Pit Bull Advocacy and How Pets Can Help with Divorce
Pets are part of the family. When going through a divorce, it is important for pet owners to consider their pets’ needs and the ways their pets can help them cope with the process. Although pets are considered “property” for purposes of a divorce, for spouses who love their pets, it is beyond doubt that their animals are so much more.
Here you will find information on four topics: (i) pit bull advocacy, (ii) protecting pets in a New Jersey divorce, (iii) ways pets can help divorcing spouses and their children begin to move on, and (iv) our favorite local animal shelters. If you have questions and would like to speak with an attorney, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential case evaluation.
1. Pit Bull Advocacy
Firm founder and attorney Carrie Schultz is a pit bull owner and a passionate advocate for pit bulls who have not received fair opportunities in life. Whether you own a pit bull, are thinking about adopting or fostering a pit bull, or simply love all animals, we encourage you to join in the fight to advocate for this loving breed.
These organizations provide helpful resources and opportunities for people interested in pit bull advocacy:
- American Pit Bull Foundation – A national foundation focused on promoting “responsible breed ownership through providing owner and public education.”
- BADRAP – An organization formed in 1999 to help secure “the future of the American Pit Bull Terrier as a cherished family companion.”
- National Pit Bull Awareness Day – A cause dedicated to the “appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about pit bulls and their responsible owners.”
- Pit Bull Rescue Central – An organization focused on helping pit bulls “reside in responsible, loving homes and where their honor and positive image is restored and preserved.”
2. Protecting Your Pets During Your Divorce
Under New Jersey law, a pet is considered “property” for purposes of a divorce. As a result, if your family adopted a pet during your marriage, you will need to address your pet’s “ownership” in your divorce.
Of course, you and your spouse will also need to decide (or have a court decide) how to provide for your pet’s needs once your marriage is over. While traditional concepts of custody and financial support do not apply to pets, divorcing spouses have substantial leeway to craft agreements that address issues such as ownership, visitation, and pets’ daily needs and health care expenses.
Importantly, in situations where both spouses wish to share “joint custody” of their beloved animals, due consideration should be given to whether such an arrangement would create undue stress for their pets. While some animals (such as certain breeds of dogs) can happily transition between two homes, others may need the reassurance and stability of a single home environment.
3. How Pets Can Help You and Your Children Cope with Divorce
While you can help your pet, during your divorce, your pet can also help you. Dogs, cats, and other animals offer unmitigated love and companionship, and studies have shown that interacting with animals can significantly reduce stress in human beings. As you prepare to go through your divorce and look for ways to help your children understand and cope with the process, it is important not to forget that your pets are there for you no matter what.
4. Our Favorite Animal Shelters
Bergen County Animal Shelter & Adoption Center – Teterboro, NJ
Bloomfield Animal Shelter – Bloomfield, NJ
Clifton Friends of the Shelter – Clifton, NJ
FOCAS – Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
Humane Society of Bergen County/Lost Pet, Inc. – Lyndhurst, NJ
Passaic Animal Shelter – Passaic, NJ
Pawsitively Furever Dog Rescue – Hackensack, NJ
Pitty Rescue, Inc. – No Physical Address
Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc. – Oakland, NJ
S.T.A.R.T. – Little Falls, NJ
Animal Lighthouse Rescue – New York City, NY
Pibbles & More Animal Rescue (PMAR) – Binghamton, NY
Contact Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC in Hackensack, NJ
If you would like more information about how your pets may factor into your divorce, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule an initial case evaluation at our Hackensack family law offices, please call (201) 880-9770 or contact us online today.