shannon Louise Travis, 32, and Trisha Bridget Murray’s only bone of contention in their divorce is who will get sole custody of the 2-year-old hound. Cooper says it’s surprising that in a “canine-centric city where dogs play an ever more important role in our emotional lives” there hasn’t been a pet proceeding before. Instead of treating Joey like a piece of property Judge Cooper– who gives the full disclosure that he owns a rescued pit bull mix named Peaches– will schedule a hearing to determine Joey’s fate. “This is a cutting edge case for animal rights,” said Murray’s attorney Sherri Donovan. “It recognizes the special place of pets in our families.” Judge Cooper wants the pup’s mothers to answer questions similar to those posed during child custody trials such as: Who bore the major responsibility for meeting Joey’s needs (i.e. feeding, walking, grooming…)” He says pet custody cases are only likely to increase in the future. “If judicial resources can be devoted to such matters as…who gets to stay in the Hamptons house instead of the Aspen chalet, there is certainly room to give real consideration to a case involving a treasured pet.” — Julia Marsh Cell: (917) 692-5540
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