In the case of inheritances or divorce custody disputes, a new statute classifies cats, dogs, and other domestic animals as “living creatures” with “feelings.”
This ensures that when deciding who gets the family dog, judges must consider the animal’s needs in the same way they would if they were dealing with children.
Mistreatment of pets would be considered a felony under the new legislation, much as though the owner had hurt another human.
If anyone comes across an abandoned pet, they have a public responsibility to try to locate the owner or report the incident to the police, just as they would if they came across a missing child.
“This shows that we are shifting our mindset and seeing animals as living beings with the capacity to experience pain, happiness, and sorrow, and not as a piece of furniture or a show,” Lola Garca, a civil rights lawyer, told La Vanguardia.
Spain joins France, Germany, Austria, and Portugal as European countries that have granted pets the same legal status as humans.
“We must agree that animals are not things, but living beings who feel and suffer,” Sandra Guaita, who introduced the bill to the legislature, said.Follow Us