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October 4, 2017 - Present day
This petition is the result of my personal experience in dealing with the court system to recover my Golden Retriever, Bailey, who is being illegally withheld from me. Changes in property law needs to take place NOW to protect pets and their owners.
What is “Bailey’s Law”?
"Bailey's Law" is legislation I am proposing to amend current "property" law to allow for an "emergency hearing for our pets” who are caught up in ownership/custody disputes.
Each case is different, but when a child is taken, there is usually 24 hours to return the child. If the child is not returned, then there is an emergency hearing before a judge. The same type of emergency action needs to be written into our current "property" law for our companion pets. "Bailey's Law is proposing that this new action state that when a pet is taken or withheld from the legal owner, that there be a 48 hour window to return the pet with a demand letter. If the pet is not returned after the 48 hours, the owner would file a complaint and be granted an emergency hearing to be heard by a judge within 7 days.
What you need to know about "Property" law and your pets.
Did you know that your pet is still considered "property" or "chattel" in the eyes of the law? They are treated as objects owned instead of living, breathing beings. Their life, position in the family and their value as a living soul is not considered by the law. Some of us who are true pet lovers do have special and close relationships with them and consider them a part of our families and our everyday lives. In comparison, we don't have that type of relationship with things like lawn mowers, furniture, bicycles etc.
What you may not know and what we have recently learned is that if you allow anyone access to your pet for any reason, they can refuse to return your pet. We all readily give access to our pets for a variety of reasons, so this seems most unlikely when you first hear something like this. Examples would be a pet walker, pet sitter, neighbor, ex spouse or partner, friend, dog trainer or potential adoptive situation.
In most situations, if the person will not return your pet, you would provide ownership documentation with an explanation of the situation, then have the police go with you to retrieve your pet, similar to any other property you may own.
However, in another scenario, the person who has your pet may refuse to return him/her simply because they want to keep them for themselves, claiming that you "gave" them your pet. In some counties, even ownership papers or signed paperwork is not enough to get your pet back.
In the eyes of the law, this is now a civil matter and your pet will not be allowed to go home until the court gets around to hearing the case. This is also true for any other "property" you may own. Most people are good with waiting for a court to hear their case in situations that fall under “property law”, except when it comes to a beloved pet, who is "living" property.
Cherokee County, Georgia Superior Court
Case # 17-CVE-0427-DC
Pet legal status change from "Property" to "Companion Animal"
Today, there is legislation in progress in several states to change the legal status of our pets from "property" to "companion animal". In this new legislation, a “companion animal” shall be considered a dog, cat or any domesticated animal. Further, a domesticated animal shall also include birds, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, or any animal living in the home.
Join us in being a part of this change and "Be a Voice for the Voiceless”
Today: Bailey's is counting on you
Bailey's Law needs your help with “Changes in "Property" Law NOW to Protect you and your Pets”. Join Bailey's and 2,668 supporters today.