It used to be so easy owning a pet. You were the boss, Fido was the dog. Today, if you get home late from work, he might sue you.
Thanks to a new legal specialty called Animal Protection Litigation, there is a rapidly growing niche for those concerned with the rights of animal companions.
Some say it’s growing because animals are no longer just “property,” but have true legal standing as “partial beneficiaries of estates, subjects of lawsuits and victims of abuse,” according to the Raleigh News and Observer.
Proponents of the movement say that they need representation since they can’t speak for themselves.
Yes of course. There are reasons for concern when animals are abused, but that being said, the zealots have gained control of the movement to the point where a custody battle involving owners of a 36-year-old chimp named Moe prompted people to say that animals should have lawyers and should be able to sue.
Schools are adding courses like the Experiential Animal Law Class at Georgetown University, and some say that these courses are being taught at nearly 40 percent of American law schools.
All of which could make one think twice acting on that old adage, “Need a friend? Get a dog.”
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Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.