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Court confirms man’s custody of dog, denies ex-girlfriend

May 28, 2019
This undated photo provided by Jessica Sardina shows Honey, a boxer-lab mix, and herself in Bangor, Maine. A custody battle in Maine Supreme Judicial Court focuses on the dog. Maine law allows a judge to order married couples to share custody of animals, but that standard doesn't apply to unmarried couples splitting up. Jessica Sardina is challenging a ruling that her former boyfriend is Honey's sole owner because his signature appeared on adoption papers. (Samantha Sardina via AP)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s supreme court has upheld a ruling granting a man sole custody of his dog, denying his ex-girlfriend’s bid to take the pet.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday affirmed that pets are property in confirming a district judge’s decision that the Lab-boxer mix named Honey belongs to the man whose name appeared on adoption papers. His former girlfriend sued for custody.

The ruling was swift, and there was no written opinion.

During arguments two weeks ago, Chief Justice Leigh Saufley questioned whether it’s a good use of time for judges to analyze pet custody in cases involving unmarried couples.

Pets are considered property in all 50 states. Only three states — Alaska, Illinois and California — have specific laws that address pet custody when a marriage dissolves.

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