California courts go to dogs as pets gain status

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — California courts could be going to the dogs — and maybe cats, too — under a new law granting judges authority to settle disagreements over who keeps the family pet in divorce cases the same way they handle child-custody disputes.

Until now, Fido and Kitty have been considered family property, a status giving them little more standing in a divorce than a family’s big-screen TV.

Under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown, pets will still be considered community property but a judge deciding who gets to keep them will have the discretion of weighing such factors as who feeds them, who takes them to the vet and on walks, and who protects them.

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