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This petition is the result of my personal experience with the legal process in trying to recover my Golden Retriever, Bailey.
"Bailey's Law" is legislation we are proposing to amend current "property" law to allow for a quicker response from our court system for pets who are caught up in ownership disputes.
Currently, when a complaint is filed and served, there is a six month discovery process before a court date is scheduled, while your pet is withheld from you. In some cases, the legal process for cases like this can take up to 2 years with your pet remaining in the custody of someone else.
This new legislation will 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 a 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 pets are 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 living souls 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 or a settlement can be reached. 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”. This is not true when it comes to a beloved pet, who is "living" property.
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”
Cherokee County Superior Court
Case # 17-CVE-0427-DC
Diane Edwards v. Melissa and Gary Sneed Jr.
Judge David Cannon, Jr.
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 2,842 supporters today.