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Judge Finally Rules That Dogs Are Not Kids

In the minds of the legal system, your dogs are not your kids but your property and if you pretend they are a grumpy judge might just straight up sell them.
Photo via Drew Brown

Ah, puppers.

The wet-nosed love machines that will absolutely adore us in our best and worst of times. You can be in your underwear crying in the afternoon because of that girl who left you three years ago, eating ravioli out of a can while the first side of Springsteen's Nebraska serenades you for the fourth time in a row and your little pooch will still sit there next to you and in his eyes there will be no judgement.


No, those eyes sparkle only with love.

Fuck, dogs have etched their way so deeply into the heart of humanity that some of us even consider them our own flesh and blood. However, for those who consider your dogs your kids, one Canadian judge has had enough of your shit.

"They are often highly intelligent, sensitive and active, and are our constant and faithful companions," reads a recent ruling by Justice Richard Danyliuk. "Many dogs are treated as members of the family with whom they live.

"But after all is said and done, a dog is a dog."

The ruling comes after a bitter custody dispute between a couple ending a 16-year marriage. The couple never had kids but instead lavished all their love on their two dogs, Kenya and Willow. The dispute was simple. One party wanted two of the dogs and the other wanted to keep one.

The dogs were staying at one of their parents' house where the couple could see them from time to time and when the husband went there to walk Kenya he just straight up kept her. The whole thing got so heated that they had to take this shit to court.

Danyliuk was not amused, chastising the couple about the fact there are more important subjects for the already taxed legal system to deal with like, you know, murder and the welfare of children, and writing that "to consume scarce judicial resources with this matter is wasteful."

Danyliuk referred to the whole situation as "demeaning."


The justice ruled that while the little love machines are wonderful "for legal purposes, there can be no doubt: dogs are property." He said his decision was "borne out by a reasoned and dispassionate consideration of the differences in how we treat dogs and children."

Here are the reasons he listed:

  • "In Canada, we tend not to purchase our children from breeders."

  • "We tend not to breed our children with other humans to ensure good bloodlines, nor do we charge for such services."

  • "When our children are seriously ill, we generally do not engage in an economic cost/benefit analysis to see whether the children are to receive medical treatment"

  • He also wrote that parents don't usually put their children down

  • "When our children act improperly, even seriously and violently so, we generally do not muzzle them or even put them to death for repeated transgressions."

The dogs, for now, are back with their doggy grandparents. In the ruling, Danyliuk even threatens to turn the car around if the couple doesn't start playing nice with each other.

"Both parties should bear in mind that if the court cannot reach a decision on where the dogs go, it is open to the court under the legislation to order them sold and the proceeds split."

So folks, there we have it.

In the minds of the legal system, your dogs are not your fur-babies but your property and if you pretend they are, a grumpy judge might just straight up sell them.

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