Spain has recently passed a law that recognizes pets as legal family members.
According to The Patriot-News, Spain’s new law considers animal companions as sentient beings rather than property. This means that a pet’s feelings and wellbeing will be taken into account during all legal proceedings in the country.
With its implementation, all legal decisions will be made in pursuit of the health and happiness of an animal companion. This law will also prevent pets from being forsaken and seized due to a break-up or divorce.
Although this is a new enactment in Spain, other countries have implemented similar laws in the past. Germany, Austria, France, Portugal and Switzerland deemed pets sentient beings with feelings. These laws recognize that animal companions can feel a wide range of emotions like joy, sadness, and pain.
Lawyer Lola Garcia of Rights&Animals—the firm that handled the case—believes that when a family breaks up, the fate of an animal should be just as important as that of the other family members.
The Significance of Pets in Their Owners’ Lives
In countries where pets are considered to be property, it’s difficult for owners to decide on custody and visitation rights.
But even without these laws, many pet owners already treat their fur babies like family because of the latter's unconditional love and devotion. For these owners, their pets have stayed by their side through thick and thin, accepting them for who they are without a second thought. That’s why said owners don’t hesitate to provide their furry friends with all the necessary comforts like custom dog beds, good food, and custom plush toys.
Still, many pet parents express hope that these laws will continue to develop in more countries so that animal companions can live happier lives with their owners.
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