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Divorce sparks custody battle over pet dog

Family pets are often seen as furry, feathery or even scaly members of the family, and sometimes when a family goes through divorce the family pet can be at the center of a custody dispute. One family is going through a bitter divorce and the center of controversy is who gets to own the beloved Golden-doodle.

The divorce of one couple from New York has sparked a family feud over the family's pet dog Lucy. The dispute is centered on who is the dog's rightful owner and in this case the husband's sister and the couple's daughter are in dispute. The husband's sister says she has been caring for the pooch for two years while the divorce between her brother and sister-in-law has been carried out in court. The 18-year-old daughter of the divorcing couple says the dog is hers and a chip implanted in the dog's behind can demonstrate ownership.

When the husband and wife separated in 2009 the couple had two dogs Lady and Lucy. Lady was 9-years-old and Lucy was only a puppy and less than one year old. Both dogs were put in the hands of the husband's sister, but when the older dog died the ownership of Lucy became an issue.

According to the husband's sister, the wife left the husband's sister a voicemail full of expletives when Lady died. The husband's sister also charges that the wife tried to dognap Lucy from her and chased her in an SUV.

At first the husband's sister believed she would temporarily watch Lucy, but after her role as dog keeper progressed she licensed the dog and formed an owner's relationship with Lucy.

The courts will have to settle the dog ownership issue since it has been made a formal issue in the divorce process and according to the husband's sister's lawyer the judge will determine "what the best interest of the dog is."

Source: nydailynews.com, "Divorce unleashes feud as hubby's sister claims ownership of family dog," Oren Yaniv, Oct. 6, 2011

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