Maine: Ask Your State Legislators to Help Protect Companion Animals in Divorce Proceedings
This action is for Maine residents only.
This alert is currently only open to Maine residents whose legislators sit on the Committee on Judiciary.
Animals in families going through divorce or legal separation have long been treated like inanimate objects, rather than the living, feeling beings they are. But that could soon change in Maine. The Maine Legislature is considering a bill that would require a court to consider the best interests of a companion animal in divorce or separation proceedings.
An Act To Provide for the Well-being of Companion Animals upon the Dissolution of Marriages (LD 535), introduced by Senator Ben Chipman, would require judges to consider relevant factors, including family members’ attachment to and history with the animal as well as their ability to provide ongoing care, when determining with whom the animal will live. Instead of judges simply awarding a companion animal to the person who purchased the animal or paid for their adoption fee, the judge would have a framework to consider with whom the animal is most likely to thrive.
Already, four states have similar laws — Alaska, Illinois, California, and New Hampshire.
If your legislator sits on the Committee on Judiciary, please call and send an email urging them to support LD 535 using the buttons below. If Representative Thom Harnett is your representative, you can send an email thanking him for co-sponsoring this bill.
- Call your state legislator. If you’re able to make a phone call, please do so, as phone calls have a greater impact than emails. You can use this message: “As your constituent, I’m calling to ask you to support An Act To Provide for the Well-being of Companion Animals upon the Dissolution of Marriages (LD 535) and ensuring judges consider the best interests of a companion animal during divorce or separation proceedings in Maine.”
- After calling, please send a follow-up email to your legislator using the form below. Personalizing your message will help it stand out.
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