Change Virginia's law definition of animals from personal property to living beings
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On September 29th, 2016 my dog Roxy was not only unfairly separated from me, but also from her sister, Lola. I was the primary caregiver of both dogs but after a breakup and custody battle, the court ruled only in my favor for Lola, since I had evidence to prove that she was a gift. The best interest of the dogs could not be taken into account since Virginia views dogs as mere property. Lola and Roxy were obviously bonded, growing up together since Roxy was a puppy. I work from home so they were rarely left alone for long periods of time vs. my ex who works over seas 8 months out of the year and travels constantly even when he is not working. As soon as he obtained possession of Roxy he dumped her on his parents. The judge knew that my ex did not care about the dogs but was simply fighting to win, however, he felt like his hands were tied to uphold the "property" law.
Canada and France have made changes to their laws to recognize that animals are not just personal property but living, feeling beings. It is time that the US heads down this track as well! Our pets are part of our families that require proper care, food and water which is not the same thing as owning a TV. Virginia, let's set an example for the rest of the country so no one has to suffer the injustice and heartbreak of having their furbaby taken from them!
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